Besides their national symbol being a rare, flightless bird who shares its identity with a fruit; there is a whole lot to love about Kiwis. It starts with the beauty of their outdoors and continues with the Kiwi diversity, many first or second generation immigrants.
I find myself falling in love with New Zealand more than any country I have visited thus far and these are my top 15 reasons why:
The longest drives still takes less than 30 minutes. It is a bonus that the beaches are often secluded and diverse—from forests to black sands to hot water and more.
2: Casual work is the norm.
It is common for people to work short-term or on “gigs” then spend the rest of their time traveling before repeating it all over again.
3: Government forms and processes are simple.
I got my visa online and once in-country, I filled out exactly one page to apply for my NZ Identification number.
I could tell you horror stories of my experiences with the French system.
4: It is easy to be myself—no makeup or fancy clothes required.
I showed up a professional job interview in business casual and was the most formal one in the room. The Kiwis appreciate a more low-key style.
The Kiwis understand and frequently use volunteer exchange programs to travel cheap.
7: I am never the only one singing along to the in-store radio.
I am not exaggerating when I say that each time I catch myself jamming to a song as I shop, I see someone else doing the same.
|Photo credit: James Parsons|
Like the beach, the bush is never that far either…
I routinely enjoy long conversations with complete strangers, all too often ending with invitations for tea at their residence or a place to stay if I visit their hometown.
10: Time off is a thing.
Public businesses run on schedules more in line with the government holidays. It is accepted that everyone take a break.
Kiwis have mastered the art of discussing strong opinions to even deep-seated issues without dramatically affecting their friendships. I appreciate that.
12: Running is possible at almost any point of the day.13: Organic and local consciousness.
The food standards are high, with a great emphasis on local and organic. All food products are also labeled with their origin and producer/distributor source in New Zealand.
The phrase "no worries" is synonymous with "thank you" here but I was still surprised that even the road signs have manners in New Zealand. Almost all the roadwork and construction sites say more than “slow down”, they say “thank you” too. Plus, there are virtually no billboards!
The Kiwi’s take people, things, and ideas as they are and hold each other to that standard.
I could go on, adding the fascinating star views (even in cities), glow worms grottos, lack of poisonous creatures, and all the wonderful assets that make this country unique.
It has been less than six months but the longer I stay, I find that New Zealand has picked up some of the best practices from the rest of the world. I continue to marvel in gratitude as I settle into this place I now call home.