Whew! We did it. We packed our entire lives (minus our little cat Nala) into 4 suitcases and moved across the world. We’ve only been in New Zealand for a little over 100 hours, but we’ve already explored Auckland, tasted New Zealand pies, set up New Zealand cell phones, and purchased a van! It’s safe to say it’s been a busy past few days.
Our time in New Zealand so far has been a blur, but here are some of our initial thoughts about the land of the kiwis:
Initial Thoughts from Americans in New Zealand
- Kiwis are the nicest people on the planet! Seriously, everyone that we’ve encountered so far has been super nice (except one used car salesman, but that’s kind of expected).
- It’s really nice when you speak the local language. Sometimes we forget we’re in another country because everything is in English.
- Auckland is quite massive! We’ve only seen a few parts of Auckland, but it is quite a sprawling city. In that way, it’s very similar to Los Angeles.
- New Zealand is so green!!! Don’t believe me, check out some of the pictures below.
- Kiwis love their country! Nearly everyone we’ve talked to goes on and on about how much we’re going to love this country.
- Everyone makes fun of Donald Trump! As soon as anyone learns that we’re American, the first thing they ask is why we’re trying to elect “that crazy guy.”
- My favorite quote: “You guys are just Trumpin’ along over there aren’t ya?”
- Gas is expensive! We just put gas in our van for the first time, and I almost vomited.
- Immigration wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone says. We were told that customs was really bad in New Zealand. While they are very strict, you shouldn’t have any problems as long as you declare everything and don’t bring in fresh food.
- Did I mention kiwis are nice? We stayed with a friends parents for the first few nights, and they were incredibly hospitable. Thanks so much Murray and Jan!!!
- Auckland has so much water! Auckland is built right between two large harbors.
- Kiwis love sushi! I have never seen so many sushi restaurants in my life (but I guess I’ve also never been this close to Japan).
- The names of places are really tough to pronounce! Many places still have their beautiful Maori names.
- Rugby is a big deal! Nearly every business in New Zealand seems to have a flag or a poster supporting the All Blacks (NZ’s national rugby team).
- Kiwis are very proud of their heritage! Many New Zealanders are very proud of their rich history.
- Driving on the left is tough! It’s very hard to mentally switch from driving on the right side of the road to driving on the left. We’re going to put a little arrow above the steering wheel to serve as a constant reminder to always keep left.
- Farming is huge in New Zealand! Whether it’s wool, dairy, fruit, or vegetables, New Zealand is a lush country that is perfect for all types of farming.
- So many sheep! New Zealand has about 7 times as many sheep as people.
That’s all for now. I’m sure we’ll have many more thoughts and observations as we travel around this amazing country, but for now we’re just happy to have the opportunity to live in such a beautiful and welcoming place!