Written by Cecilia Rehn
A little over a year ago, my husband and I decided to take the leap of faith and make our New Zealand dreams come true.
First visiting as tourists to take in the country’s beautiful vistas, wildlife and culture; we quickly reaffirmed our wish to relocate here permanently.
Fast forward a few months and we returned with heavy backpacks on our shoulders and our hearts filled with possibilities.
Moving to New Zealand as a couple, either with a romantic partner or best friend, is ideal.
It is amazing to be able to share your experiences with someone, support each other and grow together in a new home.
But you will likely encounter some unique challenges as well. With that said, here’s some practical advice I wish we’d read beforehand.
New Zealand is a diverse country and where you live will shape what kind of experience and life you will have here.
Before moving, it’s a good idea to discuss what you’re both looking for and make sure interests align.
It’s no good if one of you wants to live in the countryside and the other in a bustling city!
Or if one wants to spend all summer hiking up mountains and the other surfing the waves.
In our case, we settled on Queenstown on the South Island, as for us proximity to ski resorts in winter and summer outdoor activities were key priorities.
We arrived at this conclusion after listing our individual top priorities, seeing where we agreed and recognising where we’d be willing to compromise.
I had originally pictured us in the capital city of Wellington, as I’m more used to living in large cities, but since skiing was a priority for the two of us, I was willing to compromise and live in a smaller town closer to the slopes.
Moving abroad to the other side of the world can feel lonely and isolating at first.
If you move here as a couple, you’ve already got a support network with you.
Finding a place to live, applying for jobs and getting into a daily routine becomes much easier when you have a partner beside you.
But it’s important to socialise with others, try different activities and find separate hobbies, as otherwise you can become too dependent on each other.
Moving to New Zealand as a pair has financial advantages.
Whilst you have to pay double for visas, airplane tickets etc. ahead of moving; once you’ve arrived, bills can be easily split between two making it cheaper to live here.
Remember, if you share large purchases or deposits, such as a car or house bond, it’s always a good idea to write down exactly how much each person paid, for future records.
It’s common in New Zealand for new young people to live in flat shares, with large groups of friends sharing one house or flat (apartment).
Most rooms are set up as doubles, meaning many singles end up sharing rooms with strangers when they first arrive.
If you are already travelling as a pair, you will find a double room to rent a lot easier, and often at a better rate than what singles pay.
Ultimately, travelling together with the with partner is a blast!
You will be making fantastic memories with your best friend, exploring a new country, all whilst saving on living expenses.
Plus, it’s always handy to have a second person with you to capture that perfect shot for your instagram!