Monday, October 6, 2008

Why are we here?


If I had a New Zealand dollar for every time a local said: “You’ve left Australia to come here? Usually it’s the other way around”, I’d have enough money to fill my car up with petrol.
Maybe twice.
New Zealanders seem fascinated by our reasons for moving here, but as it happens, we’re far from unusual.
According to today’s New Zealand Herald, 77,000 Austalians permanently left the Big Brown Land in 2007-8, 18.4 per cent of them for the Land of the Long White Cloud (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10536227)
So what’s the attraction?
For us, there were several.
First, my husband was offered a fabulous job here with a great company that could give him excellent experience, of a kind that he wouldn’t be able to get in Queensland. He could have, of course, experienced that in Melbourne, Sydney, or Canberra, but we liked the idea of moving further afield.
Financially, it was a decent opportunity, but it wasn’t about the money. It was more about the chance for an enriching family experience.
We thought long and hard about it. We hated the thought of taking the kids out of their fantastic school, and moving away from family and friends.
We hated the idea of packing up our home of 8 years, sifting through all the crap we’ve collected over the years, and finding another one overseas.
But Auckland is just across the ditch after all, and flights are relatively inexpensive.
And, as we’ve found, there are good schools here too, and the kids have settled in quite happily.
There is no major language barrier (though I’m still getting to grips with Maori, and I suck at pronunciation and spelling!). Even the cuisine, driving, and lifestyle are all very similar.
As for me, as a writer and journalist, I’ve worked from home for most of my career. Thanks to the internet, I can file stories just as easily from Auckland as from Brisbane, and as a bonus, it makes staying in touch with loved ones easy.
And Kyle and I have always loved to travel, and the cost of a family – though priceless – had severely clipped our wings.
We saw a relocation overseas as an opportunity for all of us to experience life in another culture, to see more of the fabulous world we live in, and I believe, bond more as a family.
Certainly, as expats often do when they live in another country, we’re likely to see more of this land than we would have of our own had we been back home.
And yes, we’re spending more money doing that – but we’re also enjoying more quality family time together too.
Because we’re renting, we spend weekends sightseeing and going places rather than mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool, and maintaining the house – even if it’s just a walk in the park across the road!
I have one toilet and one bathroom to clean, rather than three and two respectively. We have one car instead of two. Our lives feel cleaner, simpler.
The other day, C – who had raised the most objections when we discussed the move – said in surprise: “I think I like it better here than I do in Australia”.
As a loyal Queenslander, I probably wouldn’t go quite that far just yet, but certainly, there is plenty to like.
And these Aussies in Auckland have no regrets.

2 comments:

Kelley said...

I am always fascinated by the guts it takes to pack up a family and move to another country.

Sounds like you are happy with the decision :)

Baruch said...

Welcome to Auckland!! May more follow .... :) If you are interested, check out the following website for more pictures and interesting info on Auckland - there are heaps of archives : Aotearoa Cam