Live a year in New Zealand
January 1, 1970
by Analia Orona Prataviera
Are you ready to live overseas? The best part of travelling is that you can quit whenever you want.
I arrived in New Zealand some weeks ago, and I can already say how beautiful it is. Everything seems to be very relaxed and chilled, also the well-known cities from the country as Wellington and Auckland , both located in the North Island.
I can define Auckland ‘the business city’ of New Zealand, as you can find many big buildings in the CBD and many people walking in suits. The life here seems to be a bit fast paced and the right place for professionals.
On the other hand, Wellington, the second most populous city and the southernmost capital since 1865, is actually named as ‘the coolest little capital in the world’ which for me meant plenty of arty people and way more cultural than Auckland. Apart from graffiti’s and musicians in the streets, you can also find the National Art Gallery, the Museum of New Zealand, many theatres and two big universities.
People in general are a mix of Maoríes, the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand; and kiwis, named for all people from New Zealand. Both of them are really nice and charismatic persons who are going to help you on anytime you need.
You can say NZ is a small country based on two islands but actually, it´s a cosmopolitan place where you can find people from all over the world. You can be either on the bus or supermarket and you probably will listen people talking in Spanish, French, Indian, Korean or any other language you never listened before.
If you are thinking to come to New Zealand or travel in general, you may find this tips useful to have an idea of how it would be.
You don’t need to be a nomad person for the rest of your life if that´s something you don’t want, or you feel is too much. The best part of travelling is that you can ‘quit’ whenever you want, and set up after making a trip you will remember for the rest of your life.
First, you should understand that travel is not the same as holidays, and it´s not for everyone. Travel for a long time means more than just deciding where to go and booking a hotel to stay. It means how to survive in a context you are not used to. It also means to discover yourself and the way you react to different situations without the opinion of your close friends or family. You can discover how far you can go trying to follow your own interests, and also meet people who live really far away from you and at the same time think so similar.
If you are the kind of person that feel the routine is extremely boring, or you just enjoy learning about new cultures, places and people; If you love to travel, to explore and to feel free; I would like to tell you that there are so many people in the same situation as you outside, and most of them managed to make their dream come true.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much money you have or how many excuses you can have. There are different possibilities out there. At the end, it just depends on you to change your actual life, wake up and make your dream alive.
Analyse if you want to risk your actual life: After travelling a month, a year or even more you won’t be the same. Your context could still be the same when you come back, but you will be different in many aspects. You will have learnt to deal with another type of problems by yourself and you will be able to enjoy extremely small things that nobody else seems to care. You will realize that your best friends and family would still talk about the same topics as before which you may not be interested anymore. It´s a one-way decision. And be careful! If you travel for a while once, it´s probably you will want to do it again, and again and again. And if you really feel it, you will find the way to keep doing it.
GET READY TO COME TO NEW ZEALAND
- Be the best friend of Google: Search as much as you can to kill all your doubts. What to prepare before travelling; where to go and why; what to do for a living. Search about where you would like to work, and if there´s any month when it is better to go. What about to do a course to get some skills? Sometimes if you want to work in hospitality it could be great if you have some experience, or if not, at least to have a qualified course done can help. Try to answer all your enquiries to get prepared and feel confident before taking the decision.
- What type of visa do you need? If your main idea is to travel but you would like to work as well, you can choose the Work&holiday visa. This type of visa allows you to stay in the country for one year and you are able to work and travel as much as you want. In this case, you can come to New Zealand, work, save some money and explore the country, or save up to go somewhere else.
Nowadays there are many countries offering this type of visa like Ireland, Canada, France, Germany and Australia. So if you think New Zealand is not your place, you can still choose to apply for living in another country.
- Decide where to go: Do you prefer a city or the outside? Sometimes it depends on your English level the decision of where to live. If you would like to improve your English, you could stay in a city where you would probably find English speakers everywhere. If you prefer to speak your native language, you can find a farm to stay and work with people from your country.
Do you want to live in a warm place, or do you prefer somewhere cooler? Do enjoy being on the beach or do you want to practice some snow sports? Is it a place you will enjoy? New Zealand has different places where you can set up, with different weather and landscapes. Try to be coherent with your feelings and find a place where you can feel home being away.
Is it easy to find a job there? If you want to have an idea of where you could work, you can find many job positions in trademe.co.nz and if you are looking to work on a farm you can check in PickNZ web page about the regional seasons.
- Prepare your passport: make sure your passport is not expired and still available for at least 3 months after you would leave New Zealand.
- Save money. My advice is to save for the plane/bus tickets and be able to live at least one month with that savings. This is because the first month you will probably don’t have any income and you will need money not only for food but also the place to stay, where in most of the flats or share houses you will have to pay a bond. If you take the decision to leave your country and live overseas you need to focus on it. Organize yourself to save as much as you can for your objective. If you need to sell cakes, be a nanny, help a friend in a café, clean cars or whatever else to save a bit more, do it. You may also get more knowledge on things you never did before and start appreciating little things of life.
- Prepare your backpack: In case you don’t have one, you can find cheap ones online from people who used to travel and don’t need it anymore. In New Zealand, there´s a very useful page where you can find most of everything: trademe.co.nz Try to fill your bag with only things you will need. For example, if you are planning to work in hospitality, take some black clothes that you could need at work. Don’t fill the backpack with unnecessary pair of shoes, jackets, shirts, trousers or things you don’t usually wear because it will be your wardrobe and house; but you will need to carry it with you anytime you want to move.
- Get ready to live a beautiful experience plenty of good, bad, great, sad, crazy and weird moments you could never imagine. You will love it!
In the next posts, I will write some useful tips you need to do after deciding to come to NZ, like how to apply for the visa, how to get the IRD to be ready for work, first things you need to do, etc.
*I am really sorry if I did many mistakes while writing this note and that makes it more difficult to be read. English is not my mother tongue and I just wanted to share some tips I learnt while travelling.