What It’s Actually Like To Move To The Other Side Of The World

What It's Actually Like To Move To The Other Side Of The World

Back in the summer of 2011, my dad was on the phone to some ‘business guy’ and he wrote on a piece of paper saying “do you want to move to New Zealand?” and slid it over to my mum. My mum wrote back “yes” and the rest, as they say, is history.

My parents aren’t your normal run-of-the-mill kind of people; they’re weird and wonderful and that’s why it only took two short sentences to decide to move to the other side of the world. I was in year 8 at the time and I was in no frame of mind for my entire life to be uprooted and relocated to the other side of the world. I had a solid group of friends, I loved my school and I knew that I’d miss my family terribly. In retrospect however, moving to New Zealand was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me and I want to share my experience with you all in today’s post.

Here’s what it’s actually like to move to the other side of the world.

What It's Actually Like To Move To The Other Side Of The World

We spent the entire summer packing up our belongings, saying goodbye to all of our friends and family and hosted a huge leaving party just before we left for New Zealand.

The first few weeks were a rollercoaster of emotions; we were ecstatic to be living in an entirely new place, we lived right near the sea and we even had our own swimming pool! We were also pretty exhausted and a little emotional as we adjusted to a new life away from everything we knew.

Our new home was in the Bay of Plenty, just a two hour drive from Auckland and it was absolutely stunning. There were very few shops around – and by that I mean literally none – but it was sort of nice to experience a whole different way of living without the city life.

I didn’t start school for a few weeks so I spent that time getting to know my new home, and my new country. It’s not easy upping sticks and moving to an entirely new place but it was incredibly exciting. I felt like I was living in a movie; we had the sea right on our doorstep, a huge paddock accompanied by a swimming pool and an entirely new accent to get used to.

We were actually pretty lucky in that we got to know a number of fellow English expats, one family who actually lived next door – if you can call half a mile away ‘next door’.

It was nice to be able to share the experience with people who had gone through the same thing as our family and if you ever find yourself moving overseas, I would definitely suggest trying to find a group of people who’ve gone through the same thing as you. While we were obviously in New Zealand to experience a different way of life and a whole new culture, it was nice to make friends with fellow English people as it made us feel a little closer to home.

Skype was also a godsend back when we lived in NZ as we were able to keep in touch with all of our friends and family; to be honest, I’m not sure how well I would have coped if I hadn’t been able to talk to people back home regularly.

One of the things that no one told me about what it’s actually like to move to the other side of the world was just how much I would miss British food. Jaffa cakes, Walkers Smoky Bacon crisps and Monster Munch were all ‘delicacies’ that I missed immensely and so we arranged for friends back home to send us a goody bag every few weeks full of treats!

Another strange thing that I found about living in New Zealand was the school system. For example, we didn’t wear shoes to do P.E and my younger brother and sister didn’t wear shoes to school at all! Most people also did their weekly shopping barefoot; something that our family didn’t take part in.

Living in New Zealand was hands-down one of the greatest experiences of my life and while I don’t think I quite appreciated it enough at the time, I can now see how completely life-changing the whole experience was. My parents taught me how to be brave and courageous and that living in a whole new country – even one that’s nearly 12,000 miles away – can truly be a remarkable thing in shaping your personality.

I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to spend almost a year of my life in a different country and I genuinely think that I’m a much better and stronger person for it.

The Other Side Of The World

Would you ever consider moving to the other side of the world? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @imjustagirl_16.

31 Comments

  1. 11th February 2018 / 6:46 pm

    What an incredible experience to have Chloe, I can definitely imagine it wouldn’t be easy, it’s a massive change. The not wearing shoes to do the food shop is the most random thing in the world though? I wonder where that came from or has just always been the case haha xx

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:42 pm

      It really is so weird haha! Xx

  2. 11th February 2018 / 6:51 pm

    As if people did their weekly shop barefoot aha! This was such a lovely post, I have family that moved to NZ 10 years ago when my cousins were 1 and 4, and they came to visit last year and it was crazy to see them all grown up! I’m actually thinking of doing a working holiday over there, might have a few questions for you! xx

    G

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:41 pm

      Omg that’s so weird, I bet they were completely different haha! X

  3. yasmin
    11th February 2018 / 7:27 pm

    That’s amazing! I’d love to go to New Zealand one day. I imagine it was hard at first but it’s so good that it turned out to be such an incredible time for you. Thanks for sharing xx

    Yasmin 💗
    The Sweet Seven Five

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:41 pm

      It was a very strange but amazing experience!

  4. 11th February 2018 / 10:10 pm

    Wow that’s amazing, I actually had no idea you lived in New Zealand for a while, it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go!!! How your dad asked your mum is totally adorable too! ❤️

    Lots of love Izzy | http://www.adoseofchatter.com

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:41 pm

      Haha thank you! Xx

  5. Debra-Bow
    11th February 2018 / 10:40 pm

    Oh Chloe, it was lovely to read this post. I know we have briefly spoken about your move to NZ in personal conversations before but to actually read your whole experience in one post like this is so nice to see.. I feel like I know you much more now! I think I would love to experience another country that isn’t England or Thailand since both are home to me!

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:41 pm

      Thank you so much babe!

  6. 11th February 2018 / 11:24 pm

    This was so interesting to read! I don’t think I could move across the world just like that, but it sounds like it was an incredible experience for you x

  7. 12th February 2018 / 9:35 am

    Oh, I was things were that easy for me. Love the story of how your dad asked your mom. When my bf asked me to move somehwere else (within Europe, where we live now too), I started crying. So our start wasn’t exactly easy ;p, but I’m now open to it and very much looking forward to moving to another country for the first time in my life!

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:39 pm

      That’s very exciting Jo! I’m sure it’ll be amazing once you’re more used to it! X

  8. 12th February 2018 / 10:39 am

    Oh wow that’s so cool that you got to live in NZ for a while! I can imagine the move being pretty daunting, but I would still love to live in another country for a short period of time just for the experience. x

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:39 pm

      It really was a cool experience! Xx

  9. 12th February 2018 / 11:16 am

    I’m incredibly jealous you got to live in NZ; it’s always been a dream of my dad’s and I. It seems a little more friendly than Australia and cheaper, I’m lead to believe! I don’t know how I feel about being barefoot all the time, I have such a fear of feet!

    Sian x
    http://www.theenglisheverygirl.com

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:38 pm

      Haha the foot thing was weird! X

  10. Chloe
    12th February 2018 / 2:30 pm

    This is such an interesting post Chlo – I had no idea you lived in NZ for a period! It sounds beautiful and I’d love to be as spontaneous as your parents sound and just emigrate but it takes me about 3 years to plan a holiday so I don’t think I could be!

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:38 pm

      Haha thank you!

  11. 13th February 2018 / 12:15 am

    What an incredible experience for you! That sounds so cool. Although what’s with the no shoes? 😂

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:38 pm

      I’ve no idea hahaha!

  12. 13th February 2018 / 10:58 am

    Oh wow I never even knew that you lived in New Zealand! My friend has just been ‘living’ there for 6 months – she has family there – and she’s loved it! New Zealand looks beautiful. I’d love to move to another country, but I’m such a homebody and I wouldn’t be able to cope without my family and friends xo

    Char | http://www.charslittleblog.co.uk

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:34 pm

      That’s awesome, I’m so glad your friend is enjoying it! Xx

  13. 13th February 2018 / 11:15 am

    I can imagine this move had a huge impact on you Chloe! Moving to NZ and knowing nobody is a very brace but exciting move, and it sounds like it was something you enjoyed once you had adjusted. I can’t believe people did their shopping bare foot?! Seems like such a strange concept haha! I bet living by the sea with a swimming pool was amazing! Loved hearing about your experience.

    Sarah | http://www.sazsinclair.com xx

  14. 13th February 2018 / 12:21 pm

    I can imagine this move had a huge impact on you Chloe! Moving to NZ and knowing nobody is a very brave but exciting move, and it sounds like it was something you enjoyed once you had adjusted. I can’t believe people did their shopping bare foot?! Seems like such a strange concept! I bet living by the sea with a swimming pool was amazing! Loved hearing about your experience.

    Sarah | http://www.sazsinclair.com xx

    • chloedickenson
      Author
      18th February 2018 / 3:34 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah! Xx

  15. 13th February 2018 / 8:49 pm

    Such a great experience. I’m thinking about moving away soon too x

  16. Robyn Evans
    15th February 2018 / 7:31 pm

    I’d love to go to New Zealand ! Clearly you have adventure in your blood x

  17. 5th March 2018 / 4:24 pm

    Can relate to this a whole lot!

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