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Thread: 6+ Months In Update

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Auckland
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    71

    Default 6+ Months In Update

    The last 6 months have flown by!
    I can remember landing at 5:00am in Auckland August 30, 2011 in the rain and dark morning hours like it was yesterday!
    I got picked up by my recruiter at the airport, and arrived in a country I'd never been to before, and did not know anybody.
    The 14 hour direct flight from Vancouver, B.C. Canada surprisingly, did not seem very long. The service on Air New Zealand was wonderful and enjoyed the wine.

    Backing up a bit --my journey to New Zealand happened quite quickly and unplanned actually.
    I had posted my resume on Seek after seeing lots of jobs in my field. I wasn't happy in my current role so thought I'd look for a something more aligned with what I wanted to do.
    While I had options in my own country, I decided to explore possible international experiences outside of North America. I'd always been attracted to Australia/NZ and accustomed to beautiful surroundings and living by the ocean. Yet, I'd been to Aussie way back in 1988, but never to NZ.

    Within a few days of posting I was contacted by a recruiter. After a few Skype interviews I was offered a job about a month later. I went through the SMC application process very smoothly, surprisingly. Many of you know is very rigorous with medicals, work reference letters etc. I was most concerned about my medicals having had borderline results in a few areas on occaision in the past, but I passed with flying colours. The Dr. commented (and this was a panel Dr. from Canada that did medicals for people coming into Canada) noted that they were bound to find something with the amount of tests. So I was very greatful, and had made efforts to lose a bit of weight and manage health in the months prior.

    Fastforward to life in NZ since landing..
    ..

    Sept --The first few weeks were glorious. I love palm trees, the magic about being in a new country, new start etc. I was surprised that some of the flora was similar to sunny/warm south-west B.C. too. I had arranged to lease a fully furnished place right downtown through a property management company. So when I landed I had a place ready to move in. It was the best planning step I'd done. I didn't have to worry about running around when I got here. I had a great place with a harbour view at a good price, although a bit small. But it just worked for a single professional :-) One of my adjustments was just moving to a 'larger city'. The last city I lived was about half the size.

    In Sept/Oct I had a few family/friends come for WRC which was great and the city was abuzz with parades and fun over Sept/Oct. What a great time to have arrived. But then it dies down and it continued to rain. There has been way more rain here than Vancouver even! By end of October my residency was approved and I had my bluey stickies in my passport. I was really surprised how comfortable I felt about being here, although lots of hills and I walked everywhere. This was a good thing though and lost about 4lbs after about a month or so!

    By about mid November I hit a bit of a low point. Work wasn't moving as quickly as I wanted getting into assignments (because they simply weren't there), I was beginning to think it was not working out on that front and starting to plan other options. I was beginning to realise too that I could have gotten paid more if I'd gone to Aussie to work. In short, I hadn't done my homework and in hindsight might have waited out for a work opportunity there first. But I do believe that things unfold as they should and for good reason. I had also left a long term relationship so was recovering from that which hit a peak at that point. I had questioned why I'd made the move and decision to leave the relationship. Again, if I'd done a bit more research would have discovered there are few single men in New Zealand (they've all moved to Aussie apparently?). And while finding a new relationship is not the reason I came here, it would have been nice to have a bit more options in that area! I did find going to the gym and kept the faith and connected with friend and family on Skype and Facebook helped alot during this time.

    Christmas came and luckily I'd met a fellow Canadian and her husband and friends during WRC, and they invited me out to their bach at Matarangi beach on the Coromandel peninsula. I was there for about 5 days and it was so great to hang out, BBQ, fish, beach, play games and get to know kiwi culture and people. As the new year turned its corner I landed a great work assignment with a fabulous client in a field that I love, so things were looking way up on the work front.

    From a cultural standpoint-- I've already commented about the poor driving habits, but also a bit surprised that while kiwis are quite friendly as acquaintances it takes much longer to establish a deeper friendship. Not sure why, but perhaps its because they don't know if you'll stay around for the long haul or not. I found people spoke very fast at first and it took a few months to get used to that, but the differences in terms etc. was not a big adjustment at all. I do feel that it feels like going back in time in some way ....perhaps 10-15 years from where I grew up/came from as they laws, and ways of doing things are perhaps less enforced etc. (e.g. drink driving, cell phone use, driving cars), and that the children here seem much more their age vs. grown up, less focus on work/money, and more work-life balance, and less of a commercial focus during holidays.

    I've had a few interesting interactions where people were quite baffled about why I'd come to an apparently "poor country" from Canada (apparently 'rich' in their eyes)? This was surprising, although most weren't people born-raised in NZ, and were immigrants themselves. Also interesting to hear what people's perception is of your country when you travel abroad. For example, I went to a Christmas party and a guy shook my hand hi and when I heard I'd come from Canada immediately referred to me as a baby seal killer! And then mentioned it a number of times throughout the party to me. Just because you are a citizen of a country doesn't mean that you agree with the political decisions that have happened. So a good lesson for me to not make assumptions about people's politics or feelings about issues due to their country of origin.

    Summer --I was looking forward to a hot summer that never came, and now we're into shorter days again, and more rain? <sighs> I've flown down to Wellington a few times (loved it...green, beautiful harbour and it wasn't too windy the times I was there!), outskirts of Auckland and Coromandel as mentioned. I would really love to see the south island though.

    February --At this point, my client assignment was extended again till the end of July so I know I'll be here till then. I love the big organisation I'm working for. There are opportunities for me to stay here permanently, but I'm starting to miss home a bit. I have options to go to Aussie as well, or have thought about moving onto another country. Now that I'm abroad, I am much more open to other international opportunities. I haven't needed to get a car because I can walk to work and if I needed a car I'd just rent one.

    Now if I met someone alot could change! But I'm not so hopeful. The men aren't as flirtatious or interested here (or shy or conservative--I haven't figured it out yet). It is difficult to even know if a fella is interested or available for dating? In the meantime, there are many other things to focus on like fitness, hobbies, visiting/exploring more of New Zealand, and travel to other areas close to New Zealand. I had planned to visit back home in April, but may now push that forward few months.

    I'm taking a few weeks at a time, and looking for opportunities or a sign to make a different move. I'm excited to create new professional networks and get a totally new perspective on international business and how my colleagues in my business work in other countries. Its been great so far and I appreciate my country even more now, although I never had taken it for granted in the past. I've had the priviledge of living in beautiful, ocean side cities all my life so would love to see more of NZ!

    Appreciate this forum during the months in particular leading up to coming here and its been great to support people here and there coming over, and hear other's impressions as they've arrived.
    Last edited by KiwiChar; 8th March 2012 at 10:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    3,697

    Default

    Sounds like you had exciting journey & some really good observations . All the best with your job & I hope you get your Mr Right very soon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    UK - North Shore, Akld - UK
    Posts
    455

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    Interesting post KiwiChar. I found it tough settling in with my family around me - it must be even harder when you're on your own, so good effort.

    As for meeting single Kiwi males, a single friend of mine was advised to learn how to catch and gut fish to improve her chances!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    9

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    Awesome post and sounds exactly what I went through, but a female version. Funny, I always think it would be easier to meet people if I was a female. So, I have to ask what age group are you in and what line of work?

    I went thru the same things, the feelings at work, thinking of Aus and would it be better, being lonely and meeting people, second guessing your decision, etc. I had a couple of other factors that pushed my buttons like my Dad having a health scare back in Canada and pressure from my daughters to join me but the ex wouldn't give them their passports - the health scare is dealt with and we (me and my daughters) now have our British passports so the ex can't play havoc with my kids.

    Back then I wish I had someone to talk to or even knew of this forum to try and help me thru things but I didn't and succombed to the pressure and ended up packing up and moving back to Canada. I thought it would make things better - for me it didn't and I regret it, I should have toughed it out and stayed to the original plan of giving NZ a minimum of one year. I'm now seriously thinking of moving back to NZ (thought of going to Aus too) to give it a proper go as the engineering company I was working at would love to have me back working down in Christchurch with the rebuild.

    I originally thought the move would be sooo easy and it was at first but, and there is always a but, doing it by yourself, as a guy in your mid forties (me) is tough - the loneliness creeps up and bites you in the ass. You hear how tough it is for couples and families but at least they have each other. As a single person, I now know it takes more preparation and a plan if you start thinking the "grass is greener somewhere else" thoughts.

    So, stick in there and keep telling yourself that you're doing the right thing, you just have to give it time and remember all the reasons you decided to make the move. You are making the right decision.

    Cheers
    Ken

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

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    Thanks for your post KiwiChar, it sounds like you are doing well. I think being new and single in any city or country is challenging. I was in Montreal years ago and was single and new to the city/country and I am not a very outgoing person by nature. But, I had to sort of push myself out of my comfort zone to meet people. And the people I worked with had 15-20 years on me. And they never once invited me over to their homes for dinner or anything like that. I have no problem befriending people older or younger than me, but they seemed to have issue I guess. So, I made myself get out there and meet people. I find a good way to meet people is to get into book clubs, hiking groups and really push yourself to join people out for drinks or coffee etc. Super 15 has started, I am sure there are lots of people who are going out to the pubs to watch the games, so that might be an opportunity to meet people. It just takes that one person. It sounds like you are definitely doing what is best for you so keep it up. Best of luck to you and whatever you end up choosing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    195

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    Great post, thanks for sharing your intitial experiences. Be strong!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Wellington, New Zealand
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    223

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    It sounds like you're having quite an adventure and I have to say that I am incredibly impressed with anyone who makes such a huge move on their own.

    With regards to Kiwi men (basing this on the experience of meeting my Kiwi man in London...) they are not very forward, I put it down to a combination of laid-backness and shyness. I was told by a Kiwi girl I used to work with that Kiwi men rarely make the first move because they grow up surrounded by such forceful women that they've never really had to! I don't know how true that was, although none of my female Kiwi friends are ever shy about going after what they want in any walk of life! It took some pretty big hints before my OH realised I liked him like that. It just hadn't crossed his mind that I may before. Bless. Having said that most men value friendship as the basis of a relationship so as long as you are making friends and meeting new people I'm sure you won't have any problems.

    Go get 'em!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
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    Thanks for your advice and well wishes. As mentioned, 'finding a relationship' isn't the #1 priority as much as it enjoying work, creating a circle of friends and seeing more of the country. But what I'm getting here is that I need to be more proactive on all those fronts!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    California to Windy Wellington
    Posts
    148

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    Thanks for posting! Good to see you getting along alright! Hope it continues to get better and better!

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