I was born in New Zealand and lived there on and off for 35 years. I now live in the United Kingdom and would not return to live in New Zealand. Do not get me wrong it is one of the best countries in the world to visit and have a holiday but to live and work there is a whole different kettle of fish.
I grew up in Manurewa in South Auckland where we ran around in bare feet until we went to school and as soon as we got home the shoes came off. My memories of Auckland are eeling, crazy cardboard rides down steep grass hills, paper rounds, strawberries in summer and an eccentric father who decided that our first pet should be a calf. We had chickens in our residential backyard for years much to the annoyance of our neighbours as we also had a rooster. My father also liked to have a veggie garden until he got into wood turning and operating his still.
During my childhood we never went into the bush or often to the beach. I made up for that in my 20s by getting the tramping bug and hiking most of the major tramping tracks in New Zealand. I only wish we had digital camera’s back in that millennium. Some of the hikes were the Heaphy, Wangapeka, Abel Tasman, Tongariro Crossing, Milford, Kepler, Routeburn, Cass Lagoon, Pinnacles in Coromandel and many more. I even did a mountaineering course where I was extremely accident prone and then did caving for a while before heading overseas.