Friday 3 April 2015


If you are young, and have a little bit of money, Auckland in summer can feel a lot like a tourist resort. It's not just the throngs of tourists who crowd the streets, it's how we experience the city. 


Every evening, we drink cocktails on the deck and watch the sun go down. 

The view from our place.

We hang out at inner city beaches after work.
Ten minute's drive away.

We wander around the art galleries and take in a show. 

Ugh, fireworks again?

On the weekends, there are free concerts in sprawling city parks. There is a new restaurant to try each week, Vietnamese, Thai, tapas, and fusion. 

Drinks after work.

Salmon pasta from a place called Rad.

Waiheke with its dusty vineyards is only a ferry ride away. 

Mmmm... pre-wine.
If you are young and have a little bit of money, it is stupendously easy to have a wonderful time here. 

If you don't have any money, this city is terrible

There's another reason this place feels like a tourist resort. If you will excuse the bourgeois phrasing, there's no way to move ahead. Owning a house or an apartment in this city is an impossibility on my wage (please, before you comment and tell me otherwise, I have researched. I have tried.) The government is disinterested, appears to be corrupt, and there's little we can do except - what? Wait? There are jobs, but not all that many, and a pay rise outside of the public sector is unheard of. I can count on one hand the number of my peers who have had children. 

There's nothing to do except have a wonderful time. 

If you follow me on Twitter, you already know we're moving. Jesse and I are packing up everything we own and taking seven weeks to wander around the US before heading to London.

This decision has been a long time coming. Jesse has wanted to go for as long as I've known him. I love it here, and I have been reluctant to go, but it's time. If we leave it any later, I'll age out of the youth visa. My sister has a spare room in London where we can stay while we get our feet. 

It was a friend's graduation in the US which provided the final incentive. Jesse posed the question after I'd had a bad day of work, and cried into a glass of wine. "What if we never come back?" he said. "Go to the graduation and then just keep going?" 
"Fine!" I said, "Let's go away and never come back!" 

It's a childish impulse, and an impossible idea. What if we just leave all of our problems behind? That's not how it works. That's not why we're going. But we're going just the same. 


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