We've achieved most of our goals in the last 12 months in terms of settling in, getting jobs and buying a house and it's been a pretty hectic and stressful period at times. It's only recently we've felt like the whole immigration process has been completed and we've started to feel more settled. This emigrating lark is harder than it looks! It's a pretty expensive thing to do - we've deliberately not kept track of what we've spent but it's in the tens of thousands of pounds. The majority of the stress comes from the uncertainty of the process - will the house sell? Will we get residency? Will I get a job? Can we find somewhere to live? etc. Since February 2005 we've moved 6 times! That on its own is a bit too much like hard work. However, unlike other immigrants we've heard of, we've had no regrets or 'down' times - it's been a very positive thing and I think we've cleared all the associated hurdles now.
We'd never been to New Zealand before, so moving here was a gamble but it's not disappointed us. NZ lives up to the hype and is a lovely country to live in. The lack of crowds, the stunning landscape, the friendly, upbeat people and the sunshine all mean we have to pinch ourselves to make sure we aren't dreaming.
Our next major goals are :
- Helen to finish her book (coming along nicely at the moment) and find a publisher;
- To buy a plot of land somewhere and get a house built;
- To tour South Island;
- To visit some of the South Pacific Islands & Australia
Now we just need to figure out an appropriate way to celebrate - I think it may involve alcohol and chocolate!