A Clarification

Apparently, writing a post at the end of the day after a glass of wine and a busy couple of hours in the Emergency Room isn’t always the best idea.  Or maybe it is.  I don’t know, but I feel the need to clarify, and that’s probably my fault.

When I said that I didn’t love New Zealand, I did not mean that I hate New Zealand.  I love a lot of things about New Zealand.  Blog posts, like other forms of communication, should always be taken in context.  I believe that the full context of my blog has shown that I’m enjoying our life here.  I have moments where I’m homesick and I have moments where I’m loving life in Aotearoa, but usually, my time is spent between those two poles. Most days, I thank God for our blessings and the many gifts that have been given to us, including the gift of living overseas and meeting so many wonderful people.

I don’t think that I’m being incongruous by saying that while I’m not “in love” with living in New Zealand, I still love many things about the country.  I was planning to save this for another “Living in New Zealand” post, but perhaps I should share it now.  Here are just a few of the many things that I love about New Zealand:

  • Maternity Leave: Wow!  I know that I’ve shared about this before, and I feel like I’m bragging to all of my US readers, but I love that I get to take a year off to be home with Joe and that I’m paid for 14 weeks of that year.  Yes, I’m paid the full amount of what I’d normally earn (this isn’t the case for everyone, but my employer makes up the difference between what the gov’t pays and what I’m normally paid).  As it works out, I had 21 weeks of paid leave for the first chunk of my time off with Joe.  Amazing, and no way would I have gotten that in the States.
  • Healthcare: I love that I don’t have to pay for health insurance.  Granted, we “pay” for it in our taxes, but it’s wonderful not to have to worry about working X number of hours in order to qualify for health insurance or having to pay a premium or a deductible.
  • Cheese: New Zealand has much better cheese than what we’ve tasted in the States.  I love it, and I love that it’s white, not artificially dyed yellow.
  • Yoghurt: Continuing with our dairy theme… I love the yoghurt that’s made here (yes, yoghurt, not yogurt).
  • Eggs: I love that I don’t have to refrigerate my eggs over here.  I do find it a bit funny that Kiwis don’t add dye to their cheese, but do add dye to the egg yolks, though (how do they do that?!)
  • The Lack of Pennies – Love it!  I hate having to carry around 1 cent coins, and I’m very glad they don’t exist in NZ.  Time for the US to put those to bed.
  • The family focus of most workplaces – Not every job is like this (I’ve got some friends who work long hours) but I love that we can have lunch with Chris on the spur of the moment.  He can meet us at a park or we can come to his office – it’s not a big deal.  And my employer is happy for me to continue working on a casual basis (PRN, or “as needed”) once my mat-leave is up.  If I were working at my old ER in the States, aside from being unable to take off a year for mat-leave, they would likely have told me “Thanks for working here, but no thanks – we don’t want you to work PRN”.
  • Wine – I never liked red wine until moving here.  New Zealanders make really good wine, red and white, but their reds are definitely the wine of choice.
  • Scenery – Yeah, I know everyone talks about it, but I love the scenery here.  Even in Auckland, which is sort of consider the ugly stepchild of New Zealand, it’s pretty gorgeous.
  • Walking – I love that I can walk pretty much every where I need to get to.  Walk to work, walk to friends, walk to church, walk to grocery, walk walk walk.  Except for when it’s raining – then I don’t love it (but I still kind of do!)
  • Weather – No snow in Auckland!  Well, there was a teensy, weensy bit of snow this past winter that lasted all of 5 minutes.  I think it was the first time it had snowed here in something like 84 years.  It’s generally pretty mild, and I love that.
  • Friends – I love the friends that I’ve met here, both through traditional methods and through blogging.

Okay, so maybe I do love New Zealand just a small, tiny bit.  It’s growing on me 🙂

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  1. Laura says:

    Hey girl 🙂

    You don’t have to clarify, I think it’s totally normal to have these thoughts about anywhere you aren’t originally from or different. While yes there are so many amazingly wonderful things in NZ it isn’t home. It’s only human to feel this way I think. You’ve embraced living in a new country very well I must say!! Interesting tidbit about the eggs though 🙂

  2. Christine says:

    Hi Jenny! Great posts.. I enjoyed reading yesterday’s one and didn’t really feel you need to clarify, but I’m glad you shared some of the things you like about NZ! I’m NZ born, but lived in the US for all of Junior High and High School.. I’m back in NZ now but I miss the US too. There are things you just can’t replace. And there are lots of things about NZ that frustrates me… nowhere is going to be perfect, so I think you are right deciding to love the life you have right here and right now! You are doing a great job 🙂

  3. Sara says:

    Oh yes no pennies!!! And I love that tax is included, what you see is what you pay. I didn’t see that you had to clarify because you really do show a love of your life here. And while I want to stay longer, there’s always something about home that wins my heart (namely family especially little nephews that I miss) so I can only imagine what it’s like to start a family so far from “home”. And yes, NZ wine! Yum!

  4. Gabrielle says:

    Yay! I love cheese, there was a Cheesefest last week where your could try over 400 types of cheese at the Langham hotel, it was fantastic!
    And what’s up with NZ yoghurt? Why is it so yummy!?

  5. Jenny @ Practically Perfect... says:

    I wish that were the case, re: egg yolks, but I’ve been told by some Kiwi friends who are in the egg business that Kiwis prefer that “golden yolk” colour, and so they add things to the chicken feed to produce it. Some small-scale farmers use natural additives, but most large scale egg farmers, cage-free or not, use natural + synthetic (or inorganic) carotenoids to chicken feed to enhance the yellow of the yolk. At least, this is what I’ve been told by several different Kiwis!

    And I’ll definitely take you up on your offer to pick your brain, re: Playcentre, once things settle somewhat around here!

  6. Broot says:

    Why do you think they dye the eggs? Cuz they yolks are yellower? That’s because chickens here are fed a better diet. The better the diet of the hen, the yellower the yolk. 😉

    (And I knew what you meant, yesterday!!)

    (And feel free to pick my brain whenever you’re ready!)

  7. Hannah says:

    I’ve never refrigerated my eggs when I’ve lived in other places (France & Tanzania) so I always wondered if Americans did it because we really like to refrigerate everything.

    But that aside – its okay to not be in love with your living situation as long as you don’t dwell on that (and it doesn’t seem that way on your blog). A lot of people aren’t happy where they live even if its their home town from childhood. Knowing what you want in life is a good thing – it gives you goals to work toward.

    As always – thanks for sharing!

  8. Jenny in Iowa says:

    Hi Jenny! It’s been a few months since I commented so I hope you remember me 🙂 I read your post yesterday and thought it was really good, that you expressed yourself well. You don’t have to *love* New Zealand (or perhaps be *in love* with it) to still make the best of life there. As you know I am a Kiwi living in the USA and I feel at home in both places. I am often homesick and miss my family and friends but it has been interesting for me to read your blog the past few months because often the things you that you find hard about living in NZ are the same things that make me frustrated about NZ, as well – and I was born and bred there!

    Whenever you move to a new place, you are going to notice the things that you aren’t going to like as much as where you came from, just as you are going to be excited by all the differences that you ARE going to like during your time there. I feel like it would be impossible NOT to compare one place to another, it’s just in our nature. I think you do seem to have embraced your life there even though it wasn’t something you had ever imagined yourself doing – it is a HUGE thing to move to a different country! It is obvious that you and your family are making the most of your time in NZ for however long it lasts, and that’s great 🙂

    By the way – I was so glad you had a lovely holiday back home in the States last year!!!


  9. Valerie says:

    Yay for NZ! Hey, remind me again how it is that you don’t have to refridgerate you eggs. Are NZ eggs different than US?

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