Welcome to my new series “Life of an Expat.” For those of you that don’t know what an expat is, it’s simply a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than their native country.
I recently moved from Canada to New Zealand to basically start a new life for myself. Not because my life back home was hard or bad. But because I personally needed a change.
As I continue my life as an expat, I will share the journey with you, the good, the bad, and everything in between.
Choosing Where to Live
When you’re choosing to live abroad, the first thing you have to do is decide in which country you would like to live in. For me, that was the easy part. New Zealand has always been on the top of my list of places to visit. I just so happen to live here now.
Once you know what Country you want to live in, you then need to figure out which part of the Country you’d like to live in.
I struggled with this part.
When I first arrived in New Zealand in November, I had absolutely no clue where I would be living. I had ideas of where I would like to live, but with little to no prior research I had no plan.
While New Zealand as a Country, isn’t overly big, it does have many places that would make for a great home base.
I was getting really overwhelmed, because I was not only looking for places to live but places that would have job opportunities.
I had to narrow it down.
Narrowing it Down
The first step in narrowing it down, was having an honest conversation with myself and figuring out what my budget was. Rent here is weekly rather than monthly. So I looked at what money I still had from home, factored in a part time job and made a budget for myself of what I was willing to spend weekly for rent and utilities.
The number one place I wanted to live before even coming here was Wanaka. So I went on Trade Me and I started looking for flats in Wanaka and I filtered them to suit my budget. “No search results.” Well shoot, I guess Wanaka is out of the picture.
As I did more and more research I realized that that main cities, and/or the tourist driven cities were just always going to be too much.
I had to think smaller.
One of my moms book club friends lives in New Zealand and just made the move from Queenstown to Dunedin. She made Dunedin seem like a place that I would really love and could really find myself settling in. I had only heard of Dunedin one other time, and that’s because I had bought tickets to see Ed Sheeran here. So I knew it was a place I would be going to eventually. But I didn’t do any research on it when I bought tickets.
After speaking with my moms friend, Dunedin was in my head, and I started doing research. Lots of places were available within my budget and even under budget! Bonus!
Fast Forward to Today
I’ve now been living in Dunedin for three weeks and I absolutely love it. I love my home, I love my flatmates, I love the town, I love the atmosphere, I love it all.
Here are some of my photos from Dunedin so far.
Until next time.