One August morning I was complaining about how hot Davao City is and then another morning, I was freezing cold inside our heated home in Richmond. It happened so fast that I had to bring myself into reality the moment my son and I stepped foot in Auckland International Airport last August 10, 2018.
During my final week in the Philippines, people were asking me if I was excited and yes I was, but I was really feeling anxious about the BIG move. Never have I tried living or working abroad. I have only been abroad for short tours and it were all in Asia. It was our first time to try a long haul flight and that alone was nerve wracking (At least for me; My son was ecstatic!)
If I may explain a little as to how we got here, my husband was lucky (and blessed) to be offered a job here in New Zealand last March 2018. He applied for an Essential Skills Working Visa because his role is in the Immediate Skill Shortage List. You can check here if your occupation is included in the list. Essential Skills Working Visa has three categories- Low, Mid and High. To be eligible to bring a partner and dependent in NZ, the Essential Skills Visa must be assessed as Mid or High Skilled. Again, he was lucky to have his visa approved and assessed as Mid Skilled. He started working in New Zealand in May 2018. My son and I applied for our own visas last June and both were approved 9 and 8 days later, respectively, although according to the Immigration website, our applications are likely to have a result within 72 days. My visa is Partner of a Worker Working Visa and my son’s visa is Dependent of a Worker Student Visa. We lodged all our visa applications online and we did not avail any agency services. No two visa applications are ever alike as we have different situations and circumstances so I suggest, you visit the New Zealand Immigration website and explore visas you might be qualified in. I am no Immigration Adviser so everything I wrote here are only based on my family’s experience. The INZ website is pretty informative but some things can be confusing. Research is key.
We are currently living in Richmond, part of the Nelson/Tasman region located at the top of the South Island. I heard Nelson gets the most sunshine hours in the entire country which is pretty awesome. In my two weeks of being here, I can already say that NZ is a perfect place to live in. We get pretty views everywhere- even at home. It can get too cold in the morning and at night but I like it better than intense heat and humidity. People here are extra nice and they spend moments of their lives pausing to greet everyone “Hi”, “Hello”, “How are you today?”.
Last Sunday while hearing mass, my nose suddenly felt itchy and runny and I had no tissue so I was frequently touching my nose and the lady beside me must’ve noticed my dilemma and quickly offered me tissue. It was really nice of her but tbh, sometimes I get uncomfortable with greetings and small talks. In the Philippines when we say “Peace be with you” at mass, we simply nod and smile. Here, they look you in the eye, shake your hands, intently says “Peace be with you”, smiles widely then asks a bonus question of “How are you doing?”.
Richmond is a small city with many shops and restaurants that close at 5pm. It was difficult for me to find an IT-related job as we do not have many companies and establishments here unlike in Auckland or other big cities. Jobs here are mostly for trade, horticulture, viticulture, hospitality and food and beverage.
Living in NZ may sound really nice and it really is but it also comes with a slight loneliness brought to you by being away from home, from family, from routines which took you years to develop, and from the familiar sound of your noisy neighbor who you can totally comprehend. I know it takes some getting used to (especially the Kiwi accent).
This is life and we must always allow life to blow us into places we never thought we could land into.
Here’s a calligraphy flatlay I did featuring the flowers I picked from our garden. Follow @diana.scribbles in Instagram for more of my humble calligraphy works.😊
Thanks for your time. Until my next post.❤️