I've read many of the threads here and gotten quite a bit of information. My biggest question is regarding "culture shock." I saw several references to it. Can anyone tell me their experience with culture shock?
Both my husband and I have professions that would allow us to move to NZ, though I would probably be a SAHM. Our children are young, 3 and 6 (in a couple weeks.) We homeschool with a leaning towards unschooling. We're vegetarians who, by medical necessity, keep a gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free house.
We're just now exploring our options. Anyone got any BTDT advice? In considering moving there, our two biggest concerns are: where can my husband get a job (he's a project manager) and where is a good secular homeschooling community. We currently have a great homeschooling community and my son has lots of friends. I want to make sure we can find another such community.
We live in Arizona. We want to escape both the politics and the heat. However, I am a desert rat. It's 74 degrees in the house and my feet are freezing. As I read about the uninsulated houses I got even colder. How hard is it to find an insulated house? Especially for a reasonable rent? (I'm not sure how long we'd come for so we'd start out renting.)
I'm not sure what questions to be asking. I'm new to this process so just trying to figure it all out.
I read about some ex-pat online groups. Can anyone share a link to one? Especially one that might be friendly to a co-sleeping, AP, homeschooling, still nursing, middle-aged liberal?
Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.
We moved from North Carolina to NZ a bit over a year ago. I don't think we had culture shock, so much as just needing to adjust to Kiwi-time LOL. EVERYTHING here closes at 5pm. Even some of the gas stations in small towns. (grocery stores and some of the larger chains stay open till 8 or 10, but they are the exceptions to the rule). We actually love this, now. NZ is kinda like stepping back 30 or so years in the US. It's a much slower pace of life, people aren't stressed out all the time, you don't see hoards of people wandering around with their faces stuck to an iphone, etc. (granted the fashion is like that, too...it's like the early 90s is making a return with the skinny jeans and neon colored hats sometimes!)
People here are so nice. In the year+ we've been here, we've met about 3 rude people...and 2 of them were teenagers. Neighbors are always willing to help.
As a vegetarian, you will LOVE all the local food you can get. Never ever buy produce from the grocery store...you can get it at road side stands, farmers markets, and such MUCH cheeper and with better tastes.
As a project manager, you might want to look in the Christchurch area. They will be doing a lot of rebuilding over the next few years and I'm sure there will be a job boom once they decide what to do with the area.
I can't speak to the homeschool groups on the South Island. We are in Wanganui, on the southern coast of the North Island. We have a group here that is fantastic...lots of members, near-weekly field trips, orcehestra, dedicated times for homeschool gymnastics and swim lessons, weekly playgroups, etc. (Granted, its' a Christian group, but honestly it's not terribly overt and I'm sure you would fit in :) )
Honestly, we love it here. I wish we didn't have to move back to the US. The only thing we miss is our family :(
ETA: Meant to add, re: cane sugar. Nearly everything here is sweetened with real sugar (even the soft drinks...I don't think I've yet to see anything sweetened with HFCS). But it's easy enough to find other sweetners in the stores. The honey here is amazing...manuka is local. Oh. My. SO good!
Vallere - Daugher of YHWH, Wife to Dr. Adventure, and Mama to DS(5), DS(3), DD & DD(1)
about our move to New Zealand!