Things to consider when moving cities
OPINION: In October last year, my husband got a new job. He started it remotelywith the proviso that we move to Wellington mid-2022… and shockingly, mid-2022 is just around the corner.
Moving to a new city brings with it many considerations. First and most important: housing. Wherewill we live? Will we buy or rent? Much of Wellington is built into the hills but do we want to lug groceries up cliff faces to our front door? What about the sun? What about earthquakes (which thisAucklander had never considered until a former Wellingtonite mentioned tsunami zones)?
Then comes schools.
We have two kids – aged 6 and almost 3 – so their needs and lifestyles impact our decision making.
We want to live within walking distance from school.
The school needs to cater for our ADHD-diagnosed son.
Decile numbers don’t matter so much (we’re in a decile 4 school now and it’s incredible) but it does need to have a good playground andwide-open spaces.
Then comes proximity to work. We want to avoid using our car as much as possible, so easy access to public transport is essential.
Then there’s the community. Do the neighbourhood shops look welcoming?
Are playgrounds and parks well maintained and vibrant?
What is there in the way of local attractions? Where’s the nearest supermarket?
Iwant to know thatmy neighbours care about their neighbourhood andwhat goes on in it.
Last night we had dinner with my husband’s new boss, and his wifementioned that her local Neighbourly page had been plastered in posts earlier that week about young ka¯ka¯ chicks that had only recently hatched, warning local dog owners to be careful when walking their pooches.
Knowing that the community cared enough about their local birdlife made me feel encouraged that they’d care about the humans who lived there too.
Finally, there are family and friends. We don’t know many people in Wellington, although my brother and his young family will be returning to the capital from London in the next few months.
Recently, my husband and I were lucky enough to have dinner with my brother’s inlaws.
Whenwe arrived, they embraced us likewewere their own children.
We yarned like we’d known each other for years despite having met only a handful of times.
It made me feel all sorts of warm fuzzies knowing that, despite being at the opposite end of the island in a few months, away from my parents and friends, I’ll have my own little network around me from the moment we step off the plane.