Moving to Auckland, New Zealand

I live in the Southern Hemisphere, what?

Alright, country number three. Here we go, New Zealand.

Seems like just yesterday I was graduating from University and packing my bags for France. Where has the time gone?! I never would have pictured myself living in the corner of the world. Honestly, a few years ago I’m not even sure I knew this country was on the map…. haha…

I love London. Like a lot. I actually can’t even start describing my time in the UK, because nothing would be good enough. My heart is so full whenever I think about it.

But alas! I am now a Kiwi loving, slang saying, left-side driving woman living in Auckland. And I love it! I’ll be frank, getting here was a mission. Thank god I had some help along the way. Out of all three of my big moves, this one was the most difficult.

PRE-MOVE

Damn was this stressful. The big things I needed to accomplish, a mini check list if you will:

41.5 kg en route across the world

A Locals Advice:

10/10 would recommend TransGlobalExpress.co.uk to anyone shipping out of the UK. Door to door service, cost effective and hassle free. I was so impressed by them and it took a huge load of my plate (and not my wallet ha!).

Getting a visa for New Zealand was actually pretty easy. The Kiwis are so laid back, I love it. I applied for a Working Holiday Visa, and heard back within 48 hours. There was a lot to do in preparation though. You have to get a medical (can tell you, this wasn’t cheap…), proof of funds and some other details. But all in all, it was easy to get. You don’t even have to send in your passport, woo!

LEAVING THE UK

So I had more luggage than I had anticipated… Claaaaaassic, Aiden, ha! Turns out extra baggage with some airlines costs the same as buying a private jet… I had to leave a suitcase behind an hour before I was due to leave for the airport. Shout out to my amazing flatmate who helped ship what I couldn’t take with me.

Actually, leaving was really difficult. Saying goodbye to my wonderful friends, the house I made into a home, and the city that gave me priceless memories, was one of the hardest things to do. I had built myself an amazing little life there. The biggest bitter sweet there is.

ARRIVING

Another checklist of things needing to be accomplished:

A PLACE TO LIVE

This was damn near impossible to do from overseas. The market and renting competition is really high in Auckland. Elijah and I looked a lot to get an idea of what we wanted, but we couldn’t secure anything until about a week or two before we would move in.

There’s also a catch: you can’t actually rent anything with an agency without viewing the property first. Kind of difficult when you are 30 hours away… Nice.

So this was what we did:
When I first arrived we wanted some quality time, since we had been apart for nearly 3 months, so we rented out an Airbnb for 2 nights. This was perfect.
Next, we needed something more solid while we looked for a permanent place. We were lucky enough to crash at Elijahs’ sister and brother-in-laws.

THANK YOU GUYS <3

We then were able to move in to a place of or own within 2 weeks. Until then, we spent the days exploring Auckland and sitting in Cafes with our laptops job hunting.

Top of Cornwall Park

A Locals Advice:

Ways to find a place to rent:
1. TradeMe.co.nz
2. Facebook Market place and groups
3. Rental agencies
Literally just google “Rent in ______” – There will be so many websites. I have a friend that did this and they have the cutest little home. Just be aware of the agency fees if you decide do it this way.

WORK

Most people will look online and use websites like:

  • SEEK.co.nz
  • nz.indeed.com
  • TradeMe.co.nz
  • LinkedIn
  • Recruiters – This is really popular here (and in the UK)
    Run a search on Google for the industry and area you work in then email or ring directly to them

For me this time, it was a little different. I knew exactly what I wanted, and I was lucky enough to have some contacts that I met through my job in London. I played the Meet & Greet game. I would talk to one person who knew another person who knew someone else. This is how I landed the exact job I was looking for.

Once my contract with my first employer finished, I used a recruitment agency to find another position in my field. I had a lot of success with this. The recruiters are passionate about placing people and companies together that will be a great match. This is how they make their money so they will work hard to get the perfect job for YOU.
There are recruitment agencies for each individual field, for example the travel industry, IT industry, hospitality industry and so on. Do a search for your field and contact the new recruits rep!

A Locals Advice:

I learnt a big lesson when I moved to London and was looking for a job. Because the market is so centered around job websites, setting yourself apart and getting an interview was really difficult. While the job websites are great for finding the postings, I find it so impersonal, and I hate being put through an automated yes no filter. If you’re like me and prefer making a good first impression face-to-face, over the phone, or in a direct email, try this: Use the website to find job opportunities. Find out the contact info for the person and business that is advertising (ring direct to get an email if you can find one). Send your CV, a cover letter, and any other supporting documents with a short introductory email. Boom. You just made yourself look better than the other 100 other applicants.

Another tip: Put a photo on your CV. With everything happening via email and online it’s nice for a potential employer to actually see you, even if it’s just a photo.

THE PRICE OF LIVING

Auckland is expensive. It’s the biggest city, and also the most expensive in New Zealand. So, if you’re thinking about moving here, take that into account when you’re deciding which city / town. Here are the essentials:

Rent

Rent ranges depending on what you get. For a 2 bedroom house you’re looking at NZD$500-600 per week, AT LEAST. Side note: they calculate everything by week here… strange I know. I even get paid weekly.

Groceries

As a couple (damn, men eat a lot of food…) we spend between $120-160 per week on food. It depends what things we need to stock up on. It’s true what they say, you’re truly an adult when you realize how expensive cheese is..
Another side note: Plastic bags are banned here. Yay sustainability! You have to bring your reusable bags or you’ll be buying new ones once you check out!

Gas

Gas prices get cheaper as you leave Auckland. Currently in the city, it costs between NZD$2.19 -2.29 / L. I get excited when I see somewhere that’s $2.26 or less.

I know this all doesn’t sound so good, buuuuut there are some real benefits to living here I swear, and I’ll tell you about them next.

LIFE IN AUCKLAND

Ohhhh is it ever good. Have I mentioned the beaches? They’re everywhere. And they make me so happy. I love living by the ocean. And the food! I can’t stop eating. I’ve had the best Pad Thai of my life here. Oops, I’m getting fat… Anyway, moving on.

In the city there is always something to do. Auckland is so alive. You can find an event or restaurant special every day.

So, here are the pros of living in Auckland:

Okay so first of all, the beaches. This is enough to be a winner in my books. You can find a beach or swim spot 20 minutes away from you no matter where you are. The water is so blue and the sun is so warm! Ahhhhh, heaven. I have been hitting up so many beaches, and will do an exclusive on all my favorites soon now that summer is here! Keep an eye out for it!!

new zealand beach auckland
Mission Bay Beach

The restaurant life. It’s thriiiiiving. I’m so obsessed with trying new places, and looking for the best dinner with a view. Not to mention the brunch and breakfast lifestyle. Kiwis love their brunch.

Cafes. Breakfast and brunch, I’m telling you they could not love it more here. Not to mention the coffee. It reminds me of Paris, where you can find a good cup of coffee every 10 steps. Lattes, cappuccinos, long blacks, they do it all. And well.

Can always find me sipping on a cup of coffee

There are parks scattered all around the city. We go to one or two every week with our dog. It’s perfect because they have everything. Trees, fields, and water to cool down in for your pup. Views on views on views. You can grab a coffee before and enjoy your stroll even more.

A Locals Advice:

Do a quick search on The Concrete Playground or Urban List for events in the city. Find live music, restaurant promotions (like bottomless dumplings… right right!), free & special events, festivals, etc. You can also DIY spots you want to visit. I used Urban List to curate my own Waiheke Winery Weekend!
Another website I use to find fun things is Remix Magazine. Although it is a Fashion magazine, they write about what’s going on as well.
And last but DEFINITELY not least is Heart of the City. This is a lot like The Concrete Playground, but there is always things that one misses and the other doesn’t. This was where I found Restaurant Month back in September, and ate at spectacular places for a really reasonable price.

See, never a dull moment!

MY RELATIONSHIPS

One of the hardest things about moving to a new city, is not having any friends yet. Before I met some good quality friends, I found myself not doing much. Although I was in these amazing cities, I was less motivated to go out a lot and see them on my own. Coffee dates, brunches, and walks in the park are all much more enticing when you have someone to enjoy them with.

A Locals Advice:

I know this is going to sounds super lame, BUT I swear on my life it works. And I made life-long friendships by doing this. I used it in Paris, London and Auckland. Okay, download the Bumble app, but switch to the BFF feature. It feels exactly like dating, but once you find someone whose company you truly enjoy, all the effort is really worth it. Don’t feel bad swiping no to girls that you think you won’t get along with – there is no sense in wasting each others time. One tip from me would be to put some thought into your profile. Add a good bio and photos that show your personality. Personally, I would immediately swipe no to profiles that had no bios – I had no way of telling what kind of personality they had. Boooooring. Now go on, go make friends!

I successfully made friends in both London and Auckland with Bumble, so let me introduce you to my little Aussie!

Meet Krystal!

We’ve gone to countless restaurants, events, and double dates since we met. It was a huge bonus that are men got along too!

On another note, something that changed more with this move was my relationships from home. Now that I am so much further away, and more difficult / expensive to get to, there is less chance of visitors. Which I completely understand! When I was in Europe & the UK it was perfect for my friends and family to come over for a holiday together, or just see me along the way! I loved it. Now that I am here, I am trying to put more effort into FaceTime, phone calls, and messaging. I really love social media because it keeps me connected with home and all those people I love. So keep posting, I am always looking for everyones updates!

Well I went a little crazy on this post, and it is full of long rants and rambles haha I get out of control when I get onto something I really love talking about!

Well, if you made it this far, congrats! I’m actually impressed.

Thanks for reading xx

K BYE FOR NOW


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