6 things you should know before you move from London to Auckland

Monday 12 November 2018

I moved to New Zealand earlier this year with absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into.
Usually, I'd do heaps of research before I book anything but not this time, I was just excited to see Jonny again so I booked my flight as soon as my visa come through and was in a country that I had never even given a second through within a few days.

Moving straight in with a house full of kiwis made it a bit easier (I had people to ask about words I didn’t understand – yarn, jandals, chur?!) but there were definitely things that would have made life easier had I known about them beforehand. So today, I'm sharing my expertise with you so, unlike me, you can be fully prepared

It's not 24 hour

No, the shops actually close and this is something that really did get on my nerves. Once, I convinced Jonny to drive me to the other side of town to find a smoothie bar that I had spotted online and it was closed when we arried; at 3:05 on a sunny Saturday afternoon! Like honestly stuff like that happened all the time which made it very hard for me when I want a bar of chocolate in the middle of the night.

The worst one was Easter; I thought we were going to starve to death. For three days, the supermarkets were closed, the petrol stations were closed, everything was closed. The only thing that was open was McDonalds.

There are no people here

Fun fact for you, when I left Vietnam, it was the TET holiday but I was very confused as to why they were celebrating it in NZ. Surely it was so quiet because everyone was at home celebrating with their families. Apparently not, according to google, there are twice as many people in London as there are in the whole of New Zealand. Even in Auckland, where it’s the most densely populated there are just no people around. The airport took about 3 minutes to get through, the roads are calm and there are hardly any people in the city centre. We went to visit a waterfall and were the only ones there which was amazing. Just being is a whole lot easier when there’s space to move.

Prepare to chill out

I can't talk for other countries, or even too much for the rest of the UK, but coming from a busy city like London, it was a bit of a shock moving to Auckland. Everybody walks slowly and takes their time, no one gets angry and makes comments about the tourists blocking the street under their breath.

When you get on the bus, you stop to say hello to the bus driver and it’s nice, just really strange to start with. I know this sounds terrible but it took me a while to remember how to be nice. 

When it comes to the office, work is so chill. There’s no rushing around like a crazy person, you take a full lunch break in the kitchen and sit and talk to your colleagues. And if that whole hour wasn’t a big enough treat, you also get a morning and an afternoon tea break which is something that I took full advantage of, imagine that working back in London. lol.

Also, this photo was taken on my commute.

It does get cold

This one really threw me because just like my younger brother, and everyone else I spoke to from the motherland, I just assumed that New Zealand was the same as Australia and that they were both super hot all year around (Oz is hot all year round, right?) That definitely isn’t the case in New Zealand. Just like home, in the winter, mornings are cold, evenings are short and it rains a lot. It was also pretty depressing that all of this was happening in June and July while everyone in the UK was firing up the BBQ. It wasn't all bad, unlike back home, the sun does comes out and its not absolutely freezing, just a bit chilly.  

You’ll probably get fat

Another thing I did not know about New Zealand before I got here, is just how bad the junk food culture is. It is cheaper to eat out than it is to buy food at the supermarket and it’s literally a junk food heaven with a Mcdonalds, KFC, Subway, Dunkin Donuts and everything else you could imagine on every street; and yes I did get sucked in. Tell me you wouldn't be tempted if you could get Pizza Hut or Dominos for $5 - thats two pounds fifty to me and you!

Shoes are not essential

One last thing to add: In London, most people are dressed for the office, suit and tie, pencil skirts and most definitely, shoes! I was very confused when I first arrived and started noticing that people don’t necessarily take shoes with them when they leave their house. I thought Jonny was crazy the first time he went out without any on but it seems to be a normal thing. People walking around the supermarket barefoot, the malls, Mcdonalds (yes ok we spent a lot of time there) and I’ve even seen people walking down the street without any shoes on. Very odd.
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