As some of you already know, Dom and I have recently relocated to New Zealand for awhile. We are currently living in Auckland.
This is the first time I live in a first world country in almost 8 years! The change has been drastic.
We took the decision to move to New Zealand while we were still in Tulum. It was a very last minute choice, we did not have much time to plan ahead.
Dom was offered a business opportunity that he decided to take, so we packed our bags and within almost no time we arrived in Kiwi land.
We were welcomed by rain and cold which persisted for months! Not a great start. On the other hand, it was great to be reunited with Dom’s family. Being around them was like a spot of sunshine in a land of mist.
I did not have any winter clothes and I refused to buy some! I was dressing in layers, onion style, to try keeping warm and I would’t leave my spot on a chair attached to the heater.
To be honest, up to now I still haven’t bought any winter clothes. Soon I will have to accept the fact that I will have to get ready for winter. I thought I had erased that word from my vocabulary forever.
Relocating to a new place is never easy. It takes time to adjust and to get used to the new environment and customs. It is especially difficult if the relocation does not involve tropical beaches, warm ocean, hippie lifestyle,
scuba diving and minimal clothing.
And it is even more difficult if the relocation is to a big city like Auckland and you do not like living in a city.
Oh my goodness! For me it was a proper culture shock! I had gone from living in hippy Tulum to a civilized and expensive “normal” world. I literally felt like Tarzan when he got taken out of his jungle and put in the city.
All I could think was: “Put me back where I was!” I feel like a fish out of water.
We have been here almost five months and I am still not entirely settled. New Zealand is a beautiful country but far from my idea of living my kind of lifestyle.
It takes time to fit in and to find your way in a new place, especially if at first glance it does not offer what you are looking for.
Changes are good anyway. Sometimes it’s good to do things you would not normally do to improve your way of life, knowledge and skills.
I have started to concentrate on things I always wanted to do but always found excuses not to. For example, since being in New Zealand I have started to develop my idea of working freelance from home.
I joined a freelancers’ website and really committed to follow through with this project. Now I am getting regular clients asking me for articles and translations. I am also occasionally doing some Social Media Manager work and I am working on improving my website developer skills.
These are great ways to start a life as a digital nomad, which means next time I will be on the move I will be able to sustain my living by working from a computer. And more important I will be able to live anywhere without having to worry about finding a physical job.
Even a situation that might not seem ideal at the moment, will turn out to be a productive and positive one. Patience is needed. I have to admit that most of the times when it comes to reaching my goals, I do not have patience. I want it all and now!
Here are my 5 tips to help easing the difficulties when relocating to civilization.
1) Keep an open mind – Try not to have expectations. It is good to have an idea of what it will be like, but at the same time leave your mind open. Do not set high expectations because if things are different from what you thought you will end up disappointed.
My idea of New Zealand was the one I made up in my mind when I came visiting in 2013. Of course the situation was different; I was on holiday, exploring and I knew I was here only for few months.
This time I came here for living, well at least for a while. It is a totally different story.
2) Focus on positive things – Ok, there are many things you might not like in your new settings, but surely you will find many things you like as well. Think about the little things you were missing in the old place and that you can now find in your new “civilized” country.
It could be anything, from a bottle of your favourite wine to a moisturizing lotion made from only pure natural ingredients found in nature. I can’t get enough of Sauvignon Blanc. New Zealand has the best one.
I know it might sound silly but at the end of the day is the little things that count.
3) Take up a new hobby (or pick up an old one you left aside) and discover new passions – Yes, why not? Depending on what the environment offers, you can choose your new hobby. You might not even have to spend any money on it.
I took up running again and loving it! It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and to keep fit at the same time. I used to run many years ago and then stopped. I tried to run a few times in Mexico but it was way too hot and not enjoyable at all.
New Zealand is perfect for it, bonus!
I have also ordered some canvas, oil colours and a set of paint brushes so I can start painting again. I used to do it often and I was getting good at it, then I stopped. Actually they just arrived today; I will soon put my Dali’ skills into action.
4) Be patient – It will take time to get settled and organize the basic of your new life. Give yourself time. There will be days when you just want to pack your bags and jet off to a tropical beach far away from everything. Hang in there.
Close your eyes, breath and remind yourself why you decided to make this move. If you made this choice, it must have been for a good cause.
5) Make the most of it – It is easier to say it rather than do it, but it is possible to make the most of a situation that does not seem ideal to start with.
Find your strength, look around with different eyes and most of all chill out and smile. It will come the time when you will proudly say: “I made it!”.
Whatever the reason and the length of your relocation will be, surely it will be a positive experience.
Patience is the virtue.
Having said that, I think I will always be a nomad. Some people are just born this way, it must be in the DNA.
Nowadays you can buy DIY home testing for many things. I should consider one for testing my DNA, maybe my ancestors were true wanderers from all corners of the Globe.
Do you have an experience to share? Drop me a line or post a comment below, I would love to hear about your experience.