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The sacrifices of living at the most beautiful place in the world

I live in the most beautiful place in the world. I truly believe that!

Still I live in a country that is very far away from it all and just can’t give you all the amenities that you are used to and may want.  If you decide to live in New Zealand, you have to make some sacrifices.  But don’t you have to make them anywhere in this world. Everybody who has left their home country has left it for a reason. The country they have settled to was also chosen for a reason.  So don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE New Zealand.  But today I am going beyond the sugar coating and give you an idea of the things in New Zealand that piss-me-off (pardon me) the most!!

I know this is not really usual for a tourism columnist to write about the bad things in a country.  Still I believe that in a relationship, between a person and a land, it is better to know where you are at. In fact I believe that counts for any kind of relationship.  So here’s the deal with New Zealand.

First you need to know that New Zealand is very remote. If you think Australia is a remote country, well we’re even further off. We have a very small population of only 4 million people, in a country that has the size of Germany or Britain. So everything is far away in New Zealand! Things take ages to get here and you pay a lot of money for imported good. Basically everything that is made in Europe and thus cheap in Europe is expensive here. E.g for the popular Italian chocolate spread you pay around 9 NZ dollars for a normal sized glass. But good to know for all chocoholics, you can get it here 🙂

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New Zealand Camper by Simon Steinberger

Let me start with the public transport system, if you can even call it that. It is almost non-existent. I once calculated that it would take me about 4 hrs. to get to work on public transport. It’s about a 30 min car ride. Lucky that I have a car! I did try the buses in Auckland at some point but gave up fairly quickly, as I did stand at a stop for hours. The train system in Auckland is alright. The trains are fairly modern and almost on time. Yet the train system is so minimalistic that you can’t even catch a train to the Airport. Auckland’s train system ends about 10 kms north of the Airport area. A little fact that is good to know when traveling toward Auckland Airport. That implies that you did in fact find the train station. The train stations in Auckland are tiny. Our biggest train station, Auckland Britomart, is less than a quarter of the size of Münster (my hometown) central station. For traveling in the rest of the country there are some tourism busses that travel from town to town, usually once a day. If you miss a bus you are left with the most reliable public transport in this country. Hitchhiking! J Keep in mind: A happy hitchhiker holds up both thumbs!

Another thing that I see as a sacrifice is the slow internet and the lack of technical development in general. In New Zealand we have broadband connections and it is impossible to get a home internet plan with no data limit.  It is good to know that when you are travelling the free internet along the way, is usually really really slow. So slow that it takes you about 2 minutes to load an email. Now you may think that I am exaggerating because I am used to fast European internet.  But sadly I am not. To be honest, I experienced internet in Central America, and the speed of internet over there is not really slower than over in New Zealand.  But again, it makes it easier to get rid of those nasty internet addictions we all have. 🙂

Ok guys, the next on is a though one, I still don’t know how I manage to live without. But New Zealand has NO EBAY! It is simply non-existent.  Instead they have a similar trading website that is only known in New Zealand. On that website everybody in New Zealand sells their boats, cars, houses and junk. That platform is not really as reliable as eBay, there are no secure payment options and the person that “bought” a product is not actually obligated to buy it nor has guarantee that they will ever receive it. So “eBay” in New Zealand is a bit like putting stuff in the newspaper and then going to people’s house to look at it. You bring some cash in case you want to buy it and then you negotiate a price on side.   I have actually seen a lot of Auckland and met many people that way J

New Zealand has a lot of nature, as nice as that is; it also brings bugs with it. The nastiest ones in NZ are the so called SANDFLIES, they look like little fruit flies but bite you like mosquitos. It is really a challenge to go to a remote beach in New Zealand without wearing you tropical strength mosquito repellent (the only thing that helps with sand-flies)

New Zealand fjord by <a href="http://pixabay.com/en/users/Simon/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Simon Steinberger</a>

New Zealand fjord by Simon Steinberger

Now that you’re already slapping some mossy repellent on don’t forget your Sunscreen, as the UV in NZ in extremely high. Everybody who has visited me in New Zealand got sunburn on their first day. As in Europe there are many choices for sunscreen strengths, starting from coverage as low as 2, thorough to 6 and 8. In New Zealand’s shops you have the choice between 30, 50 or Sun blocker. If that’s does not already give you a clue, you will know the day after your fist day in the Sun when you are embracing the Lobster-Look J

Now that you see what the downside of living in New Zealand is, you may understand why I love this country so much. Because that is it! I have nothing else to complain about paying too much for chocolate spread, some bugs, too much sunshine, or waiting for a bus come or a website to load. LUCKY ME

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15 comments on “The sacrifices of living at the most beautiful place in the world

  1. Megan on

    Great information!
    I’ve been looking at moving to NZ since I was 17. I’m thinking it’s finally time to really put that in motion later this year after I graduate Uni! I heard about the slow internet before which always worried me but I didn’t know about the other things… Still believe it’s the best idea to move there. 😀

    Reply
  2. Nishi Jain on

    I could make peace with all the lacks except slow/no internet! But then, with the beautiful NZ landscape before you, the internet will not be missed. Better than sitting with slow internet in a hot tropical country. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Charli l Wanderlusters on

    We’re currently exploring New Zealand and I sympathize with your musings! Our plan is to travel for 12 months and 4 months into our itinerary we’re still in love with the landscape. I must admit as I type this now rain is lashing against my window but I’m pleased to report my internet speed is rather good!

    Reply
    • Sina on

      Exploring New Zealand ey? I’ve been here almost 3 years and I still haven’t had enough. ( I don”t think I will ever get to that point)… what was your favorite place so far? Sorry guys, I didn’t mention that we do get lots of rain, especially on the North Island. But we have a saying in NZ: Don”t like the weather, wait 10 minutes 😉 So there will be dry spells with sun, even in winter. Fast internet? Wow.. where did you find that? Must be in a city. In Auckland they have actually just introduced 4G internet (and city Auckland only). So I guess the internet problem will be solved one day.

      Reply
      • Charli l Wanderlusters on

        We use skinny mobile data when we are on the road and then IAC and IKS when in camp sites. We’re managing to keep up with all our freelance projects ok so it’s doing the job. It’s just so dam expensive!

        Reply
  4. travelyn on

    Weel you havn’t put me off visiting NZ. I have seen so much beautiful scenery of NZ over the years its still on my bucket list. The beauty has to make up for any shortcoming. Enjoyed the post.

    Reply
  5. Si @ Man vs World on

    I hear ya buddy and I agree with much of what you’ve said. I’m a Kiwi who just moved to Auckland after living in London for five years and find it incredible how poor the public transport here is. You think it’s bad in Auckland? It’s even worse in the rest of the country!

    Sometimes I think us travelling types have just seen too much and now we want to live in a place that combines all the best parts of all our favourite destinations!

    Reply
  6. Danielle Muller on

    Great post – very honest and insightful. With any country you’ll get your vices but the pros in NZ especially in the South by far over compensate. Besides the transport, eBay etc glad your enjoying your stay. I hope to revisit my sister country soon. Love the place and miss the Ferburgers in Queenstown – if you haven’t tried its a must . Happy travels.

    Reply
  7. Suzanne Fluhr (Boomeresque) on

    New Zealand was on my father’s bucket list. He didn’t ever make it there. He was in the hospital (or just in hospital as you would say) in 2002 when we were going on our first visit to NZ and I was going to cancel my trip, but he said he would refuse to leave the hospital if we didn’t go, so we went. We only visited the South Island and hiked the Milford Track. The end of the Track (where you have to wait for a boat), is named “Sandfly Point”. There’s a reason they named it that! But, we weren’t bothered by them during the rest of the hike. You just have to be careful that a kea (alpine parrot) doesn’t steal your stuff. (Do you realize that my spell check thinks I spelled Zealand wrong? This is another problem with being a remote country with a small population. No respect from Spell Check). Our second trip was to the North Island to visit some Kiwi friends. It reminded me of Seattle. Here’s my favorite NZ joke. Question: What’s the 8th wonder of the world? Answer: A Kiwi with a return ticket.

    Reply
  8. Elle-Rose Williams on

    I totally agree about the sandflies – they can be a nightmare! The first time we visited the North Island beaches I wasn’t eaten alive by them! We lived in NZ for 6 months though, and never had too much of an issue with the WiFi…. sure it’s not super fast, but it never annoyed us or bothered us too much. Great blog post! xx

    Reply
  9. Awnings Sunshine Coast on

    This view is really beautiful. The building is located at excellent location. The view of the lake from the window is awesome. By using different models of window furnishings like shutters, blinds, awnings etc, we can watch and enjoy the beautiful nature from inside. Here they were used good window furnishing for that view. Thanks for posting this!!!

    Reply