A question many people have asked us. A question that has lots of different answers. One thing I would like to point out is that we do not hate the UK. After all we were born and raised here and it will always be part of who we are. Plus people love a British accent! I personally feel that different countries suit different needs. At this point in our lives NZ suits our needs better than the UK. That is not to say the UK is bad or NZ is better, it is down to personal preference.
On a very simple level it came down to good job opportunities and being able to buy a house in a beautiful country. The job Mr M has been offered is a step up with a reputable company with a decent salary. For me there are many more opportunities within my profession. This is very appealing for us at this stage in our lives. Mr M hasn’t been enjoying his job for various reasons and I have made it no secret that I have found work difficult to come by. Even now after being back in the UK for almost 12 months I am still barely working part time. I am adamant this will change on moving to NZ.
Secondly, as first time buyers it is very difficult to get on the property ladder. This is a big thing for us. We would like to be home owners and not renters. As mentioned in a previous post London was one of the few places we could get half decent jobs. With property prices in London being so high and with banks asking for a 20% deposit, it is just not feasible for us. And above all London was far from our first choice settle and, therefore, I would not feel good about spending that much money on something I really don’t want. Yes, OK we could have lived in a commuter town outside of London where property is cheaper. But quite honestly having to spend two hours of my life per day on the train is not something I want to do.
Where we have chosen to settle in New Zealand (Christchurch) you can get a lot more for your money. We are now looking at houses, not flats. Banks are asking for a much smaller deposit on a property (around 5-10%), which is easily affordable taking into account the salaries we will be earning in NZ. Plus, to be able to afford a house that is a few minutes to the beach, an hour into the mountains, a spacious garden and easily commutable to work is somewhat surreal to us!
Other reasons include the general outdoorsyness (if that’s a word, spell checker seems to think it isn’t!) of New Zealand. It is a mecca for outdoor pursuits. The scenery is fantastic with many locations pretty much on our doorstep. NZ is a very diverse place with different scenery in different areas. The top of the south island has a beaches that wouldn’t look out of place in Thailand. On the west coast there are glaciers, the east penguins and whales, the south is home to beautiful national parks and running right through the middle is a whacking great mountain range – the Southern Alps.
Being a true Brit I will also bring up the weather. It is more favorable in Christchurch. Long sunny summers with short mild winters. It still gets cold in winter but nothing like the UK. Less rain and more sunshine makes me a happy person indeed!
Another thing that appeals to us is getting the chance to explore places like Australia and the South Pacific Islands. Can’t turn down the opportunity for more travel!