If ten years ago you told me I would be leaving New Zealand after five years of living and working in Auckland, I wouldn’t have believed you!
In 2012, I was just graduating high school and was off to study Sociology at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. I had no real dreams of living abroad.
But as graduation grew closer, I hadn’t taken a semester abroad and knew that I wanted to do something before settling into a “big girl job”. I coached sailing at my local yacht club during the summer and decided after the summer was over, I was going to take a few months and travel to New Zealand! I had only been to New Zealand once before when I was eight years old. My dad was doing a yacht race around the world and that was a stop in the race. I had always wanted to get back there.
So, as a graduation present, my parents gifted me a one-way plane ticket to New Zealand!
They probably wouldn’t have done that if they knew the country would pull me in for the next five years….
Off I went!
For the next five years, I adventured, sailed, worked, made life-long friends, met my future husband and absolutely fell in love with the country of New Zealand. It is truly such a special corner of the world and if you ever have the chance to get there you absolutely need to take it. There is no place like it! (Warning – if you’re thinking “Huh, I’m sure Australia is similar?” No. It isn’t….trust me. Don’t bring it up.)
Like travelling to any foreign country – you can expect that there will be differences. A lot of culture shocks and different ways of life between the Midwest and Auckland, New Zealand and I will tell you all about them soon.
The biggest lesson I have learned from my big move is this – you can do it. If you really want to… do it!
Stop over thinking things.
You will most likely have to find a job and work, unless you’ve found yourself in the lucky few! Nobody has enough time or money to pack up and move to another country – not really.
But it is worth the stress and struggle. You will learn about yourself and make life long contacts (and places to stay all over the world!). It has given me confidence to take on adventures and a new hunger to see the world I didn’t have before.
France! My fiancé (who is French) popped the question before we left New Zealand. And just like that – the next adventure begins.
I don’t speak French (yet) and I’ve never been to the town we’re moving…bring it on!