Why I Moved Back to New Zealand
There comes a time in every young person’s life when they are forced to reassess their path and consider “settling down”. Ok, calling myself young is a bit of a stretch — as Jimmy Carr once said, the only way I’ll be described as young now is if I die. At 32 I find myself back in Dunedin, my home town, a fate that seemed too dull to imagine a few years ago. What lead me here? What does it mean for the future? Will I ever make it out of New Zealand again?
The short answer to why I moved back to New Zealand is that I got married (and my wife got a good job here). I’m no longer floating around the world with an absence of stress and worry. Now I have someone anchoring me to the real world.
With great love comes great responsibility. At least that’s what I had been conditioned to believe. I always figured that once I was married I’d settle into a boring office job, get fat (that part is kinda happening), buy a house and have kids. My previous life as a carefree traveller would soon be a distant memory.
Somewhere along the line I realised that didn’t have to be the case. It helps that I married someone with a high paying career who supports me in my dream to become a professional travel blogger (I’d call myself semi professional at the moment — I could support myself in a country like India or Vietnam, but not even close in New Zealand).
So, what have I actually been doing?
I’d like to say I’ve been slaving away in front of a computer for 60 hours a week, but that would be a lie. I’m not the most self-motivated person in the world, but I have made big strides with my blogging goals. I started a new site and my old ones continue to grow at a steady pace. It’s all about setting up a passive income so I never have to work a proper job again. If I was a harder worker I’d probably be there by now, but if slow and steady worked for the tortoise it can work for me.
I’ve also been travelling around New Zealand as much as possible. We bought a car, put a blow up bed in the back and escaped for lots of weekend trips around the South Island. After being overseas for so long it’s been a pleasure to explore my own country (something I had no real interest in when I last lived here).
Some random thoughts about coming home
- I’m constantly being told to buy a house, start a family and spend money I don’t have on things I don’t need. I never really watched TV overseas and most ads were in languages I didn’t understand — the advertising bombardment has been a bit of a shock!
- I never drove overseas, but since going on lots of New Zealand road trips I’ve realised it’s my favourite way to travel. You can stop whenever you want and you’re in full control of your travel experience.
- Dunedin is one of the best places in the world to live. Housing is fairly cheap, there are so many nice beaches and hiking trails and it’s the perfect size. We get some decent events (sport and music especially) but none of the big city hassles.
- New Zealand has the best snacks (lollies, chocolate, chips etc).
- I miss travelling. There’s something magical about a long trip with no particular goal or end point. It’s the most freedom I’ve ever felt, and I can’t wait to do it again. Having said that, I probably won’t do a two and a half year trip again — 3-6 months sounds much more appealing these days.
The plan for 2018 and beyond
Lots of travel. We have our honeymoon planned for April / May, and I’ll spend at least a couple of months in India after that. I might also go to Nepal, Cambodia and Indonesia (or wherever I can find a cheap flight to). From 2018 onwards I hope to travel for at least 4-6 months a year, for as long as I’m still enjoying it. Of course, when kids come into the equation things may change, but that doesn’t mean they have to. I’ve met so many people travelling with young kids, living an alternative lifestyle that many think wouldn’t work.
What’s in store for this blog?
Pretty much more of the same. I still have lots of posts to write about my last big trip (I’m not even close to being up to date on that front) as well as heaps of posts about New Zealand in the pipeline. I love being a travel blogger and have no plans to ever stop — the internet is stuck with my often poorly researched and lazily thrown together travel articles for a while yet.
Have you moved home after years abroad? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!