(That’s right – finally catching up!)
Last time we updated, Rob had just started work and I was settling us into our new flat before starting the job search. It took a while longer for me to find a teaching job than we had initially anticipated, and I knew I would need to save the one year balance of my working holiday visa for the right job (as a UK citizen we can apply for a special 23 month option, but only be employed for 12 months of that). For the first four/five months of living in Wellington I was therefore a lady of leisure! In that time I got to do plenty of exploring around the city, make some fantastic friends (meetup.com was especially helpful for making friends as a grown up in a new city), read more than I have done since I was at school, and even did some writing.
By the time a vacancy came up, I had to seriously think about what I was giving up as a housewifey, but I’m so glad I went for it. The school is a brilliant, supportive one with just lovely staff and students. Plus two incomes meant we could finally get back to exploring New Zealand, the reason we’d come all this way! Of course, being a teaching job, my energy for some extra curricular activities (i.e. keeping a travel blog updated) disappeared. Two terms in though, and I’m finally feeling like I’ve found my feet there and have time to do more. The work/life balance thing that is constantly quoted as a reasons to try working abroad is making a massive difference. Despite being very busy at work, we’ve still had plenty of time for trips away, and a lot more evening activities (that’s right: a social life!) than we ever managed in the UK.
Our first year in NZ has been a bit of a roller-coaster; plenty of testing times have just helped to make us appreciate the good experiences more. Luckily, we didn’t come over expecting everything to be easy straight away, but we’re certainly glad everything is falling into place now.
As we both now have permanent jobs and work visas to match (with residency in the pipeline), we’re moving out of the city next week. Living in the CBD (Central Business District) for our first year was really helpful. It’s been great to have the cafes, restaurants, transport links, and Wellington’s big attractions within walking distance. BUT we are so excited to move to the south coast. We have found an adorable cottage in the beachy suburb of Lyall Bay. It’s still so close to the city centre, but is somewhere we can make home for the foreseeable future. When I was dreaming up what our lives would be like here, I never considered we would actually be able to live to close to the sea. The photo to the left is taken from one of the walking tracks behind our new house!
Once we’re all settled in I’ll share some of our year one adventures. We’ve mainly been exploring the Wellington region, but enjoyed a couple of holidays around Mt Ruapehu and in Picton too.
Our main focus now though is getting ready for our families arriving in two months, for a big Christmas and New Year celebration with us, followed by some trips with them around the North and South Islands. We can’t wait to see them all again after more than a year away, and to show off New Zealand too!