Who are you?
My name is Abigail Simpson and I’m a 25-year-old writer living in New Zealand. My blog is called Poms Away: A British Immigrant’s View of New Zealand.Where, when and why did you move abroad?
I was born in England. My parents dragged me kicking and screaming to New Zealand when I was 10. I think the main reason they wanted to move abroad was my dad was a high school teacher in Nottingham – anything’s better than that.
What challenges did you face during the move?
Leaving behind everything I knew and loved. Pretty much just that. My parents dealt with the logistical stuff.
Are there many other expats in your area?
Yes. Approximately 25% of everyone who lives in New Zealand was born elsewhere. It’s very popular with Brits because it’s like Britain, but nicer.
What do you like about life where you are?
Life in New Zealand is quite laidback compared to other Western countries. I love how you never have to go far to find beauty spots. There’s simply so much – and such a wide range of – natural beauty in a relatively small space.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
I’m now an outsider in both England and New Zealand. I never lost my English accent, so as soon as I open my mouth everyone assumes I’ve just arrived and don’t know anything about New Zealand, and therefore have no right to say anything about it.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
Shoes. When I first moved to New Zealand, I was laughed at for wearing shoes at school. In England, you’d be laughed at for not wearing shoes at school! See my Proof That New Zealanders Really Are Hobbits article for an explanation.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
New Zealand has changed even in the 15 years since I moved here. Be prepared to spend twice as much at the supermarket as you’re used to! The best advice I can give to anyone moving to New Zealand is to relax – learn to go with the flow and you’ll have a better time of it.
What are your plans for the future?
My partner, (a Kiwi with German parents,) and I love living in New Zealand, but we want to live in Europe for a bit. We travelled through Europe a couple of years ago and both yearn for cobbled streets and old buildings. We want to raise our future kids and grow old in New Zealand, though. My plans are to keep on doing what I love – writing – and hopefully one day soon start making more than enough to merely scrape by. My parents aren’t so keen on this plan, but I know that if I give up chasing my dreams now I’ll regret it later!
You can kepe up to date with Abigail's adventures on her blog, Poms Away!