Kia Ora Aotearoa

As time drew to an end on our visit to Japan we took in the last sights of the city as we pulled away on the train to the airport. Leaving weird and wonderful Japan behind it was time to start our new life in New Zealand so it was onto the plane for leg two of the journey…

…Eleven hour s later…

We touched down on the soil of the land of the long white cloud, Aotearoa. Greeted with a friendly Kia Ora we made our way through a painfully long customs queue, but finally made it out of the airport and into the Kiwi sunshine, on a glorious summer’s day.

Over the next couple of weeks everything was a bit of a whirlwind. One thing that can be said of becoming an Expat is that it’s not all fun and games. Luckily we had accommodation for a month and a car for two weeks, thanks to Guy’s job, which was a bit of a blessing. What was not a blessing was the conversion rate from Pound to New Zealand Dollar, our first food shop was a bit of a shock! House hunting and car hunting were top of our list and to do that we first needed to work out where we wanted to live. We spent a week exploring East Auckland and South Auckland and found a little town called Howick. Enough shops, bars and restaurants to keep us entertained if needed but small enough to still have a bit of village charm, plus a stone’s throw from some lovely little East coast beaches, the hunt began.

b

We saw a vast array of houses from modern flats, off the side of people’s houses to what we retrospectively refer to as the murder house, which was basically an oversized shed with a grotty bathroom and weird scratches on some of the walls! After a couple of weeks of group viewings and many, many houses later we had one head house and one heart house. On this occasion with the uncertainty of how long we would be here for, and not really knowing the area still we opted for the head house. Not that its an exactly bad place to live…

a

In hindsight this was one of the best decisions we could have made as the extra money we save on rent and bills in our smaller house now goes towards funding our adventures. We are nestled in the above drone photo which we sourced from Facebook. The memory of the head house is just that, a memory slowly drifting away.

It didn’t take long to settle in but building up a life takes a little longer. I was lucky enough to find a job pretty quick which was a relief as once we both started earning, we could also start planning our adventures.

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