The first five months

18 02 2011

Why didn’t I wait until six months? It’s a nice round number after all! Well, I don’t know why. It just seemed like a good time as we’ve started to settle into life.

We ended up in Wellington because that’s where the job offer came from. Nothing more planned than that. I’d deliberately left my search open so I didn’t restrict my chances. I automatically thought that, because of the nature of my career (PR/communications), I’d get a job in Auckland.

My job search experience demonstrated otherwise. I had four interviews in total – all over the phone or Skype. Three of them (including my ultimate job offer) were in Wellington. The other one wasn’t in Auckland either.

When we visited, we didn’t think much to Wellington. We spent less than 24 hours here because, as a tourist, there doesn’t seem like there’s that much to keep you hanging around. And, like most people, we just stayed in Welly because that’s where you get the ferry to the South Island!

But living here is another matter altogether.

Wellington is a fabulous city to live in with so much to offer a wide variety of people. It’s the capital yet it’s tiny (in comparison to most other capital’s around the world). And because there are fewer people around, you get recognised faster, or people have time to spend talking to you.

For instance – I’m a bit of a coffee drinker and lover a morning flat white or mocha. Where we were living initially, there was a coffee shop directly opposite that I passed on the way to work. Now it would have been rude not to go in there. Right?

So my morning ritual became a large trim flat white from Cupz. Before very long at all, the barista was making my order before I’d even placed it.

Now we’ve moved, I’ve lowered my standards (and upped my spend!) by using the Starbucks opposite work. Within about two days of going there, one of the servers was already greeting me by name (albeit my surname – I can’t be arsed to spell out my first name to people!). It’s refreshing.

In the first five months in Welly, we’ve done a few bits. It took nearly four months but we finally got into the water at Lyall Bay. We bought body boards and I got a wetsuit and off we went. And we try to get down to the beach as often as we can – especially with the pooch šŸ™‚

We’ve been wine tasting in the Wairarapa. We hiked the Tongariro Crossing. We’ve bought a car. And a motorbike. And I’ve become a motorbikeĀ commuter – having not ridden a geared motorbike since I passed my test in September 2007. We live a stone’s throw from the sea – which pleases hubby no end! We’ve been to the annual Wellington Fancy Dress Party, sorry, the Rugby Sevens! We’ve sampled some of the free concerts and films in the Botanic Gardens. We went to a “locals go free” day at Zealandia where you didn’t even have to show proof of the fact that you’re local. Trust is a big factor here.

We’ve also experienced an earthquake. Only a minor rumble, but still, it’s a reminder of the environment we now live in. We had our first summer Christmas, sat in a friend’s back garden supping NZ Suavignon Blanc. We’ve been to watch the All Whites and we’ve been to the races.

It doesn’t sound like we’ve been up to much really, but I guess we’ve been trying to settle into our new life and routine. And we’re definitely getting there.

From a work perspective there’s nothing really new for me. I went back to agency life but I think I needed the change after being mentally wiped in-house. I love the fact that, after hours, there is practically no email traffic. It’s bliss. In my last job I worked in a 24/7 global industry which meant you’d get calls or emails at all times of the day (and night) and be expected to answer them.

Contrast that to my 2.5 week holiday here over Xmas where I can count the client/work-related emails on one hand. My days were my own.

So, all in all, it feels like a good move so far. We’ll never say never (coz you just never know!) but it’s home for the moment. And we like it.

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