Welcome to our popular Migrant Tales series – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.
Today’s tale was sent in by someone living in New Zealand for 9 years and for whom the scenery isn’t enough. They’re off to Europe to see the world and experience some much needed spice…
“Been here nine years, first in Wellington, then in a rural town not too far north. Fantastic scenery, open spaces and a great primary school – ideal for bringing up young kids in a free-range fashion.
But once they hit 11 or 12 things go wrong. Under-stimulation, homogeneous culture, lack of intellectual ambition, etc. These are, I think, due to a lack of need. You can try hard, or not try at all, and the result is likely to be largely the same. Couple that with easy access to illegal drugs and it’s not surprising that the youth suicide rate is so high (along with depression, anxiety, etc.).
We’ve met some lovely people here, but it took several years to notice that all our close Kiwi friends had spent several years living abroad – and had their minds opened as a result. Untravelled Kiwis tend to be very much closed-in and uninterested in events or ideas outside their everyday lives. That’s not a criticism, just an observation. To those who come here from elsewhere, it’s an unbridgeable gulf.
We have no financial troubles (though I recognise other posters’ descriptions – it can be hard here) but still we’re moving to Europe later this year. I like NZ in many ways and part of me will be sad to leave. But I’m slowly going spare here and I don’t want my kids to suffer an unstimulating adolescence when there’s so much more to see in the world.
As for nature, NZ is utterly beautiful but appearances can be skin deep. Check out how many rivers are unsafe to swim in.
Before we moved here, a friend described NZ as being like a curry from which the chef had unaccountably left out the spices. I knew what she meant within a month of moving here but was optimistic that the situation could change with effort. It hasn’t. That, I think, is largely a consequence of low population and remote location. I don’t blame Kiwis in any way for that, and I’m grateful for our time here. But it’s no longer the right place for us.”
For hundreds more in the series click here: Migrant Tales