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Thread: Reflections on a 10-year NZ adventure

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1

    Default Reflections on a 10-year NZ adventure

    Itís time to close the circle. Our first visit to NZ was in 2003/2004 for a holiday. Then back to the UK to sell up everything. We arrived in New Zealand at the beginning of January 2005.

    One of the oddest experiences of the outward journey was realising that we had no keys. Such a trivial fact, but significant that we didnít have a home or a car to call our own.

    We spent the first week in an apartment on Aucklandís waterfront and by the time the furniture had arrived in late January 2005, we had arranged a yearís rental of an apartment in Takapuna. We then moved north to Warkworth for eight years. Finally, the last year back in Takapuna.

    To cut a very, very long story short, weíve built a retirement village, started two technology companies, built a house and made a bunch of life-long friends; got Residency then Citizenship. What could possibly go wrong youíll be thinking?

    Itís the word FAMILY. Despite travelling around the world back to the UK at least once a year for the last 10 years, we still cannot get our heads round the emotional distance. Our two sons in the UK have both married since we have been here, and a wonderful grand-daughter now pulls at our emotions. Weekly Skype chats are no substitute, however marvelous.

    Everything that youíve heard about NZ is more or less true. Itís friendly, the climate is better that the UK in every respect, the countryside is stunning, the crime rate is low, and the lifestyle can be very comfortable. If youíre in skilled employment, youíd probably be better off here than in the UK.

    Has our immigration been a Ďfailureí? Technically, I suppose. Even though we have been super-engaged and super productive, my wifeís heart has never really been here, and she has always felt the tug in ways I canít quite understand. I guess the reality is that the family connections for women are often stronger than they are for men.

    Are we glad we did it? Yes and no. Yes, itís been a great adventure. And no, because family will always trump everything else. And thatís probably how it should be.

    Thanks to the EmigrateNZ community: I was an avid user of ENZ eleven years ago in the lead-up to our moving to New Zealand from the UK. I received lots of support and encouragement from the members of the forum then, though itís likely that very few of them will be reading this by now. But itís nice to acknowledge the help that this forum provided. Thanks and good luck everyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    207

    Default

    I've only been a member of this forum for 4 years, and only then on and off, so I don't remember you but I would say that your emigration was not a failure. It sounds like a massive success. You've lived well and successfully for the last ten years. Something doesn't have to last forever to be a success. A failure would be not being able to carve out a niche, for whatever reason. It takes a lot of guts to up sticks completely and move to the other side of the world. You did and and were great at it.

    Good luck for the move back

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,408

    Default

    I absolutely agree with what Escapee said. You've got experiences and memories that will be part of you for as long as you live, and through you, a wider horizon for your family. All the very best.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    USA-NZ-USA
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Sounds successful to me. I think once you're back home you will see it more as a success. I lived in Germany for 10+ years and had serious reverse culture shock when I returned to the US. Eight years later and I'm an expat again. I see my time in Germany as largely successful, even though there were, of course, "failures." But the "failures" would have been there had I stayed stateside or not.

    Best wishes for a safe and happy return home!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eastbourne
    Posts
    445

    Default

    Congratulations on 10 wonderful years. I've definitely noticed - especially amongst the Brits - that family ties can be very hard to handle so far away. Family does trump everything as it should. I think it is always much easier for those of us who came her to be closer to family. Good luck with the move back.

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