Hamilton City, 7,453 Miles

The countdown started to wind down and suddenly the car was here to take me to the airport.  I kissed my girls and left them in the excellent care of my our families. It was finally time to visit our new country! I had looked forward to the official site visit for weeks but deep down hoping we made the right decision. Silly questions raced through my head… What if I hated it or what if the people were not nice? Could the food be an issue? The doubts played out in my head as I boarded my 1st flight to San Francisco.  My only solution was to distract myself by reading a book for the next few hours.

Air New Zealand

In San Francisco I would board Air New Zealand and land the next morning in Auckland, New Zealand. The flight was wonderful.  It was the perfect setting to sleep with full reclining seats, memory foam bed lining, good wine, noise canceling head phones, and all the amenities.  Why could I not sleep?  I guess my adrenaline was too high.

Air New Zealand - Business Class
Air New Zealand - Business Class

Hamilton City

The drive from Auckland to Hamilton was beautiful with rolling hills of green. The rumors were true about the beauty of this place. We made our way to Hamilton and went to breakfast at our downtown hotel.  We started walking around all over the area.  It was clean…Very clean!

Waikato River - Hamilton New Zealand

The Waikato River, which is the longest river in New Zealand, runs right through Hamilton.  It reminded me of living in Little Rock, Arkansas where I met my husband. It was beautiful and the air was so fresh.  I was hooked already! Even the weeds were pretty.

Hamilton New Zealand

The next stop was to visit The Base which is a large outdoor shopping mall.  I wanted to take note of prices for everything.  The only negatives I had heard about New Zealand came from people referring to the cost of items.  I am not going to lie the prices were higher and sizes are smaller so I decided to snap photos of everything from appliances to groceries. This would give us a clear picture of the true cost of living.

The one thing that caught my attention pretty fast were all the kid-friendly areas. Children seemed to be running and climbing everywhere.  We knew the girls would love all the outdoor activities and parks!

The Base Hamilton New Zealand
The Base Hamilton New Zealand

After the shopping mall we drove around to some of the neighborhoods people had recommended to us. The housing is expensive and smaller than what we were use to in Texas but we expected that so not a big surprise.  I loved all the large glass windows and doors that lead to the outdoors.  I could see the us having everything open with the kids playing in the backyard.  The thought made me smile as I drifted off to a nap….

Amber Herden

My name is Amber and I am finally tackling my bucket list all while relocating countries and raising two beautiful girls with my incredible husband.