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Thread: One year in New Zealand

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Nelson
    Posts
    163

    Default One year in New Zealand

    Here it is then, our first year post , itís a little late, we actually arrived on 11th October 2010 but close enough!
    We came here because we wanted to completely change the way we lived. In the UK we both worked long hours and it always seemed that when Matt was at home I was at work. We dreamed of growing our own food and spending more time together doing the things we enjoy but only ever got to do on holiday.
    Matt got a job with Interislander Ferries ,working week on week off (he lives on board the ship when he is at work) in the UK he had been away at sea for up to eight weeks at a time. Initially he had to take a step back in his career and with me no longer working that meant a big drop in our income, but we were hopeful that he would soon be promoted and I was sure that by living differently we could economise and still manage to survive.
    We had planned to give the kids some time off school and live in rental properties until we could decide where we really wanted to settle but of course it didnít quite work out like that. Within three weeks the kids were desperate to get back to school and I hated living in a rented house (it was beautiful but just didnít feel like home).
    We found our new home just before Christmas last year and moved in on Valentines day. Itís an old villa with just enough land to grow veggies and raise a few pigs and chooks. We have worked really hard clearing and planting and building homes for the animals and now we are starting to reap the benefits. The garden is totally organic, almost everything we have used to create it has been recycled from somewhere. Itís been a mighty steep learning curve but Kiwiís seem to have respect for anyone that is willing to give it a go and a lot of people have helped us along the way.
    Everything about the way we live now is different, itís amazing how many things that I used to feel were essential for a good life now seem unimportant or irrelevant. The only luxury items we have bought have been two twin kayaks, which seemed a lot more fun than a dishwasher! If my friends and collegues from the UK could see me now, they probably wouldnít recognise me, suits and heels have been traded for an old bush hat, gum boots and shorts. I canít remember the last time I had a haircut!
    It hasnít all been easy and there have been some sad times along the way, but thatís not New Zealand Ė thatís just life! Reconciliation with Mattís family has been a long slow process, we will probably never be truly forgiven for leaving, but we can live with that. Our biggest wobble came when my eldest daughter decided to return to England after just three months, I felt for a while as if my heart had been torn out, but she has to live her own life and make her own choices, we have already flown her back twice so who knows perhaps when she finishes university she might end up here one day.
    We have met some lovely people here and had a lot of fun. Our neighbours came round on the first day we arrived, with food and drink, they even invited us for Christmas dinner and In April they will be getting married in our garden! Making friends has been much easier here than it was in Yorkshire !
    Matt got his promotion last week so he is back to where he was in the UK (shipís Captain). I still donít do any paid work, but I volunteer and I am the head gardener and pig keeper! The children are doing brilliantly in school and Lara is just about to start the second year of her nursing degree at NMIT in Nelson. We spend a lot more time together as a family.
    We are planning our first trip back to the UK in August (a little earlier than expected) for my sonís wedding, but although we miss the kids and my grandchildren too, I donít think we will be tempted to go back. We have come too far in so many ways, to go back to where we were.
    I never say forever but for now New Zealand is the place I want to live and it feels like home.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,413

    Default


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Sheffield, England
    Posts
    188

    Default

    Brilliant post, Shiney, glad things are looking good for you and that you are feeling settled. :O)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    202

    Default

    love to read these posts - glad things are working out for you

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    San Francisco to Auckland
    Posts
    626

    Default

    Sounds like things are going really well. Here's hoping continued good luck to you. Thanks for the post. Love to read these.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Waikato
    Posts
    1,785

    Default

    What a lovely update- and well done on the hard graft making your dream lifestyle a reality

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    769

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Rotorua, Bay of Plenty
    Posts
    591

    Default

    Lovely Post. Thanks For Sharing.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    at the bottom of the top bit
    Posts
    3,405

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Canterbury to UK
    Posts
    2,755

    Default

    Sounding good shiney people . Hubby has a cool job, those sounds are magnificent although the strait be can be a bit lumpy

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