Monday, 30 March 2015

Thinking about the future... So many options!

So recently Dan has been getting some job offers from overseas.
While we are not really in a position to be leaving New Zealand right now, it is obvious to us that we're considering it in future. After all I'm studying towards becoming an ESOL / ESL Teacher. I've already got a fair bit under my belt for it. Which is why I'm pushing myself so hard to get the final 6 papers needed for me to graduate under my belt and under way.

I have plenty of worries on my mind about how moving overseas will work, there's so much to consider -

 Location - will we be in an Anglophonic region? Will we need to learn another language to do every day things? (Shopping etc.) If we do need to learn another language will we pick it up easily? I already speak, read and write some French - it's schoolgirl French and I'm rusty!

Where is Dan's job located? Will it be easy to find a job for me for when I join him?

How long will it take to get back to NZ if we need to say in an emergency? How much will this cost us? Or if a family member or friend is getting married... Or for a funeral... So many family emergencies that could happen. Can't deal with any of them until faced with them properly. The "what if's" don't help, but being prepared for travel if we did need to isn't a bad idea!

How easy would it be for our family and friends to visit and stay with us etc?

What is the income level versus expenses of living in that location?

Accommodation costs, including expenses for the bills. What is typically included in rent there? Would we pay extra for water, power, internet? How good are these services?

Every day living costs - food, travel to / from work (both there and for me in NZ while I'm studying)...

Is there good public transport? Would we need to buy a vehicle? Would I need to drive there? How would Dan get around without me? How would I get around without him?

Health Insurance & other Medical expenses - I have Asthma so need 6 monthly/ yearly appointments as well as regular prescriptions, and then there is also our contraception costs and prescription. (I currently use an IUD, which is good for 5 years, so I could have a new one placed before I left NZ.) The question of how their medical system relates and compares to what we're used to in NZ. I also have (rare) occasions of depression and anxiety so sometimes I need help for those. Dan and I are both aware of a few other health things we keep an eye on, such as our eyes!
We both wear glasses - so there's the cost of replacement for those when needed, as well as the yearly eye exams. If these are covered by insurance, or get done out of pocket.

Setting up the new accommodation as well as everyday things like a bank account, drivers licence and other ID transfers. I also drive (Dan doesn't) so there's a question of if I have my NZ drivers licence transferred and exactly how this implicates things (like if I end up back in NZ within the 5-10 years after doing so) and the financial implications related to doing so.

What is the climate there? Cold, temperate or warm? Would we be forced to buy lots of Warm clothing (and snow chains for the car?) or is it bikini weather year round? NZ is pretty temperate year round, and we both get grumpy if it's too hot (over 26'c)...

Job security - Can both of us can find jobs in that place. I have the downside of potentially being the person left in NZ until I've graduated with my BA. (Within the next 3 years). With the question over doing my post graduate study for my Teaching Diploma / Master's Degree in TESOL. (Or just travelling over as soon as I've graduated with my BA).

What options we have available to up skill in the jobs we find. Or will we be stuck at that position for a long period of time? Is there a chance of job improvement based on income changes (increases) or what other bonus' are there?

In my questions I have found some good stuff come out of it though - there are LOTS of websites for those questioning all of these changes like I am.

I'm also looking into the locations of the job offer given by the recruitment agency to Dan, to look into the expenses and general guidelines around that city / country. So far I only have one place I've semi-crossed off, but I'm willing to give anything a go to make it work. I just do not want to see us end up in debt over our choices of where to live and work. If it's not financially viable it isn't a good idea.
 Plenty of advice is to be found: Here's just 5 that I found quickly.

Tips for arrival

19 tips from expert Expats

Best cities to live as an expat - Best places to be an expat: the USA...
Worst (3rd most expensive city): London.

The 20 best countries to be an expat - Australia, Germany, and Switzerland.

Then there are LOTS and LOTS of Blogs from all over the world from Expats and where they share their experiences and stories from the road.
I already follow a number of these. I love that their stories show so much emotion from anger and disgust at being robbed, to happiness and joy of getting there 'just in time' for a special family event. To sharing dodgy accommodation and dodgier street food and sanity questioning taxi drivers...

Either way no matter what happens - one thing is for sure I'll keep blogging and sharing our journey as it goes. The next 2-3 years for me will be in NZ anyway to ensure I've graduated and got my BA.
There's so much to weigh up as individuals as well as a couple. 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Dan is 28 Happy Birthday honey!

Happy Birthday to the Best Boyfriend ever!**

On Saturday we held a surprise birthday party for him.
It was so hard not to tell him. I had to stay silent for an entire week - and we were together doing a bunch of stuff. 
It was difficult when friends saw us on the street and mentioned getting dinner "on Saturday"... 
I was sure Dan was catching on to the surprise! 

He also noticed I'd thrown a "few" (lots) of extras in the shopping trolley at the supermarket - things we don't normally get like fancy cheeses, wine and birthday cake supplies. 

When he asked me why I said the wine was in case we got guests (his Mum and Nanna are here this weekend, so it's plausible!) and the cheese and cake stuff I said "I just need it... like really. I need it. I'm thinking of doing some baking." (I don't normally do baking due to the flour allergy and Baker's Lung.)

Thankfully he didn't notice all of these little hints, and our friends were good once I'd contacted them *after* seeing them to let them in on their close call! 

Here are some of my favourite photos of my darling Dan from Melbourne travels, to exploring the waterfront...

 **His birthday was last Tuesday - the 17th of March.

A quick run down of how Dan and I met:
"But some people meet in a chatroom and sometimes on Facebook, which is how former New Plymouth couple Lisa Taylor, 24, and Daniel Ryan, 27 met.
Growing up in New Plymouth they had "heaps" of mutual friends, so ended up connected on Facebook. They chatted online for quite a long time, meeting in person when Taylor moved to Wellington.
"We had all these friends in common and we were like, 'How did we never meet in person before now?' "
Facebook worked for Taylor and Ryan, but AUT University psychology lecturer Dr Pani Farvid says research shows people rarely use Facebook for dating and hooking up because it is not very anonymous and people have to be more honest as to who they are."
Excerpt from Taranaki Daily News: Love-in-the-age-of-the-internet. (2013).

Monday, 16 March 2015

No Poo shampoo update.

I just realised today how long ago it was that I last did an update about my no shampoo challenge. I'm still going strong and my hair is still looking super crazy some days and perfect on others!
(Go figure).

Monday, 9 March 2015

Feeling the burn (out).

I don't know about you, but I've felt the burnout of something dragging on far too long, when in reality it hasn't actually been that much time in terms of my life's length. I'm 26, and studying since 2009 isn't actually that long (well this is year six of study, but I did take off one and half years of that)...
The things that drag on can be anything from arguments that really should have been resolved by now; to those activities that just drag on and on and on.

Ten things I adore

Being busy with university classes means I'm reading a lot and thinking about the things I love.

My current paper is looking at Banned Books and their ethics, role in society and the place they are within the literary world. So far we have had a Trigger Warning suggesting we seek counselling if we are triggered by any of the topics in the course. I have my counsellor on standby, I'm hoping I don't need to see her, but just in case...

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Dear Me

Dear Me,

Right now you'll be reading this and wondering how time has flown by. That university is nearing closer and closer to graduation.

The unknown is out there and ready and waiting to be explored. And learned. And then taught. If you can teach it, that means you've learned enough about it to do so... If you can't teach it yet, keep learning. Knowledge is everything.

Don't be afraid of failure - you're going to go far in your life and achieve a lot more than you even realise!

Confidence is key.

Confidence is wearing the clothing that makes you feel happy every time you put it on. That smile you wear when you're in your favourite outfit. That smile that others see when you're walking down the street and it makes them smile a little too.

You are you - unique. You're not a clone of someone else.

That moment when friends leave footprints in your heart & some of them may even have fur.

What-cha know about wearing a wolf on your noggin?

The above half of the blog post has a shout out to the Dear me videos.
Part two continues after the jump: