One Year

We hit a milestone.  We’ve been living in New Zealand for a year!  365 days away from Pittsburgh.  That’s about 355 days longer than ever before.  I feel like the past year has gone by in the blink of an eye.

I wish I had words of wisdom or that I was going to give you some sort of profound blog.  In all honesty, I’ve been struggling with what to write.  I feel like I have heaps to say and at the same time nothing to say.  The blog posts have been less than consistent this past year so that’s contributing.

So I’m going to give this a go and see how it turns out.

  • We’re in this weird vortex of speaking and writing differently. (As you can tell with heaps and “give it a go”).  It’s Kiwi words/phrases mixed with proper English (like England English…from the originators).   Some other examples are:
    • Reckon: What do you reckon? or Oh, you reckon?
    • To be fair: To be fair, we drank a lot more than them so we should probably just split this last beer (Anthony last night when his work beer-tasting event turned into us drinking way to much with brewers down from the North Island. He had a pretty rough Friday.)
    • Straightaway: I’m hungry let’s eat straightaway when we get home from work.
    • How you going? That’s the same as how are you or how are you doing.
    • Sorted: Anthony needed to get his shit sorted today.
    • Good on ya. That’s the same as good for you.
    • Give it a go: Same as give it a try. Do you want to try the new Thai restaurant in Riccarton?  Sure, let’s give it a go.
    • G’day (sounds like gudday): G’day mate, or G’day how you going?
    • Eh?: Not exactly the same as the Canadian eh but used almost as frequently, we use huh?
  • This vortex also involves writing. New Zealand follows UK English where Z is often S (i.e. realize vs realise) and using ‘our’ vs ‘or’ (i.e. colour vs color or humour vs humor).  It was a pretty easy adjustment at work since all software settings are in NZ or UK English.  It’s the messaging with Kiwis, Europeans, Canadians, and Americans when it can get very interesting.
    • Dates are in a different format DD/MM/YYYY. I’ve got the format down but I often still say it as an American.  I was working on a project at work where dates were involved.  I kept saying it as March 15th instead of the 15th of March while having it formatted as 15/3/2017.  It kept messing with my co-worker.   She never knew if I had it right or wrong and it would cause major issues with data if I had it wrong.
  • My pickiness with food is so much better than it was when we arrived. I think it is in part to knowing places where we like certain foods, me adjusting and expanding my palate, and cooking at home on a more consistent basis.
  • I’ve accepted and gotten pretty used to the 16 or 17 hour time difference with Pittsburgh. While I don’t particularly like it, I realize I can’t change it.  And I realize I can’t change how others deal with it.
  • I like having temperature in Celsius. I don’t even have to convert most of them in my head any longer.   I just know what they mean now.
  • Now on the other hand, the metric system and I still aren’t friendly. When I have to use Google maps I still often miss turns because I haven’t fully grasped meters.  And I’m not good with grams if I have to order at the deli or reference for a recipe.  When you weigh yourself in kilograms you don’t feel so bad about yourself when you gain .5 or 1 kg.  That is until you remember what that means in pounds and realize you are never going to be thin or fit while in New Zealand.
  • We’ve lived through all 4 seasons in NZ. Summer wasn’t as hot or humid while winter wasn’t as cold as we are used to.  We’ve heard last year was some of the worst weather people can remember in Christchurch.  I’m not so sure I believe them or let’s just say I’ll believe it when the weather is much better this year.  Oh, and not having central heat is just downright stupid in my opinion.  Some people don’t even understand what it is?!?
  • Laundry – During winter I felt like my week revolved around doing laundry. Since we have wet winters here it can take days for one load to dry (remember…we don’t own a dryer).  I don’t know how people with kids could possibly keep up.
  • We have “stuff” now. We have a microwave, a few decorations in the house, and just recently bought a clothes steamer because ironing is too much of a pain.  While it is so much less stuff than in the States, it’s still stuff.  I was actually thinking the other day that we currently have too much stuff.  I feel like it weighs us down.  I like the idea of being able to up and go without heaps of stuff.
  • When we first landed and went into CBD I noticed and focused on the devastation and destruction. I’ve done a complete 180 and only see the new and how far the city has come.
  • Homesickness – Yep, been there and done that a few times. If you read my last post it was pretty intense for a wee bit.  I want to assure you that it isn’t always like that.  I actually have my shit together a lot (okay, some) of the time.  I have had some of my highest highs and some of the lowest lows during our time here.  I think journeys like this make emotions very heightened.

So here’s the million dollar question….How long are we planning to stay in New Zealand??  We have no better answer than we had before we departed.   We do not have a foreseeable end date of living here.

Every once and awhile either Anthony or I will say how it’s surreal we live here.  We came up with an idea almost 2 years ago and followed through.  Because of that, New Zealand is now home.  There’s so much more to see, do, and accomplish.  NZ has been good to us so far so we are here to stay, at least for now.

In the town of Akaroa, which has a French influence.
Dolphin Boat Trip in Akaroa – at the entrance of Akaroa Harbour
Hector Dolphins, the smallest dolphins in the world and only in New Zealand. (Sorry about the random hand and head in the pic, we have great video but I’m sure we’ll never get it posted. We are also too lazy to crop or edit pics. Just trying to keep it real.)
Seals in Akaroa
Akaroa Harbour from Above
Winter in Arthur’s Pass, the Southern Alps
Devil’s Punchbowl
MOA’s at the Bealey Hotel in Arthur’s Pass. Backdrop of the Southern Alps.
Snowmen on our walk to Devil’s Punchbowl
At the Great Kiwi Beerfest, where we met some of the best people EVER! Maybe I should have posted pics of all of us instead of just the two of us.)
This guy is not one of the people I was referring to in the last pic. While I’m sure he is lovely he’s just a random.
Another random guy that we met but had good conversation about Colorado and their beer scene
We do know this guy. This is Andrew from Behemoth Brewing. If you love hops, then he makes beer you will enjoy. Oh, and he is married to an awesome person who happens to be American and is ‘Lady Butcher’. Entrepreneurs are pretty common in NZ.
Helping clean up after the Great Kiwi Beerfest, as you do when you know/meet good people. Anthony is taking after Tony D with his beer socks 🙂 .
Bay of Islands on boat day
Hole in the Rock
The North Island has a lot more Maori culture/influence. We can’t wait to spend more time there exploring.
Sunset on the car barge to Russell, Bay of Islands.
There’s heaps of sheep in NZ, especially on the South Island. These are in Godley Head about 15-20 minutes from our house. They’re the cutest!
Get ready for sheep overload pics. How can you not love that face?!?
More sheep
It’s so cool that you are walking/hiking and the sheep are this close to you and they don’t care that you are there.

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