Image

Another home away from home!

Going back to Abu Dhabi after being away for more than 3 months makes me realized that I am actually missing my good life here as a mom and as a person. It took me awhile to adjust (not that easy) but I did and I started to be happy! I was busy with lot’s of things going on around me. School events, volunteering, watching my son doing his sports, meet ups with 3 groups of friends, family time, even errands I find it good as it’s my me time to be alone and do some houseworks and I do love cooking, little luxuries in life  (that we cannot do in NZ) like some brunching (in 5*hotels) with friends and family, theme parks, fine dining and more travels.

The lifestyle here that I became adjusted to really makes me wonder why life keeps giving us a crack after I finally settled in.  So yes, we’re back to New Zealand and so many things had happened while we were away for 4 years!! Life is not the same anymore or perhaps I am not the same anymore. (Sigh!)

Coming back here in AD for a quick visit so our family can be together again.  Life sometimes sucks being an expats but it also gives you a lot of opportunities and new perspective in life that we didn’t know before.

So shall we go back for longer period in the land of the desert and opportunity?  I don’t know.  Guess I just leave it for the fate to pick us up and go with the flow. It happened before so I won’t be surprised if it happened again.  So far all I know is… this is another home away from home!

Advertisements
Image

Going back home to Aotearoa

“The thrill of coming home has never change” … by Guy Pearce

Perhaps some of you who is new to my blog are wondering where is this destination?  Is it a Country, a City or a Town?  AOTEAROA is a Maori name for NEW ZEALAND.  Nope NZ is not in Europe!! Some people asked me before where in Europe haha!  It is actually closer to Asia than in Europe hence a part of Oceania. It is a part of Australiasia where Australia is included.  But never ever say we belong to Australia or inside Australia.  There you go!

I have done my research as I heard that being a repats anywhere in the World will never be the same as coming back home after a long absence, rather it is the same feeling as being an expat in your own Country.  Anyway… my experience is so far it’s good the only complain I can say is all my friends are too busy since they are mostly working mom’s (as I used to before).  I miss the rush and being busy as it’s a different life here in NZ compared to the lavish mom’s of leisure that we can afford to in Abu Dhabi.

Here the reality now in Auckland you may be interested to know just in case you are wanting to relocate here or also like me as a repats.  It’s a mix of good and bad.

  1. The housing prices have gone up so high!! More demand less supply, unfortunately from an average $500K before 4-5yrs ago it is now $650- to a million $$$ based on average but good location and yes a brand new car is expensive too because of the taxes.
  2. Strictly zoning for schools as the population is getting bigger thanks to BREXIT and TRUMP.  I am sure you can figure it out.
  3. Schools are very RELAXED here for Primaries compared to other Countries.
  4. You don’t know your neighbors anymore as some are gone or sold their houses and those who stays have a boarder to afford the mortgage payments overcrowding the street now with cars parked off street that cannot fit in their garage or driveway.
  5. Road works everywhere.  When I left it in June 2015 they started to do the road widening and some sort of beautifying if you can call it that.  Then the Waterview TUNNEL to airport came into fruition last July 2017.
  6. The City looked less of a beauty with so much road works and reconstruction of some buildings.  Main train station was already beautiful before but now half closed for reconstruction.  I even got lost 2x walking around because I am looking for the Westfield Mall with a nice bench area outside for people on the go having a quick lunch or a chat with their mates.  It’s all closed for public and looked like a big mess!  Same with my own town, though more improvements and new establishments around.
  7. Speed cameras and from 50kmph for the main roads they are thinking to implement 30kmph in the City Centres and around which is ridiculous! (Motorway 100kmph). You don’t want to be caught up speeding in there haha! It can cost you your day salary.  Coming from the “fast and the furious City of Abu Dhabi”  which is a normal 80kmph for the main roads and from 120-140kmph for the motorway, it is harder to get adjusted to but necessary to learn how to be SLOW around NZ. (BTW… we drive on the left side of the road here, pls take note!).
  8. Some grocery food items gone up and some remain the same or even surprisingly cheaper because of competition.  If you are in the foodcourt BK can cost from $5 and that’s already a combo (didn’t change) to some food stores with rice meals with a drink costing from $16 combo which was $14 before.  BTW… some tourists says that our beef here is so much better and you can taste the difference in BK or McDo.  But you will be happy to find that SUSHI and other Japanese foods are cheaper compared to the UAE.  Thanks to some Japanese immigrants who established their restaurants and food stalls in the mall.
  9. Unfortunately, finding a job won’t be as easy as before.
  10. Some law changes and rubbish collections which we now have to buy a ticket per bin which is cheaper if you don’t have enough rubbish (you can wait to 2 weeks to fill up) and to those with large families, the bin may never be enough.

There you are…  so far this is what I realized coming back home. But hey, anywhere you go you will encounter bad politics, problems and inconveniences… at least here in NZ for sure this is the reality… RELAXED LIFESTYLES!!!

Queenstown, NZ; vinnevefoto

But if you can live simply and try to be content with what you have… NZ is a great place to live especially raising your children.  If you love sports there are some for you and your whole family to join.  Nature is at it’s best here so you will not be dissapointed how beautiful it is here better than a poster card.  Parks are everywhere in every town and Cities and yes it is free.  Hiking or trekking is of minimal fees just be sensible when doing it for the first time as some trails is not that easy especially if it’s damp.

Arrowtown, NZ; vinnevefoto

I live in the WEST so as what they say… West is BEST.  We are just  less than an hour away from the beach or the open sea as well as the Mountains.  We both have it all here.

WesternSpringPark, vinnevefoto

Nevertheless… I won’t discredit my life in Abu Dhabi as it was the most convenient and luxurious life I ever have in my life!  Though it’s a desert and it can get to 50 degree heat plus some limitations, still anywhere you go there is no perfect place.  There’s always something not to your liking.  I say I am happy to have experienced both Worlds.

AucklandZoo, vinnevefoto

I leave you now with Thanks for reading and let me know some thoughts that would be great to read your comments RE your experiences as a repats or as an expats.  Soon (I hope) I will post our brief holiday in QUEENSTOWN.  Please hang on.  Cheers!!

Image

Rush and a very busy days of March in Abu Dhabi.

As some of you may know that we are moving back to our home country New Zealand but are retaining our residency in Abu Dhabi just in case we need to move back to be whole again with the family.  

Anyway… life became so very busy last March and it seems everyday is a blur because of so many things to do and many people to meet to say goodbyes to before we leave temporarily.  I say temporary because I realized since becoming an expats the only thing constant is CHANGE.

So here are the ones you would like to try out for yourself when you get to Abu Dhabi.  We definitely did all these things before leaving.  Oh and we left at the right time as I heard it is now getting hot, early for Summer time!

  1.  Meet with some old or new friends and do BRUNCHING.  This is sort of like the normal thing expats do once in weekdays if you have time but mostly over the weekends.  You will be amazed how can you be greedy with foods and will love taking photos of it as they are so pretty for FB or Instagram not to post.
  2. If not brunching, then meeting friends or family in the coffee shops and they are tons of them around in and out of the Island.  FYI, in our area we have a mom’s group that meets once every week and it is actually enjoyable talking to each of them and seeing how they are after a week or two of challenging days if any!
  3. Attend some Women’s group or any other types of group as what they say “nobody will be left out alone!” it is easier to get depressed in the Summer heat of the desert and being with new people and mingling around would definitely HELP.  Of course you will get to find your long time friend even as an expats and you know what? I even stayed with one of them in Germany for a holiday!  See my old post.
  4. Go and buy yourself all the FUN things to do like Theme Parks in Abu Dhabi.  There are 3 to choose from:  Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and Warner Brothers.
  5. Go for a walk yes after the heat is gone in the late afternoon but when we did it was winter time.  Lot’s of parks in Abu Dhabi especially family parks like the Mushrif Park as per its old name or now it’s called Umm Al Emarat Park.
  6. Enjoy all the pristine waters of Abu Dhabi beaches or if you prefer a swimming pool as every hotel offers some family/ friends packages that includes food and a pool or other services.
  7. GLAMPING – this one we did in Ras Al Khaimah or better known as RAK for short.  It is one of the Emirates and also a beautiful place to enjoy beach resorts, water sports, hiking and camping or much better GLAMPING as per my previous post please click the link on the highlighted word.
  8. Sporting events there are abundant of this prior to Summer and you can actually join in even as a visitor.  Here are the photo from Al Hudayriat Island.
  9. And of course SHOPPING for your last-minute things to buy because it is double or triple the cost in your home Country!
  10. Do not forget the Cultural haven in Sadiyaat Island Louvre Abu Dhabi.  Please check my previous post about this as per highlighted link.  This is not the only one museum in the City so please do check them wherever you may be.
  11. I almost forgot … LADIES NIGHT!! Yep, it’s awesome for us women as we get FREE drinks and in some places there’s also a FREE food.  Two of my favorite bars/places to go are ECLIPSE inside Four Seasons Hotel they offer 3 free drinks and a plate of sushi!! and LOCA an award winning Mexican restaurant and bar offering 5 free margarita flavoured drinks!! Well the foods are great and you can share with your friends and have fun!  We all are momshies and our husbands were good enough to take care of our children.  Good eh? Cheers to that! 😉
Related image

credit to LINK

 

 

 

Image

W.O.T.D. – Expectation & Worth

Related image

Here I go again… 

It’s been hard for me to write this post as I seemed lost for words and it takes time to tell you dear readers… I will finally coming back HOME.  I sure hope it is still “my home” though as I am a bit afraid after about being an expat for more than 3 years without even visiting the place unlike many other expats.  I have been to anywhere except holidaying in my home Country isn’t it weird?  It’s because of the tedious flying time of 18 hours straight or cut it in two to Australia 14 hours + Auckland 4 hours = 18 hours. Which is better?  Even going back to my birth Country for a holiday is more or less 9 hours away from where we are at the moment (Abu Dhabi) which is really in the middle of  Europe and Asia.  So going to Australasia down under so to say… feels like so far far away!!

WOTD Expectation

What to expect?  I am freaking out actually.  I heard so many stories about expats coming back home realizing it’s NOT the same as before or perhaps WE ARE NOT THE SAME AS BEFORE?.  Even the roads will not be the same as when we left New Zealand in 2015 there are a lot of road works going on and adding some lanes and a tunnel etc.  I’ve read that the almost rural place we go to for Farmers Market are now in demand and becoming a posh suburbs that we cannot even afford to buy a small land. Auckland is now one of the most expensive Cities in the World.  Though our place is farther away from the City it is still ridiculously expensive!  Good thing we have a house to come home to.  There’s a scarcity in the housing market.  A big problem indeed.

I think it’s better NO EXPECTATION.  It can save me from whatever fear facing the future.

WOTD Worth

One thing for sure we will try to make this worth it.  My son is growing and need more stability as for the past 3 years or more he has been to 3 different schools.  Yes, it’s hard to say goodbye again.  I cannot say No to being an expat again if this is the only way our family can stay together.  Depends on the next contract of hubby.  Just hoping he will also come home to us for good, that would be great! though not financially.

Now that I finally adjusted to the life here, I will miss a lot of brunches, friends parties, events and celebrations around here.  I surrounded my life with many groups of mom’s like me in school, in our place, my closes friends and even acquaintances. FYI, I am one of those they call “trailing spouse” so yes I choose not to work (after working almost my whole life in 3 different Countries) so I am the nanny of my own child but unlike with nannies, I have a much better social network. It took me two long years to finally adjusted and accepted the life here and now we have to go for personal reason that cannot wait.

Life is easy here and less stress (except when driving haha!!) and I get used to this somehow that having to begin a new life in NZ seems a bit scary though exciting too to be honest.  So many things to do and see places perhaps seeing it as an expat.  We have to be re-acquainted to the Country.  I am hoping we can adjust quickly… hopefully!

Anyway… I often read some advice and hopefully I can be able to apply on it.  Here’s the LINK1 and LINK2 if you are curious and have time to read.

Are you an expats who came back home after years of life overseas?  Please tell me your stories and perhaps I can learn from those.  Feel free to give me an advice.  Thanks!

Any expats coming home to New Zealand like me?  Let me know or you can PM me.

Thanks for reading and cheers to the next journey!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image

Journey from the past to the present.

Image result for journey life quotes

Truly, I already started practicing what the quote is all about just late this year … 3 years later!  For sure, I am not the only one and I did try my best.

Another blogger that I am following gave me an inspiration and insight about my topic today. He gives good advises & can explain better than me about what a topic is about… his name is Drew and here is his LINKEnjoy reading!

His post about “Navigating Life” and I can’t help but to answer in my mind the questions asked in his seminar at work that he put in his blog and explained.

Here’s the thought:

  1.  The most important thing is where you are right now.  I now realized that I was focused on  the “the life I had before”  that it’s hard for me to let go and accept what are the good things staring in front of me… yes where I am right now.  I keep comparing but the reality is, it is not fair to compare “a kiwi to a date!”  if you get my meaning.  Where I am right now is with my family and hope to stay that way.
  2.  Appreciating what you have I started to see and appreciate what life has to offer for us in our current situation.  Nowhere else we will feel these “benefits” and gain more insights about the World and having an “expats (extra-ordinary) life”  if we stay put in our comfort zone.
  3.  It’s better to have plans and if one is a failure then you have many other options in place.  I often think that after we finished our journey here, that I for one, will be back in my hometown, home Country.  I guess now it’s different.  I am now open to possibility of saying… “it may not be, yet…”  OR “will see what other opportunities out there” OR  “we can always go back anytime”  as I cannot decide just for myself since having a family, it’s all for one and one for all!  Plan A, B, C’s are the best way for us to go ahead.  Life’s journey is never easy but somehow we will decide what’s best for our family one contract at a time!

I leave you with another quote and maybe some of you readers can also relate to my post.  Feel free to comment and I will truly appreciate it.  Thank You for your time.

Image result for appreciation quotes

Image

Wondering & keep wandering!

It’s been a very long time since I post about what’s going on in my brain haha!  Every one of us are wondering what the future brings and what to do in life that will make us a better person or be successful and get what we want in life.

Being an expat is not that easy.  I keep on missing the old life and my home Country but come to think of it, I may not have this chances if we stay in our comfort zone.  Sure, it’s not an easy road but hey, I came back to where I belong I guess.  I will keep on wondering and wandering as both keeps my brain going.

So much for my riddles.  Allow me this time to show you some but not all, of the places that I have seen and experienced in my life and how beautiful our World can be.  I can never experience this if I don’t come and follow my heart.  Life for sure will be more different. More important is, I am with people who matters most and that is my FAMILY.

img_0539

Fronalpstock, Switzerland

20170808_134223

Venice, Italy

Simple Beauty

Paris, France

20170717_115859

Frankfurt, Germany

20160212_144815

Miracle Garden, DUBAI, UAE

20151030_140031

Dead Sea, JORDAN

SDC14032

Rotorua, New Zealand

SDC14848

Bali, Indonesia

SDC14922

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

SDC14704

St.Mary’s Church, Sydney, Australia

IMG00477-20101106-1232

Piha, West Auckland, New Zealand

20160715_165805

Milan, Italy

20171113_092205

Stilts in Calatagan, Batangas Philippines

20180507_180621

Las Casas @Bataan, Philippines

Image

How NOT to love you?

This is for the Daily Post:  STORY

This post meant for yesterday IF I wasn’t busy crying my heart out @11:35am.  So please allow me to have this post to remember her.

And Daily Post: FACT to help you in taking care of a bunny.

UPDATE:  WOTD: Missing,  Daily Post : SUDDENLY

20180226_165950.jpg

My bb Grey, vinneve

I wasn’t that keen to have you at first but I brought you into our lives for my son.

It ended up that I will be the one needing YOU.  Attention, companion and friendship.

Never thought a little bunny can easily stole my heart from day one we brought you home.  I was afraid to love again.  I might get too attached but we have good plans for you my dear Grey.  How not to love you?… You are funny and was surprised that also very affectionate aside from being so adorable!  I thought a rabbit is not that great but I was so wrong!  You are like a puppy that greeted us everytime but independent like a cat. What can I ask for? ideal pet indeed.  You are there when I need one to talk to, to cuddle.  You show your affection freely by nibbling gently my fingers or licking it and wanted to be petted.  Just like a dog or a cat indeed.

Unfortunately… before I leave you to go to another place… you left me first.  Yesterday.

I will always LOVE you forever you are in my heart.  See you in the rainbow bridge!

20180305_093441.jpg

Grey waiting for her meal, vinneve

Please click the LINK below for your information especially if you have a pet rabbit.

FACTS how to raise rabbits from Wikipedia

Precautions are best after rabbit dies of sudden death

13 Most Common Causes of Sudden Death in Rabbits