6 Years 8 Months: The Best and Worst of Times

Continuing in our popular series of Migrant Tales, first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand taken from locations around the net.

Today’s tale was taken from an emigration forum and was written by an Irish migrant who left Europe with her Kiwi husband to settle on Auckland’s North Shore. The couple are middle aged and have no children from their relationship together.  Seven years on and it’s not all been plain sailing by any means.

I’ll be here 7 years in June and it seems fitting to write this now because I’m leaving the job where I’ve spent the last six years on 1 March.

It really has been the best and worst of times. In all respects.

I’m married to a Kiwi and educated him on the realities of living in NZ from a European perspective (thanks to various forums) before we came here because he’d been away for 13 years and had a very rosy idea of it. We had problems in the beginning – I couldn’t understand why, when I’d done so much research and ‘knew’ so much it still felt so alien to me. That’s culture shock and I got over it fairly quickly. Hubby was very homesick for Ireland – more than I was but he too got over it. Sort of He still gets ‘homesick’.

We’ve had problems with loud neighbours over the years – they eventually sold up and moved away so that solved that problem. Our house is really cool but I’d love an older one with a big, flat, garden so we’re constantly on the lookout for something that we can afford, want to live in and has some space around it. Look out Invercargill, here we come!

My husband hasn’t had very good health over the past couple of years but is now thankfully much much better and life’s become fun again. I have had a pretty traumatic year work wise – my former boss was front page news in the papers recently and it’s been not very nice. I’ve loved working in real estate and will continue to do a bit ‘on the side’ but I’ve done my dash with the full time, 24/7 role and have got myself a lovely job with AMP. 37½ hour week! I won’t know what to do with myself – I’ve been doing about 47 for years.

Money’s been very tight at times over the years too but we’ve always kept our heads above water and come through every time. Smiling mostly but with big sighs of relief too I can tell you.

I’ve got a few really cool friends, a couple of surrogate children and when I go out now at weekends I’ll always meet someone I know. I feel like I’ve got a bit of history here.

New Zealand is what it is. News reporting is juvenile; houses are built for conditions only found in some parts of the country; politics are boring; it’s terribly racist – on all fronts- and I loathe, detest and abhor name suppression. For all that. We live the same life here that we lived in Ireland, England and The Netherlands.

That’s the only advice I’d give to people thinking of coming here – look at your life now, if you’re happy with it, chances are you’ll be happy here too. If you’re not………

Does happiness in your former life stand you in good stead for your new one? We’re not too sure that it does, and our many Migrant Tales demonstrate that people are markedly less happy after emigrating.

How has YOUR life changed since emigrating to New Zealand?