Tom

We just wanted to live somewhere else, London was an option, but Canada looked better. We’ve been here since August, though it seems like forever. I’m job hunting for GIS related work at the moment so currently I’m a man of leisure. Now we’re into May, things seem to be slowly opening up.

My Mum, Dad and  younger brother are back home in Wellington. I was born in Lower Hutt and raised in Eastbourne, after university in Dunedin I worked at Disney World, Florida for six months. I lived in Wellington until last year when we dropped everything and moved here. We’ll be here for probably two more years. Claire and I were friends for eight years before we got together – it took that long for her to like me.

There are no restrictions on getting out to exercise, we go out biking or running. They’ve closed a few roads specifically for bikes, cycling here is mental. We’ve done a My Kitchen Rules competition with friends and have lots of Zoom calls. One of our flatmates is a Kiwi, the other is Australian.

We’re a little bit over it now.

Claire

We’re in Kitsilano, it’s stereotypical Vancouver, everyone wears Lululemon whilst walking their dog. I’m a surveyor, today I was at a wastewater treatment plant, earlier in the week I was on the railways. I’ve been working from home since mid-March. I stopped listening to the news at the beginning because it was all Covid or Trump.

We feel like our lockdown equates to level 2/3 at home. Supermarkets and pharmacies are open, as are the hardware and gardening places. We recently went to the park to read our books, most people were observing the rules but two groups clearly weren’t.

I was born in Rotorua and moved to Invercargill aged 4. My family is there so is still home. After I graduated I moved to Christchurch right after the earthquake, professionally it was an opportunity to learn a lot quickly. After that I moved to Wellington which is where we got together. Tom told me on week one that he would never live in Invercargill, so I guess we’ll be going back to Wellington.

I have a strong passion for land rights, British Columbia has some similarities to home. We’re realising we are so far advanced, I know New Zealand isn’t perfect, but it does make me proud.

********************************************************************************************************************

Image supplied by interviewees

This interview and the others in the series are an extension of my new book “This Is Us” that will be published by Exisle and released on the 1st of June 2020. These interviews are slightly different from the ones in the book as they focus on New Zealanders living abroad in this time of isolation. If you can think of suitable interview subjects please let me know via pete@petecarter.nz .

Exisle have now released This Is Us as an e-book you can buy it here.

This Is Us – please follow us on Facebook:

And/or on Instagram

Pete Carter is the author of This is Us. Due out in June 2020 it will be published by Exisle and tells the story of more than 200 New Zealanders in words and pictures. The book is really a portrait of the nation and how it is made up. Pete wrote Our Dog Benji a children’s book illustrated by his nephew, published by EK in 2017. He is also the author of two books of poetry. He has had magazine articles published and poetry in anthologies. As a photographer he has had two solo exhibitions and work included in group exhibitions in NZ and overseas and has sold work to and been commissioned by corporate clients.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *