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Why I am going home to New ZealandAfter eleven years of travelling and living overseas, I am edging ever closer to moving back home to New Zealand.

It has been coming for a while. I thought that living in Sydney, which is only three hours from New Zealand and therefore a quick and easy trip away, would be enough, but the truth is that I feel more homesick here than ever.

I love Sydney and it will forever be one of my favourite cities in the world but when it comes down to it, there is something missing. I don’t fully feel like I belong here. I am not Australian and I never will be.

Because I am a proud New Zealander. I want to go home to New Zealand.

Some days I am completely in love with Sydney. My homesickness dissolves and I can’t bear the thought of leaving. We live in a beautiful Art Deco apartment that is within walking distance to pristine native bush and numerous white sand beaches. I can hike all year round and swim for six months of the year. I have some amazing friends here.

But there is always that nagging doubt. Deep down I know that I am not meant to end up here and that New Zealand is calling for me to return. I have ignored it for long enough.

So I am moving back home to New Zealand.

Walking around the Mount - one of the reasons I am going back home to New Zealand

This move is still a while away, after all, I will be travelling for a year from next month. I should be returning from my trip in early July next year and I will be looking for a six-seven month contract to save some money for the move (and some more travelling).

We are looking to travel in Patagonia and Brazil for around two months from January or February 2017 and then we will be flying back home to New Zealand.

Another reason for this big unplanned move is to get Trav permanent residency in New Zealand. We realised a while ago that he wasn’t on the path to Permanent Residency here in Australia and to get on the right path would cost about $8000, and the time he has already spent here wouldn’t count towards residency.

We had only ever planned to stay in Sydney for four years and had talked about possibly cutting it short and moving home to New Zealand. The visa situation was a sign. I feel like this is what we are meant to do.

Luckily me and Trav are on the same page with this. Trav loves New Zealand and is looking forward to the move.

We are hoping to move to Wellington, the small and funky capital city, as it has a gorgeous harbour with bags of culture, incredible dining and coffee, lots of job opportunities, and easy access to hiking trails in the numerous regional parks and forests surrounding the city. It is also close to the mountains for snowboarding and there are a few surf spots for Trav.

Getting out into nature is important to most Wellingtonians, despite the less-than-stellar weather. The city has a cute nickname ‘Windy Welly’ because the wind is notorious there. It is something that we would have to get used to.

Why I am going home to New Zealand

Although we may not be able to make as much money as in Sydney, the cost of living is a lot lower and we can actually get a house with three bedrooms and a backyard with sea views for the same price as our tiny two-bedroom apartment with no outdoor space in Manly.

If Wellington doesn’t work out for us then we will be heading to the outskirts of Auckland to either live on Waiheke Island or on the wild west coast beaches. To be honest, I don’t mind either way and there are benefits (and downfalls) to living in both cities.

I have no doubt that I will miss Sydney when we leave, just like how I miss London, Auckland and Vancouver now. That is just something you have to live with if you choose a life of travel. There will always be somewhere that you miss.

I don’t imagine we will be back for good. I still have my heart set on living in Vancouver so we will be working to make that a reality in the next five years. I would also love to live in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Cape Town, somewhere in Argentina and back in the UK. There are so many amazing places in the world.

But New Zealand is next and we couldn’t be happier.

I will finally be moving back home to New Zealand.

28 Comments on Why I am Going Home to New Zealand

  1. I can absolutely understand your choice.
    I have the same issue here and I really just don’t know what to do. Half of my family and friends live in Holland and my dad lives in Queenstown. I miss him and especially Aotearoa every single day. I’ve been in Holland for 10 years now and in the mean time I’ve been back in NZ pretty much every year and I stayed there for another year in between aswell. Every since I’ve had to move to Holland because I had to go with my mum and brothers I’ve had this homesick feeling. I don’t really have anyone close to me that really understands what I feel. Atm I’m in a relationship and I’ve pretty much got everything I want but it just doesn’t feel complete. Moving to NZ would be such a big move again and especially hard in the beginning having to build up a whole new group of friends. I really just don’t know what to do…

    • That’s hard Tom, I completely understand. I am actually living in the U.S. now with my American husband and although I am close to his family and have friends here, I miss NZ so much. I just spent 4 months back there and the fact that life is pretty much normal there just made me want to move back even more. My plan is to move back with my husband in 2-3 years. It will be 20 years living away from NZ at that point and I know it will be hard, but New Zealand is where my heart is and I feel like I belong there more than anywhere else. I hope you can come to some resolution. Follow your heart!

  2. Great article. I can totally relate. Would love to move back to NZ (currently in Perth), but am stuck here. Perth is awesome but when you miss friends and family back home, it makes it so hard. Especially as parents get older.

    • Thanks Liz, it’s funny isn’t it? You would think you would be less homesick in Australia because the countries are quite similar but it is worse for me. Can’t wait to go home 🙂

  3. How awesome! I’m very happy for you. Though I’ve never been to New Zealand, everything I’ve seen and read has wowed me, so I can easily see why you’d want to return. I hope I get to visit someday soon!

    BTW I’m also very jealous of your Patagonia plans!

    • Amy you will have to come and visit when I am back and I can show you around! Trav promised me he would come for at least a month to Patagonia with me but I am going to try getting him to come for longer

  4. Nothing beats your initial home country and new zealand is a great place to raise a family You have made Australia very special and when you do leave Australia,it will be a great loss Listen to your heart and return back to New Zealand .Best of luck with your travels

  5. We traveled for five years before we chose to settle again. Even if we are not trees, we must have roots.

  6. I think if I grew up in New Zealand, I would always think of it as my home too. I live in Brisbane but meet many New Zealanders in my suburb. Many of them are only here because there is not much work for them in their country. It is obvious how much they miss their home country and want to return. I see a lot of silver fern stickers on cars! It’s a special place. 🙂

    • Home is where the heart is, for me anyway. Traditionally, a lot of Kiwis moved to Australia because of job opportunities, more money as well as for hotter weather and the bigger cities. I guess in the end for me none of those things matter and I don’t have a good reason not to live in New Zealand. I am finally ready to live in a smaller city now. The tides are turning and a record number of Kiwis have been making the move back home (as well as a lot more Aussies moving to NZ than in the past) and there are a lot less Kiwis moving to Australia in the first place. The New Zealand Economy is doing really well so there are less reasons for Kiwis to move away 🙂

  7. Love the photos, especially the one of Oneroa beach. It brings back great memories.

    Good luck with the move. It’s as if they’re singing:

    ‘And I know I’m right
    For the first time in my life
    That’s why I tell you
    You’d better be home soon’

  8. As a fellow NZ’er who has lived abroad for many years I can totally relate to the feeling of homesickness and pride in NZ. Good luck.

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