New Zealand

Nelson Update: My First Month Abroad

August 15, 2015

This week marks one month of me moving to Nelson, New Zealand! Time really flies. Uprooting my life and moving across the world has been difficult at times (not complaining though) so I haven’t been able to give as many updates as I have wanted!

The trip over here was extremely stressful. New Zealand is 17 hours ahead of Minnesota so I didn’t have jetlag, but I was very mentally and physically exhausted from traveling. Although I got to stop in Fiji, I’m not sure if I would do it again in that order. Packing to move abroad was hard enough and then it was super sucky to have to haul all that luggage around with me in Fiji. I am alive and well though (and never got bed bugs) so that’s what’s really important.


My roommates are a blast (except for when they beat me up) and you can read more about them here. I didn’t work my first week here so I relaxed, walked around, bought things I needed, and watched a lot of movies. Now that I think about it……I’m not sure if I have ever watched as many MTV music videos in my life as I have during my time here.

I got super duper sick on my second week in Nelson. I think this is also when my homesickness started to kick in. I never really had homesickness when I got sick in Fargo but the fact that I was in a new place and didn’t have the comfort of knowing I could hop in a car and be home made it worse.

I underestimated the temperatures here in Nelson. I was laughing at their “winter” temps before I came here and I’m not laughing anymore. Our house isn’t insulated and we only have a fireplace so I am basically freezing to death. I learned how to start a fire though so that’s a plus! Can you get a badge for that when you’re an adult??


Cunningham Communications office

My job is ahhh-mazing. I am a Junior Consultant for Cunningham Communications and I am loving it. It’s exactly what I want to be doing and I have a lot of freedom in creativity. I spend a lot of time writing, developing strategic communication plans and meeting with clients. My boss is an incredible role model; she knows a lot about public relations and I have so much to learn from her. Our office is above a small cafe called Cafe Affair and there are a few other individual companies on our floor. I have been doing some seafood sales work for one of the other companies (of course I got a second job L O L) and my boss for that is hilarious. On Fridays we have drinks in the office.

The most difficult thing for me at work has been adjusting my language and spelling to New Zealand standards. In words like realize or conceptualize, they spell it as realise or conceptualise. Center is spelled centre and color is spelled colour. Even in normal conversation there is a ton of kiwi slang that I’ve had to learn to understand what is happening in the conversation. I created a list of some of my favorite and most used kiwi slang terms here. 


My new car

I FINALLY GOT A CAR!!! I’m a very independent person so going a month without a car was not easy for me. Now I’ll be able to do some more traveling, yay!

I’m still in shock of how expensive gas is here. When I first arrived I was excited because gas was only about $2.25. Then I found out that was per liter. So that’s almost $9 a gallon………..

Although my homesickness hasn’t been overwhelming, I am so thankful for the digital age. Being able to Skype or message my friends and family has made it so much easier to adjust. It also helps that I’m in basically the pretty place in the world….

Today I wanted to take a quick look around before I had to do some writing so I went out to Cable Bay. Ugh I don’t think there is an ugly part of this country. Right now I’m sitting in Cafe Affair listening to jazz on a rainy Saturday afternoon.  So I’m loving life (as usual) and looking forward to all the adventures to come!


Cable Bay

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