Shit Just Got Real

A few months ago I wrote a post about how I wanted to move to London. Guess what?

We’re doing it!

Now, this wasn’t an easy process to go through. We had our wedding in June, which came with a load of pressure and stress from planning our big day. Although we’d previously decided that we wanted to go overseas, we fell in love with some house plans and got ourselves seriously sidetracked – perhaps this can be referred to as good ol’ fashioned procrastination? Eeek.

We somehow found ourselves signed up with a local building company, we’d picked our plot of land, selected all of the things we wanted in our dream house, we told everyone that we were building a house and we even paid a deposit. What the hell, right? We were really slipping into the married life cliché that we wanted to avoid and the plans to travel were rapidly disappearing out of our minds. 

Fast forward to August. Our quote for the build came back at Five. Hundred. Thousand. Dollars. In short; we noped the fuck out after we calculated that our mortgage repayments/house expenses would be $1100 a fortnight for the next 30 years. Sure, we’re fortunate enough that we could afford it in our current situation, but we’d never be able to have kids or take a holiday without seriously struggling to stay afloat. That’s not the kind of life I want to live and it definitely doesn’t align with my desire to explore the world. 

After we recovered from the near death experience of $500,000 in debt, we jumped online and literally brought the latest possible flights to London for 2018 that we could. Remember that indecisive shit that I do? I didn’t wanna risk ANOTHER change of mind and having yet another plan that we’d never follow through with. We’re now $2500 deep in airfares so theoretically there’s no turning back.

Where to from here? Well, we’re almost finished with those pesky renovations that we’ve been struggling to complete and we’re going to rent our house out as soon as they’re done. We’re moving into Todd’s mums house so that we can save as much cash as we can until we leave NZ (keep an eye out for a post about our budget and savings plan) and my Dad has offered to care for the dogs while we’re away. I’m becoming an expert lurker on all things London related, Kiwis in London/Kiwis in London Chat are possibly my most visited Facebook pages and r/London keeps me in awe most nights.  I have to keep a very exciting secret from my colleagues and employer which I can’t let slip for another 8 months or so. 

It’s all getting very real and extremely scary. 

If you’ve made the leap I’d love to hear your thoughts on savings, job opportunities and any regrets you may have. Did it all work out for you?

Shayla xx



Another Kiwi Moving to London?

So, in typical Shayla fashion I have decided that I want to move to London. Why do I want to go there? Because of the history, the opportunities and the adventure. It’s also because I’m getting married in 3 months and I’ve owned my own home for a few years now.. I don’t want to spend the rest of my “youth” in my hometown when we have the perfect chance to experience a new life overseas. I’m terrified that one day I will wake up in my forties and regret not seeing the world before surrendering my life the usual 9-5, white picket fence and 2.5 kids. I can’t do that to myself.

My husband to be is onboard which is half the battle, however this decision has become somewhat soul destroying because as he’s pointed out, we literally cannot leave NZ for nearly 2 years. TWO. FRICKEN. YEARS. I am a reckless person. I love to make rash decisions but due to the current state of my house and the impending wedding – I have to hold my horses and just wait it out until we have enough savings to achieve all that we need to next year. Having a sensible other half comes in handy but it also means facing reality head on when all you want to do is run away.

We have to replace our bathroom thanks to the previous owners neglect (goodbye $15k) and we also need to finish our outstanding renovations such as the office that we 75% completed back in 2015 and then just left it because we couldn’t be bothered anymore – who does that?!

Hint: We do. We suck.

Not only do we need to save around $20k to actually move, we also have to find the funds to finish off old projects and get the house ready to sell (or rent) so we can confidently leave.

It’s so hard having a long term goal when you’re impatient and crave instant gratification. The rough date we’ve picked to head off is December 2018 (two years was a slight exaggeration) and we’ll have to live like paupers for the next 20 months to make it happen. Unless I change my mind, which is stupidly common in this household.

UPDATED 03 October 2017: We’re doing it, bitches!

How do you find long term goals? Are you impatient like me or do you enjoy having the time to plan? I’d also love to hear about your experiences with moving overseas!

Far from paradise

Last week Shayla and I embarked on our first journey to the pacific islands. We spent loads of time on google researching what we could do while on our holiday. We had this picture in our minds that reflected paradise.

After a month planning we flew three hours to reach our destination.

There is something about looking out a small oval window above the trees and clouds that is so exciting. It is as if you have never seen anything like it before. Well I guess we hadn’t.

Our first 24hours in Tonga – let me get creative here. We drove through living nightmares to reach the so called paradise.

Don’t get me wrong the sun was out, the heat was definitely in our face but this was no lively city. Imagine driving from the airport in the dark passing street markets, dogs and passing poverty. We drove on a back road in a small rental car with at 10kms over endless potholes and no street lights – good one google maps. We reached our accommodation one hour later – it should have taken you 30mins.

Our accommodation was right on the beach shore – the evident crashing of waves made the situation a little better. We could not wait to wake up in the morning to watch the sunset whilst lying on the beach.

Sunday morning.

We woke at 2pm, 4pm and 6am- the heat was not our cup of tea.  Our baked beans and cold fried eggs awaits us on our official wake at 9am. What a fantastic start to our paradise.

The next few days were much the same. We were hot. We were hungry. We were tired.

We drove for a hour a day passing houses with no windows and sheets for doors. We had only just missed some street dogs that own the roads- there were some that would not move and the way they engage eye contact with you truly speaks a desire for death. Many people stand at markets looking to get food at a reasonable price.

Now I could journal all the exciting things we did while in Tonga and believe me we saw some beautiful beaches, travelled to some beautiful islands and swam in caves but I will stop there. Tonga, like many of the cook islands and other countries around the world open your eyes to reality beyond our own. This year I have bought a new phone, laptop and Ipad so I can be up with new technology and in the know. What was going to happen if I did not get any of those new gadgets, probably nothing. Why did I? Because I know no different. The media tell us too. Our friends tell us to. Most importantly we tell ourselves we have to. My highest moments this year revolve around new toys such as the above. My lowest was realising that the people I saw in Tonga were never going to know how wealthy we live in countries like New Zealand. They live each day with what they have and in the conditions they are.

No one is equal. No one is ever always happy. We are who we can be.