Why New Zealand?
We have been discussing doing something like this for the past year and after I finished graduate school I started seriously thinking about wanting to travel again, this time for an extended period of time. I traveled for a bit after college and fellow travelers know the feeling of when they have been bit with the travel bug and what an incurable disease it is. Also with both of us being surfers, we have this desire to go out and explore different coastlines in search of empty lineups and different waves. Finally, we are both in a place at the moment that we can afford to make a move like this and not have a lot of baggage weighing us down.
We both grew up in Orange County California, and while it is a great place to grow up, recently there have been a number of things that I have come to dislike. First and foremost, the traffic has gotten absolutely horrendous. I spend 45-60 minute each way commuting to work to go 14 miles… 14 miles!! And I am lucky because I go the opposite side of “traffic” which is probably double the amount of time. Add to that the increasing amount of surfers in the lineup and I have become very interested in what is outside of SoCal.
Another reason we are drawn to New Zealand is their attitude towards work-life balance and family life. I have increasingly become more concerned about work culture in the US and the amount of importance people put on things, rather than moments and time. I find only having two weeks off does not provide me with a happy day to day life and I want to change it. I want to work hard and play hard, not for just two weeks a year, especially when family comes into the picture in the future. I am looking forward to downsizing our stuff, and living a bit more simply in the future by taking advantage of all that the outdoors has to offer.
Finally New Zealand is gorgeous! For outdoorsy types like us, New Zealand is mecca. While California has a lot to offer as well, I have seen quite a bit of it and only having weekends off it is hard to beat SoCal traffic to see new things. Sometimes I find it exhausting trying to get a couple errands done in Saturday traffic, much less trying to experience something new! I am looking forward to surfing (duh), sailing, diving, hiking, and all the different landscapes New Zealand has to offer.
What are we going to miss??? Our family of course. We both are very close to our families and it will be a blow both to them and us in picking up and moving across the world. Also, Mexican food!! I could eat it every single day, so I might have some with drawls. Hmmmmm other than that I am sure once we are there other things will pop up. I have heard internet service is much slower, but I think I will quickly adjust, as I did deal with AOL dial-up back in middle school 😉