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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering what people's main motivation is for coming to NZ is? Is it economic - ie better job prospects - or quality of life - ie. work/life balance for kids etc. I met a young Irish couple last year who have settled just north of Auckland and who simply couldn't find work in Ireland or UK so have now decided to settle here and start a family and aim to buy a home etc. No looking back. As I recall she is a teacher and he is an engineer.
 

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In our case, it was definitely NOT for better job prospects or to make more money or make our fortune.
After lots of research we knew that salaries were approx 35% lower than the salary I enjoyed in the UK and the wife's about the same.
We also knew that job prospects were about the same.
We knew that a lot of things here were more expensive, but we considered the things that were cheaper would make the cost of living here to be about the same as the UK.
We were very mistaken.
I'd say 15% more expensive overall and consider that earnings are less, it's like a double hit.
There's not many people come to NZ and manage to secure a job in the same career that pays more.

We had a good life in the UK, but we came here to escape issues with my family, escape my ex wife and all the issues she caused and we came for a better quality of life.
We wanted our baby boy to have the excellent childhood that my wife and I had enjoyed when we grew up in the 70's/80's before political correctness went mad.
Kids can be kids here. They can climb trees. They can get dirty. We can have a more outdoorsy lifestyle. It feels so much safer, even in the cities.
Work/life balance is excellent. Work do way more for your wellbeing here than I've ever experienced.

It hasn't been easy adjusting to life here, but we know we've made the right decision coming here as we have grown to love it.
My wife still gets homesick as she has lots of family back in the UK who she misses deeply. She wants to return to see them but knows the logistics of this and the cost is too much at the moment and probably for the next 18 months at least so she is content to talk via Skype and get on with life here in Wellington.
She has many friends and has just landed a job so she's really happy.
Me on the other hand - I have no desire whatsoever to go back to the UK. Only person I miss is probably my MUM but she lived 100 miles from us anyway and she's regularly overseas on holiday so didn't see her that often. Maybe once a month.
I probably "see" her more now via Skype although it's no alternative to having personal contact.
No looking back.
Lots to look forward to..........
Can apply for Permanent Residency Visas in 5 and a half months.
I have a transfer request in with work to move offices so we can live in the Bay Of Plenty (better weather, cheaper housing, cost of living less etc etc.)
Some friends from back in the UK have recently emigrated to NZ so we can see them regularly again.
Some other really good friends are supposedly emigrating to NZ in a couple of years.

Regards,
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I came from SA in 03 so not a huge drop in salary then. I hear a lot about migrants taking big knocks in earnings but assume it is US & UK migrants and occasionally SA certainly not as much from Asian countries. But what I hear is that post GFC in about 08 salaries might be higher overseas but there are fewer jobs available. I sometimes wonder if our pre GFC circumstances are anything like post GFC issues being faced overseas so are we comparing like for like? My family are all in SA so very sad for my grandkids although my wife's family is here. I have managed to take my family back twice in 10 years and my wife and I went last year but it's not enough really. But I look at my kids and grandkids and still know I've done the right thing for them.
 

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We left the US last year. Almost didn't come when we looked at the difference is wages, but so thankful we did. Our reason for leaving was part political, not liking how the country was heading, part lets move overseas to travel.

That said, after living here a year I can say its definitely the lifestyle. I read how some people have had a hard time moving and question their choice but can tell you that many factors make up whether a person is happy with such a big move. We are thankful to have been afforded the opportunity to live in such a great place.
 

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I moved for love. After "virtually" dating my (now) husband for almost 2 years, it was time for one of us to make a move. Both of us were hitting 40, and had to do something to see what the future held. I had a great life in California, but less family connecting me (no kids, versus his 2 here). I sold my house and most of my (excess) belongings, put the rest in storage with family, rented for a year to max out my savings, quit my job (on good terms in case I returned), organized my passport and visa, bank accounts, etc., and flew to meet my kiwiguy in person for the first time, for what was supposed to be a trial live-in for 3 to 5 months. I wound up never leaving, except to return home once or twice a year to visit. Our first 18 or so months was spent living in EQC hell, after our release from that, the rest has been smooth sailing. We would have had a great life in California as well, but nothing like here, low population, tonnes of outdoor stuff literally on our doorstep, relaxed attitudes... we would have been equally as well off, cash happy, but emotionally more stressed I think.
 

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Great story about meeting your husband. So happy it's worked out moving here for you. From what you described, it couldn't have been easy living there after the earthquake. Hope to make it to the South Island but Bali beckons first.
 

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Bali looks wonderful! My husband loves the Cook Islands (Rarotonga), his eyes glaze over every time he sees an advertisement! Nice to hear you've adjusted well to life here! It's the most content and happy I've ever been!
 

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Oh dear. Can I say that I was very disappointed in Bali? Not one of the places I would pay to go back to.
Whereas Rarotonga - lovely for a quiet week away from everything!
 

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Oh dear. Can I say that I was very disappointed in Bali? Not one of the places I would pay to go back to.
Whereas Rarotonga - lovely for a quiet week away from everything!

I'm certain Raro is more my speed as well ... I've just seen too many videos of drunk, unruly tourists nutting up in Bali, not to mention I do worry about the gang influence there. Considering where I come from, that's a bit ironic, but true nonetheless. lol
 

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Bali can be a bit full on especially around Kuta but once you get out of the main tourist destinations and into the real Bali it's an awesome place, and if you are into surfing then the waves alone make it a worthwhile trip. Been there 4 times and never saw anything related to gangs.
 

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Bali can be a bit full on especially around Kuta but once you get out of the main tourist destinations and into the real Bali it's an awesome place, and if you are into surfing then the waves alone make it a worthwhile trip. Been there 4 times and never saw anything related to gangs.
I used to vacation in Bali regularly (never around Kuta though) but last went ten years ago. I would never go back. Tourism and increased numbers of Indonesians (as opposed to Balinese) ruined the place. Strangely, it is this rather than the increased poverty and crime that put me off going back there.
I love the Balinese people but their attitudes towards visitors have changed and its nowhere near the safe and welcoming place it once was.

The Cook Islands, on the other hand, are wonderful. The best part of the Cooks is that there are so many islands to stay on and explore. Rarotonga is very laid back and a great place to chill out for a week but its also the gateway to even better islands.
 

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I agree about Raro, spent just a day there coming back from our interviews but saw how great the people were. I remember walking to Muri Beach which was farther than we thought and a woman with a car full of kids stopped to give us a ride.

Thanks for the feedback on Bali. We are full on going there but plan to stay away from Kuta area. Looks like 4 nights in Ubud and then 3 days on the beach. Would love any recommendations. I know that there is an element of risk, but then there can be anywhere. Been close a few times, bombings in Germany ( Bader Meinhof ) , near robbery in Budapest, home invasion in Arizona. Trespasser onour Montana ranch that tried to force his way into our house. I have lived in parts of the US where you honestly had a loaded .45 in the kitchen cabinet, just in case. It's all relative.

I may come back and say, "not for me, " but at least I will have gone and seen it. I think that is what life is about and why so many of us make the choice to move and live overseas.

Would love any recommendations
 

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I agree about Raro, spent just a day there coming back from our interviews but saw how great the people were. I remember walking to Muri Beach which was farther than we thought and a woman with a car full of kids stopped to give us a ride.

Thanks for the feedback on Bali. We are full on going there but plan to stay away from Kuta area. Looks like 4 nights in Ubud and then 3 days on the beach. Would love any recommendations. I know that there is an element of risk, but then there can be anywhere. Been close a few times, bombings in Germany ( Bader Meinhof ) , near robbery in Budapest, home invasion in Arizona. Trespasser onour Montana ranch that tried to force his way into our house. I have lived in parts of the US where you honestly had a loaded .45 in the kitchen cabinet, just in case. It's all relative.

I may come back and say, "not for me, " but at least I will have gone and seen it. I think that is what life is about and why so many of us make the choice to move and live overseas.

Would love any recommendations
Ubud is a lovely area. I'd personally prefer to spend most of the time there, perhaps hiring a jimminy (small jeep-like car) and using that to explore the area and take trips to a beach. There is a lot to see by using Ubud as a base - a white heron colony coming back to roost each night, trips up a volcano, stunning old temples, a forest full of monkeys, rice fields - and its not too far to do daytrips to beaches.
Driving is an experience in itself! You have to drive slowly and carefully and be prepared to navigate around a lot of potholes. It's safe enough if you take care.
I don't recommend hiring motorcycles or bicycles. They are definitely NOT safe.

While you are in Ubud, buy tickets to two of the cultural shows. One, the Kecak dance is, IMO, a "must see". Better yet, if you have transport and go to Uluwatu see the Kecak dance there. They are the same dance and the one in Ubud at night is stunning, but the Uluwatu Kecak takes place on the beach with the setting sun illuminating the dancers, which is just beautiful.

The other cultural show to see in Ubud is theatre, essentially a cross between drama, dance and performed with all the power of opera. It can take several hours so go with drinks and snacks but sneaking out if you have seen enough after awhile is okay too.

Both the dance and theatre are performed for visitors but they are traditional in every way and are well worth seeing.

Shopping - bargain for everything. Don't convert the money in your head to get an idea of what you think is a good price, observe others for a bit and look at what prices things are going for. Bargain hard! The best shopping is first thing in the morning as the Balinese place a great deal of importance on the first sale of the day. My rule of thumb for shopping there is to halve what they ask then negotiate up until you are both happy with the deal.

One of the first things you should buy is a sarong and fabric belt. Get one for each member of your party then carry them with you always. You must be dressed in a sarong and belt in order to visit temples. Arms must also be covered when visiting temples. Some tourists ignore the cultural norms and go in wearing shorts and t-shirts. This causes great offense and really should be avoided.

Your vacation will be better if you observe local customs. Away from the beach, men should wear long trousers and a short-sleeved shirt. Women should have upper arms and thighs covered. I always took the opportunity to wear a blouse and sarong the whole time and being "properly" dressed resulted in invitations to people's homes, to weddings, and other non-tourist events (dressing their way is also cooler).

Learn a few words for politeness - ask the locals how to say, "thank you" for example. Terima kasih (ter-eema car-see) is much appreciated by the Balinese.

As for Kuta - it's worth a visit if only to see how tourism has ruined the place. Kuta has never been a nice place (unless you are a young Aussie that is there to just surf and get drunk) and I've been telling people for the last twenty years to avoid it until your last day. See the best of Bali before you see Kuta.

For safety, be prepared for people to hassle you to buy watches, or to offer you massages on the beach, or for the "guides" that pop up out of nowhere whenever you stop to look at something. They vary their approaches depending on your accent. An American accent will see prices double. Americans became known over there for tipping so tipping, while not part of Balinese custom, can be demanded almost aggressively at times. If you decide to hire a guide, negotiate the fee up-front and do not let him see that you have any other money. Never pay up-front. Apart from that, personal safety is pretty much the same as anywhere in the world - don't flash money about (remember the people there are poor) and keep aware of your surroundings.

Where there are monkeys, put watches, rings, sunglasses, and anything that can be grabbed, away. If bags are carried, sling them across the body to avoid a sneaky monkey doing a bag-grab. Even caps and hats are fair game to monkeys. Also, remember that cute as they are, they aren't tame. Unless you have purchased some of the food from the rangers don't let them get too close (a monkey on your back looking for food when you don't have any isn't a pleasant experience!)

One of the advantages of moving to NZ from the northern hemisphere is that there are a lot of great places to visit that are easy to get to from here. Have a great time in Bali!
 

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Angou

Wow thanks so much for the info on Bali. It will help us a lot. Always sensitive to the local customs and cultures. I was wondering what was appropriate tourist garb. We are leaving in 2 weeks. The hard part of living here is that there are just so many places to visit, places that would be more difficult and expensive from the States
 
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