Everybody has their own reasons for emigrating. It may be for opportunities that you can see, change of lifestyle, personal growth, or it may be that family or friends have already gone before you and are urging you to join them, but you need to be sure of your own reasons before you go.
People often ask us why we came to New Zealand. It does not matter what reasons you give to family and friends, or to people you meet in the future, but it is vital that you know the answer yourself.
Think hard about why you really want to go. Remember, you are making a decision that could turn your world upside down (literally!) you need to make sure that you are emigrating for the right reasons. Whatever you are like in England, you will be the same in New Zealand - if you cannot bear cooking, or DIY in England, then a twenty four hour plane ride won’t make any difference.
This point was brought home to me very forcefully a few weeks after our arrival in New Zealand. Our nine year old daughter came home from school, worried because she had a times tables test the following Friday. It came to me in a flash that you cannot run away from yourself - if you do not know your times tables in England, you will not know them in New Zealand.
Take time to analyse why you want to uproot and travel half way round the world. Also think about what you want to do when you get there. The more thought you give it and the more you find out about New Zealand before you make your decision, the greater the chance you will make the right choices.
The process of emigrating is probably different from anything you will have experienced before. The New Zealand Immigration Department in England, is ‘off hand’ to the point of being almost dismissive. You can become involved in a game of ‘wanting to win’ .
I was speaking to a recent immigrant only the other day and he summed it up quite succinctly when he said “I thought the place must be paradise because they made it so hard to gain entry”.
Be careful not to become obsessed with the idea of gaining acceptance into New Zealand before you have decided it is what you really want to do. Like the young bride-to-be, it would be foolhardy to become so involved in the wedding preparations that you ignore the fact that the groom spends every weekend down the pub with his mates!
I would like to suggest that you take the time out now to analyse just why you want to emigrate and what you hope to gain. There are no right or wrong answers, simply a guide for a realistic self examination.
So take a pen and paper and firstly write a list of how you spend the average week and what you do in your spare time. Think back over the previous year to cover seasonal hobbies, sports and holidays. You may find it useful to check on the calendar, or diary, to give yourself a clearer picture of just how you spent the past year.