So it’s been 3 months
Just the other day I had somebody ask me what my plans were for my time in NZ, whether or not I was going to stay for a year and then bugger off, or try to stay here. And what a good question it was. I didn’t (and still don’t) know the answer to that question since I hadn’t put too much thought into it. I mean, a year seems like a pretty long time, that’s 12 months, 52 weeks, 8760 hours. But then I realized that I’ve been in Auckland for 3 months already. That’s already ¼ of a year and it really put it into perspective.
But within the 3 months that I’ve been here, I don’t think I’ve really found a compelling reason to settle down here and stay. Maybe the first year I’m here will lead to me extending for another year after that, but I don’t see New Zealand as home within 5 years. Auckland itself is growing very quickly, and it’s a bit exciting to see changes in a city that is so similar to how Vancouver was maybe 20 years ago. But at the same time, the growing pains of the city leads to a sort of political dissonance between the citizens and the government. So many people understand the problems in transportation infrastructure and the issues with house insulation, yet not much is being done.
Moving to a new place, you will be hard pressed to not give up some of your former luxuries, and it really makes you question what is needed. When does “going outside your comfort zone” become more of a pain than simply an accepted challenge? I mainly moved to New Zealand because I wanted to challenge my character, and to develop myself by being forced to be in a new environment. So looking back, what have I accomplished, and what did I find difficult?
Making new friends
I’ve touched on this in my previous post, but making new friends is difficult for everybody. The act of going out, talking to people, connecting with them is usually not so easy. This becomes even more difficult when you’re trying to figure out what you enjoy doing, or are you doing it just because you want to meet people? I’ve found that it’s okay to have multiple groups of friends, for the different moods of your life. But at the same time, I think it’s also okay to have not many friends and just have people you see to remind you that you’re still a functional person of society.
Learning new things
This is vague on purpose, since learning is a continual process and it is tough to say what you actually learn if you don’t use it. I was originally going to say “trying new things” but that sounds even more cheesy. But for the most part, I have found that New Zealand uses meetup.com a lot, and it’s easy to find groups to do new things and try new stuff out. I’ve been filling my time mainly with tech related meetups but it’s refreshing to see how welcoming all the groups have been. Putting myself out there and just doing things has resulted in a great time.
Winning a tech challenge has definitely been the highlight of the first 3 months, and it has really sparked a fire within me to build more, and to find more like minded people to do the same. Often I wonder if I should be spending more time working long hours, writing more code, learning more, because I still can while I’m young. I’ll be looking to enter more hackathons and hopefully finding some hack groups to just bang out some random apps on a weekend, just good ol fun times.
But at the same time, doing one thing means you’re not doing something else. Often I find myself questioning if I should be doing one thing or the other. This seems silly, but I think I spend way too much time thinking about such things. Like if I should spend a weekend riding bikes, which is something I do quite often and really do enjoy, or if I should spend a weekend off on a road trip exploring something new. And I don’t have an answer on how to balance this dilemma which I face quite often. But this weekend I’ll be spending my time riding bikes.