I can be a bit of a planner when it comes to travel. So naturally, I am trying to soak up as much info as possible about my new place of residence before I get there. It makes it more exciting to focus on the new and not think about the sad bits.
I recently discovered an entire section of Immigration New Zealand’s website dedicated to info for new migrants. There are back issues of migrant-focused magazines, a guide to living inNew Zealand and all sorts of other goodies.
Since I am a tactile kind of person, when it comes to print materials, I printed off the entire living guide (all 190 pages) and as many archived issues of New Zealand’s migrant magazine as I could find and put them in a binder to read late at night in bed.
Even though my partner is a kiwi, it has been informative, and a bit hysterical reading through my binder and yelling out “did you know’s” across the house. Simon has been in Canada for almost his entire 20’s – an extremely important decade in determining self identity as an adult – and in terms of health care, employment, taxes, the current arts and culture scene, transportation, banking, etc, he naturally knows more about these systems inCanada than in New Zealand.
So far some of my favourite “did you know’s” – for either informative or entertainment purposes are:
- Apparently the typical low point for a new migrant in a country is 15 months. It is a natural downward progression from the exciting highs of adventure to the bummed out lows of frustration and homesickness. (Note to self: Book a ticket home around this time!)
- All parts of New Zealand operate in the same timezone…Canada has what, like 4 or 5??
- In 2009 an average cost of a DVD player/recorder was $399 (YIKES!)
- In New Zealand, you get paid by the week and pay rent by the week…that’s a lot of cheques.
- Most expectant New Zealand mothers choose to be cared for by midwives and maternity leave is only 14 weeks.
- There are over 300 restaurants and cafes in central Wellington, more per capita than anywhere else in the world.
- The school year begins in late January or early February as opposed to September in North America.