Holy smokes, I can’t believe it’s been five months since we were packing our bags getting ready to start moving from Australia to New Zealand in search of a new adventure!
Moving from Australia to New Zealand has been a complete whirlwind. Somehow moving to a country just a three-hour plane ride away (we left from Brisbane in case those of you from Perth are reading and screwing your nose up at that one) is so very different.
The last five months have kind of gone by in a blur. I want to be honest with you, it’s taken us a lot longer to get settled here in New Zealand and to think that we’re halfway through this current visa is crackers. So I decided to reflect on our last five months. The good, the bad and the windy!
On Finding Somewhere to Live in New Zealand
The biggest struggle here in New Zealand has been finding somewhere to live! Last year in Australia we moved to 5 different houses pretty easily. We would give ourselves around 10-14 days in an Air BnB and have somewhere snapped up soon before our time was up.
Either it just isn’t as easy in New Zealand or this girl is a lot fussier than she thinks! I think it’s possibly a mixture of both but a lot of the latter!
If you’ve following my blog for a while then you’ll know I’ve been hustling hard at this travel blogging business. In fact, in just one short year I’ve managed to grow an Instagram community of over 3000 and somehow Alicia Overseas is gaining over 4,000 page views every month.
Not so long ago I was dreaming of travelling non-stop full time. Can you think of a better way to live? Turns out I can.
When we first arrived in New Zealand we spent our first 4 months jumping from hostel to hostel spare room to spare room and it drained me. Emotionally, physically I couldn’t have felt more disconnected to everything that I love from travelling.
The past 2 weeks in New Zealand have been the best so far. Dave and I are finally in a lovely house-share with a gorgeous little room. It might sound materialistic but it has honestly done wonders to my mood and relationships.
Here’s what I’ve realised:
- Nothing beats being able to cook in a real kitchen
- Having a window that floods the room with light is life
- I love nothing more than sitting down with my book, a cuppa and candle burning at night
- Having an actual desk to work on at home is now non-negotiable
- Decor matters – sorry but it really does.
- How lucky we are to have a place to call home that we can make our little sanctuary.
So even though it took longer than I would’ve liked to have been settled in a permanent home for the rest of our time in New Zealand, it has made me so much more grateful for it now.
On Finding a Job in New Zealand
Luckily this was a whole lot smoother than finding somewhere to live! Dave snapped up work the first week we got to Wellington! Luckily the hospitality scene is big here and they are always needing extra staff, especially those with experience!
For me, it was pretty easy too! New Zealand like the rest of the world is crying out for nurses and just as we arrived in Wellington a job advert in my area of nursing expertise was put out.
Coincidence or fate? I’m not sure but it was perfect. I was lucky enough to secure the position and found myself working a few weeks after Dave. From securing a nursing position to being on the floor can take a little time as you imagine there are thousands of checks that need to be done! So this meant I got an extra month off to enjoy being in Wellington which was wonderful.
Nursing in New Zealand is similar to Australia and the UK, of course with some cultural and practical differences but very similar which makes me happy.
I’ve also gone back onto a permanent rostered system instead of choosing my shifts as I did in Australia. I must say I have some strong feelings about which I’ll go into a whole other post. I could talk about nursing shifts and roasters and pros and cons until the cows come home!
All in all, finding a job gets a big thumbs up from us! It makes even more grateful that I can take nursing all over the world with me!
On Travelling the North Island
New Zealand is breathtaking.
There are no other words to describe it. It’s the quietest country I’ve ever stepped foot in and in the countryside I can sense how clean the air is.
You don’t have to be far out of the cities to be surrounded by mountainous views and lush green fields. We’ve seen the whole of the North Island so far and have just got the South Island to explore. As I’m writing this we actually go on our first trip to the South Island in 2 weeks time. I can’t wait to explore more of this beautiful country and I honestly don’t think we’ve seen anything yet!
My favourite destinations on the North Island of New Zealand
We still need to see Mount Taranaki and I can’t wait to spend a few days hiking around Egmont National Park!
Moving from Australia to New Zealand – On Feeling Homesick
To my surprise, I’ve felt so much more homesick since moving from Australia to New Zealand. I can’t decide if its because we’ve not been home in over a year and I’m craving some time with my family and girlfriends or if it’s because New Zealand is so similar to the UK.
If I’m honest since my mum left Australia the homesickness didn’t really leave (hi mum, please don’t start crying, I love you)!
Homesickness is hard and completely normal whilst travelling the world. But as much as I love my home (which I’m only just realising now by the way) the experience of travel is certainly worth being away for a little while. I’ve adopted a few ways of dealing it. I’ve also had my fair share of tantrums and have been certain that I was booking the next plane home!
But, one way I deal with it is by embracing this new country I’m in and making plenty of time to catch up with friends and family. I actually love these tips from Mollie over at Where’s Mollie too!
Time differences suck but it’s easy to keep in touch if you really make the effort.
On the Weather
After living in Brisbane and Sydney we arrived in New Zealand in the middle of winter and boy was it a shock!
Being from Northern England we are used to the cold but just one year Australia has turned us into complete wimps!
I’ve only just taken off my woolly hat five months later (it made for a great accessory). I have no idea if we’ll ever be warm again after living in Australia but we did have our first beach day in New Zealand where I braved my swimsuit at 20 degrees! I’m sure when we one day get back to the UK we’ll be ramping up a huge heating bill even in the summer months but I’m it won’t take long for our bodies to re-acclimatise!
About three months into our New Zealand adventure I experienced my first ever earthquake.
It only lasted about 5 seconds but it isn’t an experience I’m likely to forget. I’m sure most New Zealanders probably slept through it and would be rolling their eyes reading this but coming from somewhere with zero natural disasters (although as I write this in November 2019 our home town of Sheffield is currently experiencing torrential flooding) it was so scary.
We were living in the hostel at the time and the bed was wheels and it shook! Dave was on his way back from work and I honestly had no idea what was going on! Luckily it was fine and stopped but holy moly I had no idea how common earthquakes are in New Zealand! I certainly didn’t do enough research where that’s concerned.
A tip for those looking to spend some time in New Zealand, research all about the earthquakes so you know the processes to follow should you ever need to.
All in All…
So, moving from Australia to New Zealand has certainly been an epic adventure so far. Filled with highs and lows, all the ingredients to make a wonderful adventure.
New Zealand is definitely the definition of ‘Middle Earth’ it’s so far away from anywhere else in the world but boy is it beautiful. If you’re thinking about travelling to New Zealand then I couldn’t recommend it more at this point and we haven’t even locked eyes on the South Island yet which is supposed to be even more beautiful!
If you have any questions about New Zealand, moving here or about life here then let me know but here are a few facts about the country we’ve discovered so far:
- Earthquakes happen every day
- It’s normal not to see anyone else in the countryside all-day
- Wellington is the windiest place on earth (not statically true but I’m rolling with it)
- New Zealand has a teeny tiny population of just 5 million!
- The worlds first commercial bungee jump was launched in Queenstown
- Half the population own a car – literally! It’s hard to navigate without one!
- Rugby is HUGE.
We’ve got plenty more of this country to enjoy and I’m excited to experience more of it! Here’s to our next set of adventures down South!