Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cutting Bait

Today's post title refers partially a phrase that originated in the U.S., which we often referred to when talking about our situation here in New Zealand. It seemed to apply...sort of...

We're now at the 2 1/2 year mark on the NZ adventure. I have promised for a while to do a post on our 'state of affairs' here, but kept procrastinating. I actually had written a very long entry on this subject...but have subsequently deleted it, deciding it was too much information. Instead, thought I'd try a more summarised approach...which is still too long. /sigh

Not much new has happened. Jobs are the same. We're moving again soon (anyone know a good 2-bed, 2-bath rental in Wellington CBD?). We move every year. In related news, we have officially decided not to buy a house here. Houses are too expensive and not worth what you have to pay for them in Wellington. Instead, we are going to rent again - this time most likely back in the CBD (not the suburbs). The downside to this is that we'll be in the concrete jungle again, but the upside is that we'll be in walking distance to work (and just about everything else, including cafes, restaurants, theatres, bookstores and the waterfront). Urban living does have some benefits. In addition to value-for-money being a factor in our decision not to buy a house, the economic downturn is also a factor. Put simply, we don't feel comfortable tying up all our savings in a house at this time.

This decision is a paradigm shift for sure. Up to fairly recently, my strategy and thinking had been to work towards permanent settlement in New Zealand. That is no longer the plan. That's not to say it won't happen, it's just saying that I'm not working towards it (or pining after it) any more. I guess we'll just stay as long as we can -- as long as there's work to pay the bills. Although homesickness is deeply entrenched at this point (for me), the phrase 'you can never go home' also comes to mind. Things are a mess everywhere (economy) so for now it's best to just stay put and enjoy the scenery.

The realisation that things were going nowhere here was more than a little unsettling, but it was also liberating. It feels good to stop wondering if you are supposed to be doing something, to be going somewhere, working towards something. I personally have struggled a lot finding my sense of identity here (S less so) and have spent far too much time and effort in search of some intangible establishing of roots and finding my sense of place.

More of a go-with-the-flow approach will do me some good. I need to take advantage of the benefits of not being tied down to a house with all of the responsibilities that entails. I also need to see more of NZ while I have the opportunity, and not waste too much time sitting in Wellington. We plan to travel more, see more of the country -- and also perhaps Asia and more of Australia. Lastly, I have a trip back to the U.S. planned for October, 2009. I am looking forward to seeing friends and family again.

In two weeks is the Cuba Carnival, which we attended way back in 2007 not long after our arrival. S and I have booked a hotel room on Cuba street for the weekend so we'll be right in the middle of the craziness. Music and mojitos are on the menu and it should be a good kick-off to our 2009.

1 comment:

Marrisa said...

Good luck with the move. We have other friends also looking for a house CBD and having no luck (sorry!) but hopefully you will find the right one.

Hope all is well with you, been reading for a while, sorry for my lack of comments!

Take it easy guys and good luck x