You feel safe. You have to get 2 psych evaluations done before being allowed to buy a gun. You never feel like you need to look over your shoulder here. Point in fact, the other day I saw a gangsta wearing skin tight Capri pants. No threat there.
The cops aren’t out to get you. In Texas you just take it for granted that there’s always going to be a cop looking over your shoulder trying to find an excuse to bust you for doing nothing in particular. Growing up in that environment you just assume that’s how life is supposed to be. It’s not, and in New Zealand you don’t have to live like that.
Religion isn’t a big deal. Even school teachers in New Zealand will often refer to Christianity as “Christian mythology.” Say what you want about the virtues of religion and all the good it’s done in the world, but I guarantee you that every place in the world where there is a religious majority you’ll find oppressive customs and laws. In New Zealand you’re not (very) pressured by society or the law to live according the backwards, illogical, counterproductive, archaic standards of primitive tribal mythologies.
The government is relatively un-corrupt. You don’t feel the shame and nausea of watching your leaders trample civil rights, reward greed and invade oil rich countries while lying with a straight face about their motives even though everybody knows they’re lying.
College costs $5K a year for residents and citizens. Not only does this mean I can continue my higher education, but I’m proud to live in a place that values education and doesn’t exploit it for profits.
Healthcare is cheap as well.
Prostitution is legal, the age of consent is 16 years old, and the drinking age is 18.
Kiwis aren’t (that) obsessed with material goods.
El Caminos are popular. They call them “utes.” A lot of police cars are utes. They’re cute.
You’ll see billboards and bumper stickers such as: “Airplane fares to Christchurch that won’t crucify you!” “94.3 FM: Every other radio station is shit.” “Welcome to Raglan! Now leave.”
New Zealand is a smoothly functioning multicultural society. This provides a wealth of interesting people to meet and a wide variety of delicious ethnic foods.
Kiwis don’t hate Americans, just American presidents who are guilty of war crimes.
The bus and train system are efficient, and New Zealand doesn’t have the stupid zoning laws in America that create suburbs far removed from any shopping, dining, nightlife or work. In New Zealand you can actually walk to places from your house. Not only is this convenient and healthy, but it makes you feel like you’re more of a part of your community.
The culture has a hint of refined British properness to it. This is a breath of fresh air compared to the ignorant, volatile trailer trash rednecks in Texas. However, the Kiwis don’t take it to the stifling extreme that say Germans do where you can get a ticket for not washing your windows or you have to wear a suit and tie to get into a night club. The Kiwis’ refinement is balanced by the laid back Pacific island Aloha mentality. The result is a culture of clean, well behaved people who don’t stress out or take themselves too seriously…most of the time.
There’s a ton of world class vacation spots within New Zealand that you can visit without spending a lot of money. There’s no excuse for not having an adventure in New Zealand.
You’ll work with and meet people from all over the world. Every day is an international experience.
Similarly, people value traveling. People who travel gain a coherent and intelligent world view. People who have a coherent and intelligent world view make interesting, safe neighbors.
In summary, New Zealand is a little less convenient and a little more expensive than America, but unless you’re hopelessly spoiled this really isn’t a major hurdle, especially when you consider what you stand to gain by sacrificing those relatively petty amenities. Even without mentioning the stunning beauty, the culture is calmer and saner than America’s. My blood pressure has dropped significantly since I got here because I’m not stressed out, afraid and angry at all the trailer trash, gangstas, pushy suburbanites, jocks, valley girls, religious fanatics, sadistic cops and micromanagers who make life miserable in America.