I wholeheartedly believe that one of the driving factors behind people moving overseas is so that they can finally walk down to the shops in their underwear without bumping into a single familiar face.
I’d like to believe this is why people move overseas, as it was 100% my main motivation. Complete transparency though, it turns out that even though you might not exactly know anyone, it’s still wildly unacceptable to not wear pants in public. Weird, no?
Regardless, people move overseas all the time with Aussies and Kiwis often trading places with their Trans-Tasman neighbourinos, mainly because the flight is hella short so even if you’re in a time crunch travel-wise, you’re still only spending six-or-so hours in the air return – that’s essentially one Peter Jackson movie.
Whether we make the flight to get more ~cultured~, we go for a love interest or we simply want to see more of the world, everyone adapts to their weird new surroundings eventually but there are a few things that can take some serious getting used to.
Figuring out the slang
For New Zealanders moving to Australia and vice versa, I can understand the confusion. We all think the other country has some pretty bizarre terminology, but we’re all a little bit to blame at the end of the day.
I mean, neither jandals nor thongs are the greatest descriptions for footwear in the world, are they? If we had it my way, they’d be called foot goblins. Doesn’t make much sense, sure, but neither do the other options.
Anywho, once you get the hang of it (especially in English speaking countries), you’ll be fluent in slang at no time at all.
When you eventually fly back to get that confidential goss from your mates that can’t be told to you over the phone for security reasons, be careful – if they catch you using slang you picked up across the Tasman, you’ll get torn to absolute shreds.
Cleanliness in general
Some people probably handle this a tad better than others, but staying hygienic under the supervision of just yourself can be tricky – particularly if your supervisor (aka you) is lazy and incompetent at life.
You may realise in the first few months of living away from home that your sheets have remained unwashed, your clothes have remained in an alarmingly swollen hamper and there’s a rubbish bin with tissues stuck to the side.
The easiest way to circumnavigate this is to Facetime your parents, let them see the state of your living arrangement and they’ll either lecture you into cleaning or they’ll fly over themselves and do it for you.
Sussing out the time zones
This one’s a real prickle in ya pickle, especially if you spent most of your time in geography class finding towns with the dirtiest sounding names (Reamstown).
Even though New Zealand and Australia’s time zones may only be a couple of hours apart, it can throw a real spanner in the works when you think you’re calling a mate at an appropriate hour and you end up interrupting their all-important dinner. Never get between anyone and their food, no one will appreciate it and your inheritance will mysteriously go missing.
No one has ever moved overseas and started eating like a vigilant health nut from the get-go. No way, no how.
You don’t move to an entirely new place, completely free to do whatever you want, and think to yourself, ‘hmm, I mean fried chicken is good and all, but have you seen those low-sodium wheat crackers?’
It takes a while until you realise that just because you can buy seven litres of pig lard, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should – even if it’s on sale.
Look, even those who claim they don’t have an emotional bone in their body eventually miss home in some shape or form.
It’s a tough one because even if you’re having an absolute laugh-and-a-half, you just don’t get that same comfort just by talking to your parentals or pals on the phone. Have you ever tried high-fiving a mate over the phone? It’s weird and the people around you will also think you’re weird – don’t even attempt it.
But we’re still lucky that a phone is an option though and if we still lived in the BC-era when it was just ships and postcards (my history is way off, I’m aware), we wouldn’t even be able to fly home when we need. And really, if we simply can’t go another day without seeing someone, we do have the option to hop on a plane.
If you’re a Kiwi living in Oz or an Aussie living in NZ, flights only take a couple of hours. Just jump on a cheeky flight on a Friday and come back on the Sunday if you have to – too easy.
Check out flights and sweet deals at Air New Zealand and go see your friends and fam, fam.Image: Getty Images / Scott Ehler