Relocating To New Zealand – One Year In
Over the past 18 months there has been intense focus on Kiwis expats returning to New Zealand, over 50,000 so far. What’s often forgotten is that many are relocating to Aotearoa with international spouses or partners, for whom New Zealand is not home. They face a different set of challenges which are no less worthy of attention.
Amanda Sadlier, moved from Seattle to Auckland with her Kiwi husband in July 2020. Here are her reflections on the experience, and what she’d tell herself if she could go back in time.
Dear Amanda One Year Ago,
You’re on the journey of a lifetime. Moving with a family is not like moving as a single 20-something. Moreover, moving during a pandemic is a major accomplishment and serious exercise in emotional and logistical gymnastics.
Try to celebrate the small wins when you can; they will add up if you look for them.
You’ll worry about your kids and prioritise getting them settled, but don’t forget to also look for sources of joy for yourself. Your peace and sense of security will impact the rest of the family and is worth your investment.
You’re about to experience being the “other” for one of the first times in your privileged life.
This experience will help you better understand your partner, who dealt with this in your home country for 15+ years.
While it may be uncomfortable at times, it will teach you empathy and humility in a whole new way and has the potential to make you more confident in being uniquely you.
Although this is a permanent move, try to focus less on your heavy long-term decisions. Instead, embrace as much holiday living in your daily life as possible and prioritise living in the present.
Recognise each trip to the supermarket as a chance to find a new favourite food, each coffee with an acquaintance a chance to meet your new best friend, each local explore a chance to find your new favourite place.
Before you know it, you’ll find your rhythm, people, and places.
This first year will be anything but predictable. Go with it and trust your instincts along the way.
You’re stronger than you think, and you are equipped for the low lows and high highs ahead of you.
Thanks to our partners at Mobile Relocation for this piece. Amanda Sadlier is a lawyer who writes, runs, and lives with her family in the eastern bays of Auckland with her partner, George, and their three young children. Mobile Relocation is thrilled to host Amanda as a guest blogger for this post.
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