The Lessons I Learned By Living in New Zealand

When we decided to move to New Zealand, I made a list of the reasons why we wanted to move and what I wanted to get out of our experience. Well, I far surpassed those expectations! I learned and grew beyond my imagination. Here are some of the lessons I learned by living in New Zealand.
I have had to learn to be wiser in my consuming and conserve. Our home is not hooked up to the city water but has a water tank that we get our water from. It fills up with rain water and that’s the water we consume. If we use a lot of water, then our tank becomes empty faster. In the drier months, I’ve had to learn to take shorter showers, careful in our dish washing, and wise with our water use. It is a precious resource that we take for granted when we have an endless source.
Our rubbish is also different than the states. We don’t have a large bin that we can fill up each week. We have to buy individual rubbish bags so the amount of rubbish that we throw away, we have to pay for. So we’ve had to learn to be wise with our waste. The less we consume and buy, the less we have to throw away.
I have learned to be less wasteful and to consume less. We lived a life of excess and I learned to cut back and conserve. I love the simplicity!
Be Friendly
It was really intimidating moving to a new country and having to start completely from scratch to make new friends. About 90{179783934889d100e7f719b3668747b043c6f5c7faae1d7c605a8698652824b4} of the the friendships that I made outside of church were initiated by myself and it was so hard to put myself out there.
Kiwis are very kind, once you get to know them. But, in general, they are not outgoing. If I didn’t have a church community with loving & embracing people and I didn’t put myself out there in other situations, living in New Zealand would have been very lonely and sad.
I did an experiment on one of my son’s sports teams and just showed up to his practices without initiating conversation with any of the parents on the team. I went the entire year without anyone ever coming up to me and talking to me. That’s really sad.
So, from my experience here, I have learned that I always want to be extra friendly. I want to remember how I felt being the outsider and being lonely. It’s always best to kill people with kindness than to stay in your comfort zone and assume people have friends. I want to be inclusive and kind. It doesn’t feel good to be ignored and I don’t want to treat people that way.
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Life in my bubble is comfortable. But it can also be boring. Moving to another country forced me to get outside of my comfort zone. By doing so, I made great friends, had amazing experiences, stretched myself, and grew. My time here was so much more enriching getting out of that bubble. My life was fuller and more meaningful.
Be Spontaneous
I am a creature of habit. I like routines and schedules. But I’ve learned that it’s ok and fun to be spontaneous. When a friend texts and wants to meet at the beach when I should be cleaning or working, I learned to say yes instead of pass. Strengthening those relationships is so much more important than some chores. And it’s definitely more fun!
Chill Out
Back to routines and schedules. I like order. But sometimes life is better when you just chill. I’ve learned to not be so up tight with things going differently. Kiwis have a very laid back and chill attitude and are very easy going. Embracing that attitude has helped me let things go more. To enjoy life more. To sit back and relax and to not let the little things bother me so much.
I can honestly say I am a different person after living in New Zealand. My heart has grown and I’ve learned to chill more and enjoy life. We have had some amazing experiences in New Zealand, but the lessons I learned are the most valuable and I’ll cherish them forever.