Every Wednesday, in honor of hump day, I will post a sexy dream destination. Drool over it. Or quit your job, turn off International House Hunters, put the lawn furniture, the couch, maybe your car in storage and just GO. This week’s destination is New Zealand.
New Zealand In Photos:
New Zealand: Land of the Long White Cloud. How poetic is that?
Emigrating to New Zealand
It has a mild maritime climate. Kiwis speak English. The economy is pretty stable. If we rounded up all the other countries and put them in a beauty contest, New Zealand would likely come in first. The island country is home to a lot of unusual wildlife and some rad tattoos.
It’s so far from your home country and so different, you’ll earn major nomad street cred. It’s also relatively safe, that is, unless you plan to get lost while hiking.
At the time I am writing this blog post, it’s 10:51 am PST Wednesday here and 5:48 am on Thursday there. Communicating with your family while abroad can be difficult because of long distance charges and time zones. I envision a lot of accidental wake up calls. Get SKYPE and force your whole family to get it too. Getting a phone in Canada was difficult because I had no Canadian credit and I didn’t understand contract terms in French. These challenges tend to magnify by time zone.
Plus, even though it’s super cool, your chance of drawing visitors decreases by how long it takes to get from here to there. New Zealanders drive on the left side of the road, so you’ll have to learn that (please don’t start practicing in the US).
And then there’s your mom’s reaction:
Mom: “New Zealand? Why on Earth? Aren’t there big snakes there? In the outback? What if you get attacked by a kangeroo?”
You: No, that’s Australia. I mean yes, they have snakes but not kangaroos, I mean maybe they have kangaroos too, but they’re more known for their birds and there’s no outback.”
Who should do it: Getting your pet there safely would involve a difficult 6-month quarantine, not to mention the epic flight. And the kids would have to endure that flight too, so maybe it’s best for the child-, pet-, mortgage-free. Or those with older kids. The rare kind of kids who can sit still on a twenty-plus hour plane ride. For me, New Zealand would have to be a sojourn destination (2-4 months) rather than a longterm locale because I could never part with The Dog.
Visa: The US makes the Visa-Free Countries’ list meaning you can enter New Zealand without a visitor visa and stay for three months. Stay longer and they send you to Australia (I kid, I kid).
Expat who’s already there: Read Expatexposed , a brutally honest expat group who uncovers the downside of emigrating to New Zealand. Check out some of the titles in the forums (racist kiwis? renting in Christchurch? conversation starters for kiwis?).