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 🙂