You’d think that after living in New Zealand for 12 years we’d have adjusted to the kiwi ways. And we have. To most things.
But not all.
We moved to New Zealand from England in 2009 and it was the best move that we have ever made. We have raised our kids in a country that embraces innovation and creativity, and have been warmly welcomed by the wonderful New Zealand people.
But. There are times when we are reminded that this is not Kansas. That we still need to work a little harder to truly fit in. Whenever these seven events show up in life down under, we realise that try as we may, we are still adapting to life in New Zealand.
Here are the seven culprits that still baffle these two slow learning brits…
It’s on days like this that I tend to reminisce. Go back in my mind ten years to when Brian was working in his plumbing and heating business and I was at home with kids, doing my best to provide them with a rounded education.
Through my rose-tinted glasses, I see a calm and harmonious family who had a regular wage popping through the door every week. A life where the mother felt no need to put herself onto Youtube and make big fat mistakes in front of the world.
And then I take the glasses off and wipe them. And I remember that fear was always present.
There was the fear of some stuffing up my kid’s life by homeschooling them. Fear of Brian drowning in the pool of stress that filled his fifty-hour workweek. Fear of using cling film when the whole world had adopted that rubbery Honeywrap organic stretchy stuff. Fear of doing things differently.
New Zealand is often referred to as being, ‘like England was fifty years ago.’ At first, I wasn’t sure what this statement meant but after living in New Zealand and witnessing the life skills and the values that New Zealand people work hard to retain, the expression became a whole lot clearer.
Oh, joy. Just when you think you have everything sorted.
Just when you think that you have all of your baby duckies lined up neatly in a row, something goes and changes. A big wet scary towel is thrown over you and your head is you find yourself being yanked pulled along with the flow.
I just wanted to make this absolutely clear before you listen to this week Behind the Scenes Podcast with Tessa, our 17-year-old daughter, and me.
What may sound like a very calm and easy-going mother talking to her up-in-the-air-daughter is actually a woman whose mind is filled with jumble, fear, excitement, pride, and worry.
All parents know this feeling. Each and every one of us go through this at least a billion times a year with our kids.
Yesterday I was asked by a member of our private community, ‘Is the food in New Zealand better?’
While this is a huge topic (and those who know me will have probably guessed my answer), I said it would depend on where you are comparing it to. Compared to the UK, yes, I think that the food in New Zealand is better. It tastes more ‘real’.
Don’t ask me to define real because I can’t. Sorry. Let’s just say it hits a different spot on the taste buds.
After talking to this community member for a while I discovered her reason for asking the above question. She had severe food allergies and was trying to gauge what life in New Zealand would look like.
In this week’s show, I talk to Jenn Morris. Jenn is from the Youtube channel, A Thousand Words. She emigrated to New Zealand over a decade ago and she has various food intolerances and allergies that she lives with.
Last week, when I received an email from a listener from the Middle East. (The fact that we have people listening to us from the middle east blows my mind with excitement but that is a different story). Here is a snippet of what it said:
“One second thing is the reason why you guys decided to move abroad. I am from the middle east so everybody want to move away from here. It is really interesting for me to listen to a westerner moving abroad”.
After reading this email it suddenly struck me. How one person’s ideal country is another person prison. Maybe prison is a tad harsh but it is late at night when I’m writing this and I can’t think of the correct word so let’s stick with
Why WOULD anyone want to emigrate from the UK? And while we’re at it, why would anyone want to leave New Zealand and live in Australia or England? Why on earth would anyone consider leaving beautiful, gorgeous France to live in America?
But they do. Every single day.