Miserable in Auckland - Page 3

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New Zealand Expat Forum for Expats Living in New Zealand Have you moved to New Zealand from another country? Or are you thinking about making New Zealand your new home? Want to meet others like you and discuss Real Estate, sport, socialising, food, cars, insurance, laws, taxes and anything related to New Zealand?

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Miserable in Auckland - Page 3


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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 5th December 2012, 05:33 PM
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Thanks for the last post. We have been here for 5 months and we have had a great experience. This fourmn was a huge help for us in helping to make the decision to move. But If I had been reading this thread I might be afraid to move here.

Moving and a change of culture is easy for some, difficult for others. Some always gauge their new home based on where they left. Others embrace the change and opportunities their new home affords.

We are surprised of the expense for food and clothing. I do order from stateside or have family buy make up and send it over. We shop at Farmers markets and have reduced meat portions, loosing weight has been a great benefit. Rent for us is much cheaper than Philadelphia. There is no bumper to bumper traffic or hours long commutes to work.

People here are friendly, helpful and a refreshing change from the East Coast. We have been invited to fishing clubs, bike clubs and we have started making friends. People bend over backwards to help you here. I am starting a business and have a person introducing me to her contacts.

The country is beautiful and we fully take advantage of what NZ offers. Running through the Redwoods or hiking to that hidden beach, it's wonderful here. It is also a jump off point to many places, Fiji, OZ, Singapore, that are more easily accessible from here.

Wages are less. My husband look a 40 % cut in pay to move here. In the end we traded the high pressure, high paying job with 70 plus hours a week for a job he loves. We still make enough to cover our needs, travel and set aside towards retirement.

We paid cash for a used car instead of making payments for one. We rarely eat out. We don't use credit cards to buy what we want. We are less materialistic and yet happier.

We are here to stay. Can't imagine moving back to the US. I often ask expats from other countries if they would move back and they all say no.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 5th December 2012, 06:33 PM
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First: Toni, you've written it very well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

And secondly, I don't know if it's of any help, but...

When I first came to New Zealand, it was for backpacking. I wasn't planning on staying longer; in fact, I was only halfway through my Master's studies so I was due back at school in a year and a half.

My first month in NZ I simply hung out in Queenstown trying to figure this place out, next two months worked on a farm in Kaikoura which helped save up a little bit of money, and then for half a year I really did backpack around. I worked in a vineyard in Blenheim, horse stables in Hanmer, helped out at hostels for free board, went hiking whenever I had time. And honestly, it was THE MOST people - and friends - I've met in my life. They were everywhere: in rooms we shared in hostels, in pubs I went for music and food, on hiking trails and DOC huts and internet cafes.

I still don't know what it was that made the difference. Sometimes I think it is because we shared our lives rather than simply meet up for coffee somewhere. Sometimes I think it is because I gave up on this... pretense of coming from this academic background and being well-read and whatnot. Sometimes I think it's because I started asking people for help - if they knew somebody who had a room to rent, if there was a bus to the trailhead, if they had any work for me - rather than come in well settled. Probably all of the above, and more.

But sometimes I think it was simply because I stayed well clear of big towns. In Fox glacier there's pretty much this one pub where everybody hangs out, and that's where it happens after a long day on the ice.

The bigger a town is, the more people-scene is dispersed between different pubs and hostels and streets, becomes sort of anonymous, and then "fitting in" becomes a question of luck - of happening to meet someone who knows someone - whereas if there's this one pub, or one street, then the chances are I will be where other people are, sharing our lives.

I only lived on the North island for two months. I rented a campervan first and had me a little trip. I will never forget how DIFFERENT it was once I'd crossed the Cook Strait to Wellington. Suddenly after empty roads of the South it was motorways. I hung on and traveled further north, but still there were fences everywhere and paddocks with sheep and cattle and people and empty drink cans, everywhere. I felt like there wasn't really space for me. I drove through Auckland three times, each time relieved when it was behind me at last. On one visit I tried walking around, sat down for a cuppa, checked out the bungy site, stayed a night in a hostel. I did not enjoy the pace.

I lived near Raglan for a month and another month near Kerikeri, which are both small by North island standards. I liked both, but I fit in better down South, I felt.

It's been almost 4 years now. I'm married (to a fellow backpacker), I've a son, I live near Christchurch which is by no means a little town. But still I've got friends I made back in my first year when I was backpacking, friends from small places.
I fell in love with the South Island when I visited both Islands. To hear that you settled down with a fellow backpacker and have a family there too makes me feel warm whilst I read your post in cold, damp Manchester (UK)


Last edited by cliche; 5th December 2012 at 06:39 PM.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 5th December 2012, 08:47 PM
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At the end of the day, anyone who wants to come to NZ should really come on holiday for at least a month and stay in BP's where you get to meet lots of people (old and young) and do their research. I kept a diary and collected leaflets and books of all the places we had been to, met some wonderful people, especially an old couple (late 70's/early 80's) from America who we still keep in contact with who went tramping all round NZ and staying in BP's themselves. (hope I do the same when I'm that age!).

Every country has it good and bad points and places, even the UK. It was the people that we lived amongst there that was a problem, but here, we have made some really good Kiwi friends where we work and live. We feel that we have been here longer than the 1 year and I have always said if the sun shines, it's a bonus. I'm getting the hang of Taranaki weather, it's good for the garden!
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Old 27th December 2012, 10:55 PM
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Maybe try another district of Auckland, it would be easier for you to do, but it might not help to relocate to another part of New Zealand. I have to say I think Auckland seems the most exciting. Other parts of New Zealand seem a little boring, especially if you don't want to spend a lot of money.

We have been in Tauranga for a few months. I am finding the weather very depressing and the place, well there's nothing much to do here. Luckily, we have only temporarily located to New Zealand, to try out living here. After this, we wouldn't make a move here.

I have to say, my moto in life, is always do what makes you happy, life is too short to regret your day-to-day existance. If you're not happy, change your life. Don't ever see it as a failure that you tried something you didn't like because it's not, I see everything you do as a life experience gained, some experiences you wouldn't wish to repeat perhaps but life is for living and trying new things. If you never try something new you'll never know if you are going to like it. If you are not happy here, go try to do something else until you do find happiness. That's what I would do and I don't think anyone would see that as a failure. I think New Zealand is more difficult than you think it's going to be to settle in as it is expensive to do anything here and you think because people speak English it will be easy but culturally it is quite different to the UK and I would say it's a little boring, the weather's a disappointment and even the television is terrible.

Good luck!

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Old 28th December 2012, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jimi_H View Post
I would say it's a little boring, the weather's a disappointment and even the television is terrible.

Can you elaborate? Why do you find New Zealand boring? And what do you mean by saying that the weather is depressing?
Just curious as we are considering a move to NZ.

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Old 28th December 2012, 06:02 PM
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Can you elaborate? Why do you find New Zealand boring? And what do you mean by saying that the weather is depressing?
Just curious as we are considering a move to NZ.
We moved to New Zealand in August and are thankful to have made the decision. This forum is excellent for finding out facts and info. However when you start looking at wether people are happy or not here, take it with a grain of salt. There are so many variables and what one person likes another won't. Here is what we have found

1. It's a lifestyle change: it has made us look at what's important. If you need a big house, new car, lots of shopping malls, then you might mot be happy here. Instead of making car payments we ought a 5 yr old car for cash. We leased a home that is half what we would have paid in Philadelphia.
2. Food is expensive. We shop farmers markets, stock up on stiff that is on sale. It is something we are willing to live with.
3. People here are friendly and you are made to feel welcome here. Like moving anywhere, you have to make the effort and it takes time. Lots of clubs and events to meet people.
4. Like any place there are good and bad points, it's an attitude.
5. The weather has been depressing but talk to people anywhere and it's been bad. It doesn't keep us inside or at home.

All I can say is that my husband and I are happier then we have been in a long time and plan on staying here. We have made lifestyle changes and are the better for it. Don't allow others perceptions to influence you in doing something you want to do.

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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 28th December 2012, 07:00 PM
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Can you elaborate? Why do you find New Zealand boring? And what do you mean by saying that the weather is depressing?
Just curious as we are considering a move to NZ.
Ah - the weather. I think it will depend on how long jimi_H has been here, but I think it's fair to say that last year was an unusually wet one. So I'd say to anyone who's been here just one year to try another year and see if there's a difference.

After saying that, I'll also say we are not Australia - don't expect hot dry weather all the time. There is a reason that New Zealand is green, and a reason why it's called 'The Land of the Long White Cloud'. This is also the reason why our animals can eat out on green grass all year round. As a 'toy farmer' your attitude to rain changes when you have animals to feed!

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Old 28th December 2012, 09:47 PM
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We have been in Tauranga for a few months. I am finding the weather very depressing and the place, well there's nothing much to do here.
Wow, as someone who has been living here in Tauranga for 3 years, I can honestly say that the weather is the least depressing thing!!!! We have had the most amazing heat and sunshine here since the end of October. Yes, we have had a lot of rain since just before Christmas, but this is not normal. Compare it to a "typical" UK summer and I can say that we have still had less rain! Besides, the summer really gets going towards the middle of January, and is fantastic until middle April.

Things to do...are you here with kids or alone? This can make a difference. Tauranga is very outdoors-based, so if you are after movies, TV, shopping, etc then we really don't have that. We do have fishing, dolphin-watching, beaches, Waimarino water park, kayaking,,,,the list goes on.
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Old 6th January 2013, 12:20 PM
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Hi,
New to the site, and just cruised on to the NZ section because was in Auckland for 5 weeks in 2011 and we had our best time ever (if I was not 55 I would be on my way now), the city compared to Toronto(Canada) lets say I spend 3 hours a day in the car (my hobby I guess) and don't get me started on public transport or overall cleanliness.
Any way sorry went off topic there, your original post Toni if you had had Vancouver instead of Auckland that was me 25 years ago, I ended up in the Toronto area and never looked back so same country different area made all the difference to me, I had lots of home sickness but for me the ability to get on in work with no old boy network (as in the UK of the 70's) kept me plugging away and finely settled in, altho now thinking about retirment and I tell you it is not going to be in Ontario I am sick of shoveling snow witch I am going to have to go out and do right now.
Any way Toni All the best no matter what you decide.
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Old 22nd April 2013, 10:31 PM
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I thought it was time for me to post an update, sorry it has taken me so long but things have been full on recently.

I decided to take the advice to change my job and move. I was very lucky to find something at a higher level and a fifty percent increase in salary. I am now earning enough to be able to buy mu own apartment, i have a great social life and work with a wonderful, vibrant and funny bunch of people. I feel like i am back in control of my career and people value the work i do, there are good opportunities for progression and i can see where i am going now.

My visa came through for Australia and i have been here for two months, it feels like the best decision i have ever made. I'm thoroughly enjoying my new country and will be applying for permanent residency when the time comes. My advice to anyone who is not enjoying life in New Zealand is to cut your loses and get out. If if knew life could so easily be this good I would have never wasted my time trying to make it work in New Zealand. It simply was not worth the grind. Of course, some people manage to make it work for them but the truth is it didn't work for me.

One last thing, there are plenty of smart Kiwis here, about half of the people I work with came from New Zealand and all of them are doing better and having more fun in Australia.
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