If you had told me three years ago that in three years time I would be married, have quit the corporate job for the freelance life and moved to New Zealand – I think I’d tell you it sounded like a rather bold dream considering I had only just started dating a rather nice man. Well now we are living this dream, complete with a picket fence!
Why move overseas?
Mr BusiChic and I have observed how Aussies and Kiwis alike don’t hide their surprise when we tell them that we have moved to Auckland. It took us both by surprise too but probably not for the reasons most people think. We had each individually lived overseas prior to our getting together so didn’t think we’d have the chance to live together overseas until say after hopefully having some kids. However the chance came when Tim was offered a great opportunity to build a new practice in NZ. I was very proud of him! But we were newly married and I was just kicking off my freelance photography, writing and styling business so we sat down and looked at the implications of the move on both of our careers. Was this the right move for both of us?
As a partner, moving overseas means can be even more daunting. If you don’t know anyone in the new place it means losing all of your personal and professional networks and having to start again. It can be more isolating because your partner will have a new workplace and easier means to socialise with new people. Feeling isolated and lonely can lead to feeling pretty blue… But I feel lucky because growing up I saw my parents move for Dad’s work time and time again but how Mum used each move to grow professionally and personally. In fact I think that the high emotional highs, low lows and intense personal growth that are part of overseas stints brought our family closer together. Also I had just done the Gallup Strengths Finder test via the monthly Think Tank sessions I was attending in Melbourne where one of my strengths that resonated is Adapatabilty, I copied this into my notebook:
“Unlike some, you don’t resent sudden requests or unforeseen detours. You expect them. They are inevitable. Indeed, on some level you actually look forward to them. You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once” – Gallup Strengths Finder
And heck we live in the day and age of social media! I had used my blog, Twitter and Instagram to make friends in Melbourne, surely I’d be able to do the same in NZ??
Why we moved to New Zealand
Moving to New Zealand is as easy for Australians to re-locate within Australia – no special visas required for me to move here and work. Heck that’s why there are so many Kiwis in Australia, it’s so easy to make the move. So why would you? We’ve found that it feels like a really good time to move to New Zealand. Not to get into the Auckland property market – prices are as crazy as back in Melbourne.
But in terms of opportunities and talent – it feels like smart young things are either staying here or coming back with their overseas experience and building great local businesses. The freshly reinvigorated Britomart retail precinct is an example of this featuring a clever mix of stylish designer shops, restaurants, bars and even a dessert house; on sunny afternoons, bean bags are brought out onto the lawn so that the public can enjoy the sun. It’s why I have the opportunity to work with exciting Aussie businesses like Bottle Shop Concepts to set up shop here across the ditch; we just ran the first Game of Rhones event in Auckland earlier this month and the feedback has been great!
And while politics alone was not a reason, politically it’s a really strange time in Australia if you are concerned about sustainability and human rights. Just today it’s been reported that the Abbott government pulled the plug on investment in renewable energy like solar power. Here in NZ, 79.3% of electricity is generated from renewables and that level is expected to rise over the next 20 years. When it comes to marriage equality, I wish that Aussie politicians were able to demonstrate the level of debate that Kiwi politicians did when passing legislation to enable same-sex marriage in New Zealand. And then there’s the Australian Border Force Act 2015 which means that anyone working in detention centres are forbidden from revealing information about what they’ve seen through their jobs. The mind boggles so while we’re talking about it- props to TDF Collect for bringing together local artists to raise money for the ASRC!
We’ve planted the veggie garden and are still setting up home (FYI TradeMe is the Kiwi version of eBay/Gumtree that is used for EVERYTHING from finding a place to rent to buying second-hand furniture) but also doing neighborhood walks to orientate ourselves and doing trials to find our local gym/xtend barre studios.
We’ll be stationed here in Auckland for the next few years but I am back in Australia every month to teach Blogging for Beginners at the Australian Writers’ Centre, see family and friends and see what’s new for BusiChics!
I am so excited about the opportunity I now have to not only showcase BusiChics across Australia and New Zealand but also to see what cross-pollination of awesomeness I can hopefully witness or help facilitate.
But that’s a whole other story I hope to share in future posts!
Have you moved overseas? What was your experience like and how did you make the most of it? Is there anything you would have done differently?