Settling into a new country – what I’ve learned so far about New Zealand

I cannot believe I’ve been here for over a month! All those months dreaming about moving to New Zealand and now I’m actually living here!

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  1. Everything really is a lot more laid back and the people are really friendly here.
  2. Groceries are quite expensive but not hugely more than London prices but if you’re a thrifty shopper, you’ll find loads of deals…takeaways are also really cheap.
  3. The roads are well-designed but you have to be quite wary of bad drivers and people speeding…
  4. Sandflies are the devil.
  5. It really does just take 5-7 minutes for the sun to burn unprotected skin. Cover up!
  6. It’s really easy to set up a bank account but a bit more of a faff to get an IRD number (you need this if you’re planning to work while you’re here).
  7. There is a big problem with meth in New Zealand.
  8. The coffee really is amazing.
  9. So is the fish and chips.
  10. In Auckland, you really can experience all different types of weather in one day – it’s hard to dress for it!
  11. It’s really easy to meet people if you make an effort. I recently joined meetup and now play netball every week and do a pub quiz every two weeks.
  12. Newsreaders and radio DJs can basically say whatever they like (I mean it!). It’s really weird to get used to, but makes me feel like we can be quite stuffy with this in the UK sometimes. Of course, sometimes they overshare and it gets a bit awkward haha! Or rather, I feel awkward. They’re fine.
  13. It’s quite scary when there is an earthquake, even if you’re miles away…you feel a bit out of control, and the aftershocks can go on for months and months! I haven’t experienced one yet but the recent one in Kaikoura made me realise how serious they are and can be.
  14. I actually don’t feel like I’m as far away as I geographically am…thanks to Skype, WhatsApp and everything, although the time difference is hard to get used to, I still feel really connected to my friends and family back home.

Number fourteen is my favourite one. I know I’d find it really hard if I wasn’t able to see the faces of my wonderful friends and family (and have “virtual hugs” from my lovely Mum!).

To sum up, I love it here and am so pleased that I made the move!



One response to “Settling into a new country – what I’ve learned so far about New Zealand

  1. Love these comments Laura and so glad you are happily living your dreams in 2016. Yes, coffee and fish and chips are better and kiwis are FAR more laid back than Europeans. I think because we are so far away from the major world “players” we feel able to say whatever we basically like (not meaning to hurt anybody though) …….. glad you are meeting new people. Hugs, Aunty Lynn (and Uncle Stew)

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