Why New Zealand?
Hamilton Travel Blog› entry 19 of 28 › view all entries
â€˜How come that you live in NZ for a while?â€™ Natives have asked me this question more than once or twice.
The answer is as easy as complex! Thatâ€™s the reason why I wonâ€™t just give the simple one sentence structured answer because it would be unfair and never enough!
Before I came to NZ I had have to choose between three countries (or better I gave me the choice between three countries - difficult enough), where I wanted to spend the next year.
Of course, there were many other reasons, which came along as well. Itâ€™s obviously that Germany and NZ arenâ€™t next-door neighbours (even somebody with less sense of directions notices that ;-)) so that means there have to be a lot of interesting differences compared with my home country. Here are a few of them: the location much closer to the South Pole, the totally different culture, the climate, the beautiful landscape, the history, the language, the food, the lifestyle, foreign traditions â€¦ Yeah, a lot to discover! Letâ€™s go!
New Zealand or â€˜The Land of the Long White Cloudâ€™ (â€˜Aotearoaâ€™ in Maori) is known for its kiwis (birds and fruit), more than 40 million sheep, unbelievable varied landscape (even more since â€˜The Lord of the Ringsâ€™ movies) and the Maori culture.
I admit some common and daily life experiences have been quite a challenge or a change but why would I travel if I werenâ€™t highly interested in fantastic new ways of life?
First of all I noticed the friendliness of the people! Everybody is greeting and a thereâ€™s always time for a welcoming smile. I also believe the New Zealander have a great sense of community. Many people are very involved in volunteering or in all kinds of different social activities. Everybody is busy but in a positive and helpful way and, of course, fun doesnâ€™t go short, too. Just relax and take it easy!
I felt welcome straight away and was also surprised when a few newly met friends told me their German vocabulary that they had learned years and years ago. I tell you; they tried everything to let me know that I was very welcome indeed.
I really appreciate the relaxed lifestyle, which is an enormous contrast to my used hectic and correct organized routines at home.
The kiwi food is both a bit deterrent (to me as a vegetarian) and really varied (to my absolutely sweet tooth). Native New Zealanders love their barbecues and fish dishes. I absolutely love the Edmondâ€™s baking and dessert recipes (Edmondâ€™s is the most traditional recipe book here)! Iâ€™ll take quite a lot of them with me back because I never want to be without mud cake, chocolate self-saucing pudding, cupcakes and scones again.
The biggest change came in wintertime. You definitely canâ€™t compare NZâ€™s architecture and heating mentality with ours. Iâ€™m used to solid, well-isolated houses with central heating in winter.
Another new impression, which I enjoy every single day, is the different flora and fauna. I absolutely like the big palms in the gardens, the foreign bird noises and NZâ€™s Silver Fern. The Silver Fern (a tree fern) became an unofficial symbol of the country and even though youâ€™re not interested in plants you have to notice the sign or the name because the Silver Fern is the symbol of the â€˜All Blacksâ€™ (rugby team) and also the name of NZâ€™s international netball team â€˜The Silver Fernsâ€™.
Apropos netball, Iâ€™ll really like this game and Iâ€™ll miss both the national and international tournaments! Netball is similar to basketball somehow even though itâ€™s much less rough, the professionals are just women (Irene van Dyk, Maria Tutaia or Casey Williams) and scoring is more difficult because of the missing board behind the hoop.
There are hundreds of other nice impressions, experiences and aspects I could tell because they're so special.
Iâ€™d like to answer two more questions asked by a kiwi friend of mine now. The first was â€˜Did you regret your decision to come to NZ?â€™ - " No no never!!