Josh and Bonnie: Wild Buttercup
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- Jared - Moon Over Martinborough
- Katherine: Inquisitive Bird
- Becky: Beckoning Balance
- Julia: Expat Stories: The Search for Hobbits
- Kristen: The Bike Wife
- Abby: Poms Away
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Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to New Zealand, etc.
Hi! We’re Bonnie and Josh. Josh is the actual expat in NZ, because it is Bonnie’s passport country (though she grew up in Indonesia and still finds living in NZ an adjustment sometimes). Josh is originally from Mariposa, California, and moved to NZ to be with Bonnie in 2010. The plan was to complete our studies in New Zealand, and after a few years move to the USA for a bit, where Bonnie will become the expat!
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
We started blogging about travelling in 2011. After a while, we realized that there wasn’t much information out there about living as an expat in NZ, so Josh thought he would offer his perspective on the situation.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Our favorite blog entry, from an expat perspective, is this one: An American Expat in New Zealand: The Good, the Bad, and the Confusing.
Tell us about the ways your new life in New Zealand differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I did experience some culture shock. Some of the biggest differences I encountered were to do with the different way Kiwis say things compared to Americans. There is also a difference in humor. This all took a bit of time to figure out, and I am still in the process of figuring it out now! But, overall, the change from USA to NZ wasn’t as big a change as moving from the USA to Indonesia (for example).
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in New Zealand? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
Yes and no. I had visited NZ previously but the experience of living in NZ versus just being a tourist in it required more adjustment than I expected. It helped having a support system in place, in the form of my fiancée (now wife) but I still wish I had spent more time in the beginning forming friendships in order to speed up my adjustment into the culture.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
When I first got to NZ everyone assumed I was Canadian. At first I corrected them, but then I just let it slide because I discovered that Canadians are more popular in NZ than Americans are!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in New Zealand?
- Watch Flight of the Conchords before you go.
- Find accommodation with proper heating if you can.
- Remember to take the time to explore the country: there’s a reason so many people wish they could come here!
How is the expat community in New Zealand? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I am sure the expat community in Auckland or NZ’s other bigger cities is thriving, but where I was it was a bit harder to find fellow expats. Eventually I started working for another American expat and his wife, though, and was able to meet more expats through them.
How would you summarize your expat life in New Zealand in a single, catchy sentence?
Remember that the people are Kiwis, and the fruit is kiwifruit.