I came here after working for one year in a company in Shanghai. At that time, I was like most university graduates: working from nine to five and from time to time pondering one question, WHAT NOW?
Yes, I graduated. Yes, I got a job. Yes, I am used to the working routine. But it seemed like my life would continue like that forever after the age of 22. “NO”. I made my decision to change something about it, I wanted an adventure. I wanted to experience something I had never experienced before. I went to New Zealand.
I had a little knowledge of New Zealand as a country before my arrival. Most of my stereotypical impression of a “western” country came from American and British TV series and movies. After some time in New Zealand, I realised Kiwis are into rugby and cricket, not football or basketball; hot dogs are not that prevalent here, instead people have a genuine passion for warm pies; not everyone has a religious belief, people choose whatever they want to believe and live harmoniously with each other; no matter where you are from, if you treat people with respect, you will have their respect. In a short time, I learned how a totally different society and culture functions and prospers on the other side of the planet.
Living here, I learned to be independent thousands of miles away from home knowing nobody will come and do my dirty laundry after a tiring day on a field trip. I learned to overcome obstacles that I never imagined I could defeat and learned to enjoy life no matter what. The feelings, the tears and laughter, the memories and experience, are all real and sincere.
I will never regret my choice of coming to New Zealand. Even though it is not perfect, I know I have learnt so many valuable things other than textbook knowledge. I have opened my eyes, mind and arms, I have embraced different cultures and met people from various ethnic backgrounds. And last but not least, I have realised my goal of becoming a more mature, more responsible and more open-minded person. To that, I would like to say: thank you, New Zealand. Kia ora, Aotearoa.