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Thread: Leaving everyone - how did you cope?

  1. #1
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    Default Leaving everyone - how did you cope?

    I'm marrying my Kiwi partner in just over two weeks. Beyond the general stress of wedding planning the realisation of how many lovely friends I've got and how much I'm going to miss them is starting to sink in and I'm feeling a bit blue about it all. I had my hen-do a couple of weeks ago and in the 'married life advice' my friends each gave me (in that embarrasing way hen-do's go) quite a lot said things like 'remember your friends are only a skpe away' and a number of were a bit teary too. I'm just thinking that if it's this bad now what's it going to be like when we get to September/October and are actually leaving.

    I'm not regretting the decision or changing my mind, I am very definate that we want to go, I am very clear on the reasons why and have no doubts. But still, I'm going to miss them all so much. My main consolation is that a lot of my friends I've met since moving to London 5 years ago and now they are a really close bunch, so I'm sure I can make new friends with the friendly Kiwi's in Wellington - it won't be the same of course though.

    So, I guess I'm asking how those of you who have made the move found leaving everyone, and how you coped?

    By the way, it's not that I won't miss my family but they are more likely to come out and visit and I know I won't lose touch with them - after all they're family - but a lot of my friends are early 30's and starting to have families - not something which is conducive to regular trips to the other side of the world!

    Thanks.
    xx

  2. #2
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    That's always a problem. We moved to the States when i was in my early thirties but at least were able to get on the plane home. The fact is when you have babies you social life suffers even if your friends live 5 miles away. Nobody tells you how little time you will have to yourself and how tired you will be. Facebook isn't perfect but it is pretty good. Good luck with the move.

  3. #3
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    This is one of those things that happens to a lot of people time after time through life, even without emigrating (leaving school, leaving university, leaving home, moving area, moving from one job to another, giving up work to have a family, leaving your toddler group people to go back to work, retiring). Some people just don't stay in touch, however nice they were to be with when you were with them all the time. It's a wrench at the time. But those people were part of your life for a while, they're part of your memories, and part of you as the person who was shaped by those memories. Life goes on, and you're quite right - there are more friends out there that you will find as you go along. One thing, this is the best time in history for being able to keep in touch if you want to, thanks to the internet. With FaceBook and Twitter, if you want to, you can know what everyone's up to.

  4. #4
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    There are challenges moving overseas. I've moved between Canada, the US and Australia and will now be doing NZ. Each time it's been somewhat lonely in the new place, even as I built new friendships. For me the trick has been to avoid becoming a couch potato: keep pushing myself to interact with new people, try new things, embrace a new life instead of trying to exactly replicate my old one.

    As a partner I found it very important to cultivate my own sense of community and connection in Australia, rather than wholly glomming on to my husband's existing network of friends. When I brought him to Canada I encouraged him to do the same. It was hard at times, but it overall gave me a stronger sense of balance and belonging.

    Skype helps a lot. So does keeping an eye for seat sales and taking advantage of them when possible.

  5. #5
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    Best of luck to you in your move. Thank goodness for skype and the internet. When you get to NZ try and find a group you can be a part of, a book club or something. The sooner you can have an outlet, and can start making some friends will help. And definitely know your "true" friends back home will always be there for you. Enjoy your wedding, it is a special day. I am about ready to celebrate 11 years with my kiwi hubby and I can't believe how fast the time goes, and how lucky I feel to have him in my life.

  6. #6
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    I married Kiwi fulla 8 years ago (eek!), after 1-2 years in the UK and 3 years in Australia together. Then we spent 6 years back in the UK before finally coming to NZ at the end of 2010.

    I can tell you that being away from nearest and dearest is much easier now than it was a decade ago! It's still not fun - I got hit by a nice wave of homesickness last night, seeing pics of my best bud's new baby, and her oldest has gotten so big... - but with Skype and Facebook it's a whole new ball game compared to email only, and the odd pricey phone call. Back then I only had a few photos with me too, on a floppy disk or printed out, and now online photo albums are perfect!

    You will miss out to some extent, but so will they. You will be able to share what you're up to over here in NZ and they will wish they can join in! So it's swings and roundabouts, painful as well as joyful, but it definitely isn't the end of the world.

    My biggest worry coming here was that I wouldn't be able to make any really good friends, because most of those I'm close to I've known for well over 10 years - I met the only "newbie" to my close friends circuit 4 years before we emigrated, and the rest were all school or uni friends. But but but I do have one very good friend here now, and some fun colleagues too. It takes time, and to be honest as others have mentioned my social life isn't exactly awesome due to having a young child, but life is good. I miss my old friends, but I love being here regardless.

    Have a wonderful wedding - I'm sure your cheek muscles will ache from all the smiling by the end!! - and best wishes for your move xx

  7. #7
    Manks's Avatar
    Manks is offline Serial procrastinator and general busybody
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    It is the hardest part, for sure. But as sophiedb says, focus on the positives and the fantastic new life you're creating for yourselves. Then your friends will feel like they're missing out more than you The amount of comments I've had about friends living vicariously through my FB photos/posts is both satisfying and saddening!

    It is harder to make deep friendships as you get older. People have their networks of friends and it's hard to break into them, but not impossible. We've got a range of good mates here now and, while I wouldn't say I've got anyone I'm really, really close to, I know that I've got people around me who I could rely on in times of need. Funnily in our first year, we mainly had ex-pat friends, with the odd kiwi "acquaintance" so I was determined to grow the proportion of my kiwi friendships in my second year. It is growing, slowly but surely!

    I actually found I've made a number of friends IRL via Twitter. Once I struck up a rapport with a couple, this has spread and I now have various friends who I "met" first via Twitter and have now met them for real, some purposefully, some accidentally. I've found it's helped to break the ice a bit because people tend to be more open online. But you can also ascertain if you share the same interests. One of the guys we met was through a shared interest in motorbikes, and the fact that he does the job Mr Manks did/wants to do. It's also been a good information-gathering source when I've wanted to know certain things or recommendations. Whether that's around Welly or elsewhere in NZ.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manks View Post
    Funnily in our first year, we mainly had ex-pat friends ...(snip)... I actually found I've made a number of friends IRL via Twitter
    This makes me remember a bbq at benandclare's, where a good proportion of us introduced ourselves along the lines of "hi, I'm Sophie - um, sophiedb on ENZ?"

  9. #9
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    We arrived in Wellington just over a week ago and thankfully no homesickness has set in, yet. That could because it still feels like a bit of a holiday - especially with today's glorious weather!

    Leaving your loved ones behind is never going to be easy and I won't lie - it is pretty horrendous, at the time. I was all fine beforehand, but when the time came I was pretty much in bits. I'm not one for emotions normally, so it did take me a bit by surprise - I guess I had been locking that part of the process away until I needed to face it.

    Having said all that, it doesn't take long to gather yourself together and once you are en route you have other things to keep you occupied - like how are we going to persuade the check-in person to let us get away with 11kg excess (answer: take a cute baby with you, bingo!). I think it is in some ways easier for those doing the leaving, as you have a huge adventure ahead of you to look forward to. Skype is a truly amazing invention and one which will keep you connected with those you have left behind. Be reassured that your family have said they will visit you - not everyone is lucky enough to be able to afford the trip.

    Have a lovely wedding and good luck with the big move - what a year for you!

  10. #10
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    Thank you all. Its good to hear how you've cope with leaving and useful hints and tips for settling in. I'm sure I'll be fine, I just have the occasional wobble!

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