Home » Moving to New Zealand – A parental perspective (Interview)

Moving to New Zealand – A parental perspective (Interview)

  • by

I am sure you can agree any life-changing decision can affect not just you but the ones closest to you. To move away from your family and friends regardless of how far away it is whether it be the next county or state is a brave and tough decision.

To travel or live abroad regardless of how long comes with a stigma of guilt. The moving away from the parent’s guilt is a big one. Moving away from family is another. The guilt you are leaving your loved ones behind, guilt you are missing out (FOMO) and/ or guilt you are upsetting someone’s feelings.

It is something I know have struggled with during this whole moving to New Zealand process. Therefore I asked Mummy Appleby a few questions on the matter I was awarded with an insight I am sure every parent can relate too.

“It is important to remember whatever their reaction maybe when you tell them you are moving to New Zealand it comes from a place of love and the understanding of your actions may not happen instantly but it will eventually.”

Feel free to show your parents/ loved ones this interview from my mother – it might ease their apprehensions about the fun but the unknown path you are about to embark on!

mum and family

Us on a Family Holiday

“Travel in my era was limited it was something that people only really dreamed about.”

When you were growing up, how did you perceive travel? Was it just for holidays? Did you ever want to travel? And if so where?

As a young child during the 19×0’s the world was beginning to open up to worldwide travel for more people.  My uncle was an Air Steward for Boeing (later British Airways) working from Heathrow Airport.  We used to visit him and he would show us around the airport, and I would wonder at the far off countries that he visited.

Also at that time, my friend at school was about to emigrate to New Zealand, I was so jealous of the adventure he was about to go on.  I started to read books on New Zealand I learned all about the discovery of New Zealand by Captain Cook and learned of the Maori traditions before I knew it the one country I most wished to see was New Zealand.

Alas for me in my young adult years’ love marriage and children all put such dreams far far away.  Then my youngest daughter, who already had a huge travel bug inside her, found love with a guy whose family came from New Zealand, and the circle of life brought this country back into my life again….Weird hey?!

“My emotions were all over the place when you told me you were going backpacking.”

Let’s take you back to 2009, when I told you we were going to go to NZ for 6 months to travel, what emotions do you remember in the weeks leading up to us departing?

Wow, a million and one emotions, it went a bit like this: Excited for you, super jealous, very worried you would actually move there to live, and hoping you wouldn’t.  Sad because you were moving so far like a gazillion mile’s away, I knew I would miss you loads but was so proud that you had both worked and saved so much to achieve this great trip.

Me and Mum - A lot younger then!

Me and Mum ten years ago – We were both a lot younger then!

“We missed you when you left but you were having such a great time and that made up for it.”

And when we were in NZ, how did you feel not seeing me for 6 months? But you saw me having all this fun!

Firstly so glad you arrived safely, such a long flight, tracked your journey all the way, then began to really miss having you around at weekends but we drank less Guinness because you weren’t around!

However, through the powers of the internet, we were able to see the wonders of NZ in the heart of our home and loved listening to the adventures you were having, sky diving, canyon swinging, rough camping, and living on £3 per day, ah the joy of being a backpacker.

“You inspired me to get out and see the world.”

Did my travel stories inspire you to travel more?

Definitely, we starting planning to see more of the world and we certainly have.  Also, as you were away from the British winter seeing videos and photos of you in a sunny climate encouraged us to go away in those dark cold months.

“When you mentioned you wanted to move to NZ in the long term, I couldn’t understand why…at first.”

When we first started talking about moving permanently to NZ (I think in 2013) – how did you feel about it? 

We talked a lot about it (me and your Dad) we did not want you to go and live so far away. “Why can’t they move to Spain” we said, “so much easier to visit”.  Dad kept saying “They haven’t gone yet, wait and see” he probably said that just to calm me down but all the time I was thinking I know how determined she is!

However, we never thought of saying you should not go, you were both very keen to move and try a new country and way of life.  Also, it came back to us that we as a young couple with a young child decided to move from our hometown to live in Cornwall, leaving behind close relatives – we could relate to this feeling.

When you gave us the actual moving date, I felt sick and anxious, but I didn’t say anything,  went into denial mode I think.  I was happy for you both as we knew you had thought long and hard about the move, so if it was what you wanted to do then it was fine by us, but it was sad all the same a stiff-upper-lip certainly came into play.  I remembered I used to say to friends who had relatives living abroad how lovely to be able to visit them and get free accommodation, well hey now I have one in NZ my childhood number 1 place to visit!

“A relationship over the internet was hard at first, but you push past it.”

After we left in October 2014, We didn’t see each other for 14 months, but we kept in touch via Facetime, how did it feel catching up once a week over a screen? Rather than face to face.

After you moved in October 2014 we got to grips with the awkward (is that how they named Auckland) time zone. So early mornings are a few times a week are spent on facetime (we are always in our pajamas when we facetime) sometimes you send a video in the early hours of the morning and the first thing I do before putting the kettle on is check the iPad – it’s become a habit!  We have really long talks on facetime so we do feel in your lives really as we still discuss lots of stuff, most of it nonsense, but those are the small things in life that make us laugh.  THANK HEAVENS for Facetime and Facebook messenger, makes the distance seem smaller, but it can’t do hugs though.

When we came to visit

“Visiting you in New Zealand made us understand why you are living here.”

It’s December 2015 and you’re here, in NZ! How did it feel seeing the new life I had in NZ and being part of it for almost 3 months? 

Firstly loved planning the visit, I did all the planning – Dad paid the bills! It was a  dream come true for me! We saw the awesomeness of NZ we loved it, what a diverse country it truly is.  The people are so friendly, and laid back, they have a very outdoors lifestyle (the TV is so bad that you have to get out!) New Zealand is such a free country, by that I mean they have far less red tape, it is an open country, they look after the environment better, there is free camping, free parking by the lakes and beaches, the parks are maintained beautifully. We understand why they love it so much, it is a wonderful country.

Visiting New Zealand was a dream come true

Visiting New Zealand was a dream come true

“You have to do what is right for you, we are proud of their achievements.”

Do you have any tips for travelers out there that are thinking of emigrating to NZ but are concerned how much they will miss their family? 

In life, you must do what you think is right for you and your family.  We would not have tried to change Dawn and Isaac’s mind about the move.  So proud they had the confidence to emigrate to find new jobs and homes.  Living away from close family and friends is difficult at times, you realize you are missing out on the lives of your nephews and nieces, missing grandparents, but if you want to live your dream it is a sacrifice you have to be prepared for.  The internet is your way into their lives, we even facetime during a party once so for a while we are together and making a memory.

Migrating will make you feel guilty, much worse than eating too many Easter eggs for example, but you should keep confidence in your plans, life is for living. New challenges in life make you grow as a person emigrating is a huge step so if you take it try your hardest to make it work.

“Visiting them really helps, it helped me see how settled they are in their new surroundings.”

Do you have any tips for parents and family members who have someone who lives in another country permanently, what coping mechanisms do you use?

My top tip would be you have to go and visit them, it helps to seem them settled to know they have more prospects in the new country than they did in the UK that they are living a more lifestyle more suited to them, once you see this for yourself in the flesh you will feel happier at the choice that they have made.  Do try not to dwell on them no longer being close to you, those two are always in our hearts and minds they are always with us and that’s where we keep them both.

BIG shout out to Mummy Appleby for her awesome inspiring post! We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic below!