Forgive me for the recent silence both here and on Instagram, but we’ve had a LOT going on the past few months. I’ve been dying to share some big news with you all, but needed a few things to fall into place, and to get through a super intense and busy period first. Now that’s passed, I can finally share our big news! Well, actually, TWO bits of big news really.
As many of you will know we’ve been slowly chipping away at finishing our little cottage, whilst we also hunted for a new home. However, several months ago we received a private offer to buy our cottage…. which we accepted! We love this little cottage more than any other home and we are so proud of the renovation we’ve done, but being a small 2 bedroom, we knew we couldn’t stay forever.
The past 16 months living through yet another renovation has been challenging – both from a renovation perspective, but also just a size perspective. So, being able to sell privately was a blessing since we didn’t have to go to market or have open for inspections. However we still had to finish things off, and actually, it’s really not ideal trying to finish a renovation, whilst photographing the house for a magazine, AND packing up to move out – all at once. It’s been unbelievably stressful and intense, if I’m honest, but thank goodness we had another wonderful thing to focus on.
You see, during the past 3-4 months, we also decided it was time for our family to make a big move. One that has been on the cards for over 10 years. Not only have we sold our little cottage, but we are also moving to New Zealand! Queenstown/Wanaka to be exact. Those close to us weren’t shocked by this news at all, as we’ve been talking about it for so long, but the fact that we are finally doing it feels surreal.
We actually wanted to move to New Zealand (which is where we got married) over 10 years ago. It was post GFC and for several months we tried to find jobs, but things just weren’t happening. So instead, in early in 2011, we decided to move to the Southern Highlands, where we had family & spent most weekends.
We’ve done many trips over to NZ over the last 10 years, but it was our trip over to the South Island 2 years ago where we looked at several properties in Queenstown, which reignited the fire. Then 18 months ago, Chris got a job offer in New Zealand. We decided, since we’d just sold our last home, that it was the right time.
We started putting plans into motion and were going to be moving mid last year. But then…. COVID happened! That instantly put the breaks on our plans, and over the past year, we’ve been in limbo as to whether our dream of living in NZ would ever happen. Hence why we also stayed in our tiny cottage so long.
If I’m honest, our whole family has struggled the last 18 months. This year in particular, I started suffering from quite bad depression. I’m usually a very optimistic, outgoing & bubbly person so being as low as I was felt strange and uneasy. I’ve felt pretty lost since Covid began, particularly in my career, and this year I struggled to feel hopeful or find joy. It was like someone disconnected the electricity inside me.
For the past 6 months, we’d also been hunting for a proper family home to buy in the Highlands, but everything kept falling through. Nothing was working out and with prices going crazy, we wondered whether this was our time to go to NZ after all. I’m no psychic but I do believe in “signs” and things happening for a reason. I couldn’t help but feel the universe was directing us towards NZ. Chris’ job offer had remained open and once “The Bubble” between Australia and New Zealand opened, we knew this was another sign.
As soon as we made the decision to move to New Zealand, everything started falling into place. And quickly! All of a sudden, the lights inside me turned on again. Hope, excitement and inspiration quickly returned and we feel like this enormous weight had been lifted. Even though we will really miss our families, and our friends both in Sydney and the Highlands, I know in the deepest part of my soul that we’re are doing the right thing for our family, and for us individually. And we’re so lucky to have some good friends over in Wanaka already. Our kids are so excited but so are we. In fact, I haven’t felt this excited in a very, very, very long time.
We’re heading over to NZ this week to enrol the kids in school, and find a home etc as well as having a much needed holiday and catch up with friends. Then we’ll come back to the Highlands, finish packing our two containers, and move over end of July/early August. I’m a little nervous about finding a home as it’s peak snow season in Wanaka and Queenstown, and both towns are notorious for being difficult to find rentals. But, I just know it will all be okay and things will happen as they’re meant to.
As well as our move to NZ, I’ll also be sharing a lot more details of the cottage (finished) in subsequent posts, including some wonderful partnerships with amazing suppliers, although since the cottage is going to be featured in a magazine, I need to hold back some of the images until that runs. But i’m so proud of how it all turned out and I’m also so happy the new owner is so in love with it (and is such a lovely person too). It really made leaving that little bit easier knowing it’s going to be well loved and lived in.
If you have any good tips about moving overseas, I’d love to hear from you! I’m daunted by the idea of packing our containers (as in packing properly for overseas and Custom inspections etc) but also just the logistical side of the move, so any tips would be greatly appreciated. We truly cannot wait to start our new life in New Zealand and I’ll of course be bringing you all on the ride with us!
Stay tuned for more!