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Thread: Disagreeing about New Zealand

  1. #1
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    Default Disagreeing about New Zealand

    I don't know how many people have been through this. It's something I've been talking about with my family. What should we do if one or more of us love New Zealand while one or more hates the place? Should we agree a plan for this before we go? What's a good template for a plan? If we make a plan are we planning to fail which would make it a bad idea. Would value advice from anyone whose made it to New Zealand, doesn't matter if you hate it or love it, any advice is v. welcome.

  2. #2
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    It may help you to look at the forum Leaving New Zealand http://www.enz.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=25, where many of the threads are from people who have decided to go back, alongside the many threads in Living In New Zealand http://www.enz.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=17 with titles such as 6 months in, 12 months in, 2 years in, 5 years in, etc., etc., from people who have settled in NZ and have kindly let us keep track of their progress.

    I think, agree to give your new life a minimum of two/three years of really going for it.

    Everybody is going to have moments, at least, of home-sickness/people-sickness/culture shock. These all need time to be worked through. It's worth having a look at the symptoms http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_shock, because if you do get affected, it helps to realize that the world hasn't suddenly turned against you, and you haven't gone mad, either - the way you're feeling will pass, if you give it time. Also worth considering is that going back where you came from isn't a sure-fire cure for any discontent felt, that discontent can well be due to other causes than having migrated (e.g. adolescence, middle-aged angst), and that the place and people you leave behind will all have moved on in your absence, so the mental picture of 'back there' is only ever an image.

    When you've lived the two or three years, you'll actually be rather different people from who you are now, so don't cripple your future selves by making a cast-iron template.

  3. #3
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    Agree with above. We are lucky in that we both love it here (and kids too) but I was defintely the one that had fallen in love with NZ more then hubby on our previous trip. It is not utopia and I have had a couple of moments where I have missed the US (Seattle specifically) but no regrets, except maybe not putting certain items in our container!

    Give yourself a certain time, 2 years say to reassess your life and decisions. And remember if you find the same problems following you may be it is not the country! (Does that make sense?)

  4. #4
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    I think this scenario is not special and it is not limited to a relocation here. If you do a distant relocation within your home country generally the same applies. There will be other factors to be considered but overall you have to think about it before doing it and decide what you are likely do when (if) it occurs.
    Last edited by ralf-nz; 13th May 2012 at 01:39 PM.

  5. #5
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    you could compromise and live in singapore!
    seriously, its something that cant be compromised upon. I can say that you need a strong relationship to make a big move

  6. #6
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    I completely agree with Ralf. Been there, done that. My antidote at the time was to sign up for a degree by distance learning, so I always had something that was mine coming in to look forward to, and to switch my thinking to if things felt rough.

  7. #7
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    I agree with pretty much everything JandM and others have said. There are many people who have come here, and within a few months returned back to their place of origin only to regret the decision and plan to return here again. I can't reiterate enough how important it is to give it time, which you get to know all the little quirks of life in NZ. It isn't a utopia and there are both good things and annoying things about life here. Acknowledging both of these aspects of your new life is far healthier that having rose tinted specs on, and will allow you to adapt lifestyle that suits you and grow new friendships.

    However, in the last 5 + years posting on ENZ I have seen quite a number of posts from rather desperate people who are in exactly the situation you have described, where one person loves life in NZ and the other grows to hate it. And then when kids get involved (who neither have long memories of their previous lives or the worldview of an adult) it becomes a numbers game as to whether a family stays here or moves on. Or a financial decision based on one persons career or lack of it. Often someone ends by losing or sacrificing their happiness for the sake of their partner of family, or relationships are torn apart. This can lead to resentment, bitterness and depression in some people, and others descibe themselves as feeling trapped here. So yes, I really DO think it is important to discuss these issues before you come here, but also agree some sensible timeframe (at least a couple of years) for giving it a real go, so at the very least you've had some interesting life experiences. And if it didn't work out, would you go back to where you came from, a different area of your home country, or would you try another country? Have a read through some of the older posts in the leaving NZ part of the forum.

    I don't think it's being negative or setting yourself up for failure by having an alternative plan, I think it's just being realistic. We've been in NZ for 5 years now, and despite having a few curve balls thrown at us we're still here with no regrets and are enjoying life. But, before we stepped on the plane to NZ we agreed that if either of us were not happy we'd be grateful for the life experience, and consider heading to Canada, or if failing that a different area of the UK. Despite having a comfortable life in the UK previously, we recognised that returning to the 'same old' could end up being very unsatisfying, and the old frustrations would no doubt reappear given time. I'll also add that our agreement was primarily concerned with the happiness of us adults. Our children are young and could not, at their age, objectively make a decision about whether life in one place would be preferable or provide the family with more opportunities than somewhere else. Happy parents = happy kids!

  8. #8
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    Thanks for your very helpful replies. There's a lot to consider, because we don't want to move supposedly to make our lives better only for one or more of us to think their lives have got worse. We're definitely going to move to New Zealand, but we're still not sure what plan we should have if we disagree when we get here. We'll keep reading.................

  9. #9
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    My OH and I discussed this one. We agreed that we would stay for two years come hell or high water. If we did not settle in our first location we agreed that we would move to a different location/different living style in NZ prior to making the decision to go home. Both people have to be happy, however with different family commitments etc. this can be problematic and you need to discuss it beforehand. OHs parents are still alive and I was concerned about what may come but we discussed this and decided that our family's future had priority (his words).

    Above all keep communicating. Homesickness is the worst part of it and affects people differently......expect it and if it doesn't happen it's ok. There will be down times, you have to force yourself out of your comfort zone.....but try and embrace it rather than fearing it. As a family compromise is essential and moving to NZ and one being happy is no different than moving to another area of the UK. Everyone wants there family to be happy, so you have to agree to work together and make those compromises, in whatever direction necessary....but overall I was advised before we left, just keep hugging and communicating!

  10. #10
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    It's a legitimate concern and it's good to think these things through before the move.

    I moved to Australia for a contract in 2003 and met my (soon to be) husband. I had planned on staying 8 months; it ended up being almost 3 years because of him. He had migrated from the UK about a year earlier and LOVED Sydney/Australia. I never warmed to the place, though I've much fonder feelings now that I no longer have to live there. When I met him I was clear that Canada was home. We ended up coming to Vancouver a year earlier than planned because of an ill parent and my fundamental unhappiness.

    After nearly 7 years, it's clear Vancouver and Canada are not quite right for him. He's been very gracious most of the time and hasn't pushed about anything. But I love him and I want us both to be happy. Long before I met him I loved NZ and planned to retire at least part/time there. So I've kept an eye on the career horizon and when a job opened up earlier this year I went for it. Without saying anything to him. Suffice to say he was surprised when I told him about my upcoming Skype interview. We were both surprised when an offer was made, which, after some negotiatiion, turned out to be a very, very good one.

    We're not moving simply because he's not as happy as me: I am ready for a change and having the logistics of the move organized and paid for by someone else is FINE BY ME!!!! It does mean I'll be going to Auckland 6 months before he can join me though. That sucks.

    But I've been to NZ many times and we've family and friends there already.

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