Monday, 10 January 2011

Five Years Ago Today!

Five years ago today hubby and I arrived in Wellington with a suitcase and a ridiculously heavy piece of hand luggage each. Neither of us had a job, but I had a voluntary position at the hospital which would allow me to gain professional registration and lead to the possibility of getting work in New Zealand.

It was an exciting but nerve racking time. I don't think I have ever been as nervous for an exam as I was for the professional registration exam as I knew that failure meant that the two of us would have a far harder route to travel in order to stay in New Zealand.

That said, it was an exciting time of new beginnings. We lived off our savings, and so were extremely careful with every penny that we spent. We spent our time attending the many free events that run in Wellington over the Summer weekends.

We made a conscious decision to severely cut down our television viewing, so we purchased a newspaper once a week and used the television guide to decide what we wanted to watch. If we hadn't decided that we wanted to watch something, the television didn't go on. This meant time in the evenings for reading, board games, talk and surfing the net (although we could only afford a dial-up connection so there wasn't too much of this!).

We didn't own a car for the first 3 months (until I got a paying job) and we tried to avoid spending money on buses so we walked a lot and in the process I lost lots of weigh (Yay!). Come to think of it, maybe we should re-introduce the telly rule and more walking...

Hubby didn't have a work permit when we first arrived, so he spent his time cooking, cleaning, organising and generally looking after me... it was GREAT! All my colleagues would look over in jealousy as they saw me unpack freshly baked bread and muffins for lunch each day!
Hubby's famous appletaart (YUM!)
It was a real time of excitement. We were starting on a new adventure and we knew it. We were making new friends and doing our best to learn about our new home. Having lived already abroad for 10 years, I was totally taken aback by the warm Kiwi welcome that I was given by patients and colleagues alike (maybe it helps that I'm Scottish, not English!) I was never welcomed to Holland in the way that I was to this wonderful country and maybe that is why I regard New Zealand my home, but after over 10 years of living there Holland was NEVER home.

It is amazing to think how much we have achieved in the last 5 years and to consider how different our lives would be if we had stayed in Europe. We love this country and its people.

Thank you for making us so welcome! We can't wait to become citizens of New Zealand...we will be eligible to apply in a few short months...


  1. I have been here for just under 13 yrs. Having lived in many places I really don't know where I call home, but I guess it is NZ as there is no where else I want to move to or go back to like UK.
    I moved here with my nursing on a one way ticket. If I hated it then I had to work hard to get home. But the weather was enough to convince me that I could survive here even if I hated my job cause I could manage the sunshine and blue skies in the middle of the so called winter. I do not regret it at all and love celebrating my arrival day every year.

  2. Happy five year anniversary. It's amazing how time flies when you're in a good spot. We've been on our tiny island for three years now and love every minute of it.

    Love the finger puppets, btw.


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