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Moving Day Again

I have to say I am a pro at moving. In October Travis and I moved from Austin to a crappy Auckland hostel.  A week later we moved to a very expensive but empty apartment in the city.  Within a month the apartment was sold. So we moved into a college student dump outside of the city.  Our sub-lease quickly ran out there.  Then we moved ten minutes away into a lovely little house with some not so lovely roommates.  Now just a short 4 weeks in, we are moving to Manukau City (just south of Auckland) on Friday.

Both Travis and I have high hopes for the new place.  We will be living with an older couple and a few random roommates.  The old man is trying to start Fish N Chips Friday lunch (that’s what they call dinner here).  Travis and I both gave him our full support.  When we went to look at the room there was an Argentinean couple camping in the backyard for a few nights.  I didn’t get the story behind their plight since they didn’t speak much English, but they joined everyone for fish n chips none the less. There is a maid that comes once a week, and two very friendly, and most importantly clean cats call the house home.

The new place also has the benefit of being a 5 minute commute to work for both Travis and I.   Because I have to cross a big bridge to get to work it looks like I will be getting to take the car to work most days while Travis bus/bikes to work.  But I’m not a cruel person, I anticipate we will be switching off who gets the car and who takes the bus/bike once winter sets in.

We hope everyone is doing well.

Amber and Travis


13 Responses

  1. Hi Amber,

    Not sure how I found your website but I have enjoyed reading it! You guys are very brave and adventurous; I applaud your initiative and moxie!

    I’m a teacher too (Denver) and we will be in Auckland March 8-19. Any chance we can make a connection? I would love to visit your school too if that was OK with you/your principal. I want to learn all I can about NZ education and really SEE what its all about.

    Hope we can make some sort of a connection!

    • It would be great to get together while your out here. We haven’t done that much traveling since we spent the first three months here looking for work, but we know some good stuff. I’m sure you would be welcome at my school. Most of the faculty are from other countries, it’s cool for the kids. It’s farely differnt from an American school, no hallways, kids eat outside. I’m a fan. Keep in touch, and let me know when your in town.

  2. Hi… what a pleasure to read your blog! Found it by putting something like “americans living in NZ” into google. My fiance is American (me Kiwi) and we’ve been living in NZ for 18 months now. Was nice to get a different perspective to life here than his perspective, though you’ve said loads of things in common actually. Anyway, pleased you like living here, we’re just deciding whether to move to the US or settle here… It’s a tough one.

  3. cool! I will make a note to email you for the week of March 8.

    So a friend moved to Malaysia and really misses corn tortillas. What do you miss?

    See you soon, cheers!

    • Since home was Austin, TX. for the last two years Mexican food in general. Liquor and chicken are REALLY expensive here, so they have become things of desire in the grocery store 🙂 On the up side, lamb is awesome, the ice cream and chocolate are much better. And there is a Turkish kebab place on every street corner! You are going to be in for some great food when you get here.

  4. Hey Amber,

    I’ve been considering teaching in New Zealand for a while and would really appreciate some specific insight into your experiences. I’ve really enjoyed your blog so far. Would you happen to have an email address where we could get in touch? Thanks 🙂

    • amber.pierce@gmail.com I’ll answer everything I can. I was talking to some teachers today about the differences in teaching in the US vs. NZ. There’s always students, and admin that can make teaching hard, but NZ is missing a lot of the external pressure I.E. district, working the test score numbers a hundred times over, practice state tests, walk through’s, etc. The argument that you will not do something because your focus is on teaching the students can get you pretty far here. NZ schools are not perfect by any means, but compared to the American education system NZ is calm and without the need to place blame. Shoot your questions. If you like I can put you in touch with some teachers in your discipline so you can get a more focused view of what you would be doing. Anything to help.


      • Thanks a bunch. I just emailed you and am eagerly awaiting your response. Best, Amber

  5. Hi Amber,

    I too found your website via google search – my husband and I are planning to move to NZ in 2011. My husband just got back from the North Island and fell in love – especially with Ragland. We will be back in September so I can interview for a job in Whangarei and would love to meet you folks as well – especially to hear of your adventures. We are currently living in Oregon and are no strangers to moving – but this will be our first international experience.

    I hope to meet up with you all!

    – Alyssa

  6. Hi-
    Found your blog while reading up on New Zealand, especially regarding teaching and education.
    Hoping I could ask you a couple of questions along the way as my husband and I are seriously considering making the move in 2011.


    • Ask any questions you have. It might be the teacher in me, but I love answering questions about NZ! Hope to see you out here one day.


  7. Hello Amber,

    I live in Colorado and have always wanted to go to NZ… my chance has finally arrived as I recently received a settlement from a terrible car accident that almost killed me 5 months ago. I am interested in going there with my girlfriend for 6 months or so and am wondering what advice you can give us about renting an apartment. Is it reasonable to expect we can find a decent used car for $2000NZ so that we can explore the north island while we’re there? Also, are there jobs where we can put our farming/gardening skills to use? Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • We’re glad you’re getting the chance to come to New Zealand. It’ll be one of the best experiences of your life. The most important thing I can tell you is to go to http://www.trademe.co.nz. That’s New Zealand’s equivalent of ebay and craigslist rolled into one. If it’s for sale in New Zealand it’s on Trad Me. I found my job, my car, my last video game and our apartment there. There are always tourists looking to unload a camper van or station wagon there for surprisingly cheap. Apartments are rented by the week. In Auckland you can expect to pay upwards to $200 per week for a couple. Outside of Auckland you may pay half that much. New Zealand has lots of seasonal farm work at vineyards and ranches, but not all of those are advertised on the internet. Driving around the countryside though you’ll see signs that say, “Farmstay here.” You can work temporarily and usually stay there for free. A great way to see the country is just to buy a camper van and travel around the country, and any time you start running low on money just find a farm stay and work there for a few weeks until you’ve got enough cash to move on. Then sell you van on Trade Me right before you fly home. Hope that helps. Let us know if you have any more questions or if there are any other topics you’d like us to elaborate on.

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