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Thread: One Year In...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Bristol -> Wellington
    Posts
    514

    Default One Year In...

    I know I've not posted in a while - I've been lurking on and off, but mainly been too busy to go on the internet!

    However ... we've now made it to a year in New Zealand! We left England on the 5th November 2009, and so we celebrated our anniversary by going to the Wellington fireworks display - so nice that they laid on this party for us!

    It has been an amazing year, and I'm not really sure where the time has gone.

    My husband and I are now very settled, with a fantastic circle of friends across a number of different groups. We are out 2-4 times a week (more when the winter hockey season is on), keeping up with our interests and activities. We are renting a lovely house in an excellent location, and have a definite time-scale for being able to put down a deposit for a place of our own (some time next May). I have an excellent job, which I am rapidly considering making my long term career choice, and I can honestly say that I can't think of a time in my life when I've been more consistently happy.

    There have been down sides, of course - I'd be lying if I said that it had all been smooth sailing. My husband still doesn't have permanent work, and the temp role that he is in is data entry and very low paid (I know that in this economic climate it is great that he has anything, but it would be so much nicer if he could do something which taxes his brain a little bit - fortunately, he has a very high boredom threshold!). The run up to me finding my job was incredibly stressful (the initial job that I'd been offered fell through in the middle of December, and I hadn't anticipated how much the Christmas shut down would have a knock on impact on the jobs I'd applied for), with us rapidly running out of money (I'd even done a spreadsheet showing the exact date we'd have to leave New Zealand with not a cent left to our name)

    We've missed important things - a number of close friends have got married or had babies - there was a slight shock when my brain finally cottoned on to the fact that life carries on and doesn't just pause when you leave the country (a similar realisation to the one that I had aged four or five when I finally understood that the man in the TV didn't wait for me to turn it back on again before finishing his sentence!). My cousin's son had a kidney transplant from her husband, and I really felt being so far apart and not being able to support her (both son and dad are making an excellent recovery).

    I've had down days, where work has been stressful, the day has been gloomy, and I've just wanted to pull the covers over my head and hide from the world (or sit in the loos at work and suck my thumb... ) But it is very rare that that mood lasts for more than a couple of hours, (usually the train trip back home from Wellington to Lower Hutt round the sea helps to smash any bad mood I've got going!), and at no time at all have I actually been home sick. People sick, maybe - I've missed the chats and the instant conversation I could have with my best friend - our communication has dropped to once weekly emails (she doesn't have a good enough internet connection for Skype), and spontaneity goes out of the window when you have to arrange a weekly time to call the family (and then try to work out what the time difference is when daylight savings happens at different times between the two countries!). However - I have talked more with my family since we moved than I ever did in the UK - we Skype pretty much once a week, whereas I was calling maybe once every two or three weeks when I only lived a couple of hours down the road!

    All in all - I genuinely feel like I have come home. I love being in a country where people will genuinely want to stop and pass the time of day with you, rather than always being in a rush. I adore the fact that the trains running ten minutes late will have everyone tutting and grumbling (people in the office were shocked when I said that the train from Bristol Parkway to Temple Meads and back would be fifteen to thirty minutes late four or five times a week (i.e. 50% of the journeys I made on a weekly basis)). I'm enjoying the smallness of Wellington, where the connections you make come round in circles very quickly (there are two people in my orchestra who have connections to people on this forum, as an example!), and where I now see people I recognise (even if I can't put a name to the face) every time I walk to and from the station.

    So - would I do anything differently if I were to make the move again? Probably the only two things would be to transfer more money out at the start (though knowing me, I'd have probably spent it ) and actually planning to enjoy the summer for a holiday, rather than stressing about not finding work. Even though I've missed important things in the UK, I wouldn't change the time we moved, not only for the lovely weather, but also because we wouldn't have got this house, and I may have missed the job advert for this role (because I wouldn't have been at the 'applying for everything' stage of the job hunt).

    The next stages in our adventure are going to be: buying a car - yes, we have managed to get by for a year without wheels of our own, but now we want to start exploring further afield. Then buying a house, probably May / June time (I'd like to be in somewhere new before winter really kicks in). We have friends coming out in July, so we'll take some time out to travel with them, and my parents are planning to come out in December/January 2011. Then I'll probably be at the stage of wanting to start a family... So - even though I've got the big plan of moving half way across the world over and done with, I can't stop the push for the future - and I'm looking forward to every step of the way!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Warkworth , NZ
    Posts
    1,402

    Default

    Lovely post; you've done a great job of settling into your new life. Good luck for the future!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Christchurch from Scotland
    Posts
    2,226

    Default

    Brilliant post Toonster. Glad things have turned out so well for you. Good luck with the future plans and may all your troubles be little ones!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Toonster, Delightful account of your experience...Congratulations..!

    You are lucky to land up in an excellent job ...how did you get it....

    Wellington Guy Fawkes fireworks yeah I was watching it from near the rides...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    at the bottom of the top bit
    Posts
    3,405

    Default

    great news... we've missed you

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Bristol -> Wellington
    Posts
    514

    Default

    Thanks everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeV View Post

    You are lucky to land up in an excellent job ...how did you get it....
    Well - I did put a lot of work into it - I had a target of a minimum of two job applications a day, and managed to do five in one day! (Not all of them were a good fit with my experience and qualifications, to be honest, but towards the end of December, I was willing to consider anything...) This one was through the Government Jobs Online website, and I was very lucky in that the role, although not one that I had directly done before, was one which I had a lot of 'sideways' experience - i.e. my previous job role had a lot of similar requirements, even though it was private sector instead of public. But I have fallen on my feet in that the people I work with are fantastic, and the job is one that I am really enjoying (and like to think that I'm good at...).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    3,697

    Default

    Excellent post Toonster. Best wishes for all the good things in store ahead!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Lower Hutt, NZ
    Posts
    251

    Default

    Lovely post, nice to hear you've done so well for yourselves

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    M'side(UK) - Welly - Waikanae
    Posts
    535

    Default

    Great post - Gill and I just read it together - very helpful as we are making the move to Welly in January.

    Nice to hear you speak positively about the house - I read so many negative comments about NZ housing.

    Pleased you both seem so happy - that's what's most important!

    Best of luck to OH finding a better job and with the house hunt!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    894

    Default

    Great post Toonster. Well done for getting to your anniversary and being so settled and happy. Well done too for choosing Wellington and Lower Hutt - good here innit

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