Our New Zealand Story: Prologue: Beer and Wine

*Cue Traditional Korean Drum beats and Traditional Korean Vocals*

The year was 2013 and we had been in Korea for a little over a year at this point. Nicole and I had been going out for about 3 months.

We were in a heated debate about where our lives would take us after Korea. Nicole was fed up with living pay cheque to pay cheque and the sporadic lifestyle of a sole proprietor of her own dance and creative movement company in Scotland. She enjoyed the “9-5 hours” that her current EPIK (English Program in Korea) job offered and the mundane freedom it provided but something was missing. Something so important that it defined her very existence… a good pinot. It was at that moment she hatched a plan so provocative that it would change our lives forever.


“I’m going to New Zealand to study to become a Secondary School Dance Teacher!”, she proclaimed as she took another sip of her cheap house red.

I was attempting to balance a penny (10 won coin) on my pint glass at this point which ended up falling the wrong way into my very expensive “IPA” (an overly hoppy and bitter rendition).

She had, of course, been thinking about this for a while now and had done a bit of preliminary research into the matter. So I was impressed when she fully explained herself proper. The plan was to save up enough money to pay not only for her tuition but to sustain herself in New Zealand indefinitely.

“A bold move”, I blurted, quoting Admiral Dugalle from Starcraft, a computer game I used to play.


It was at that moment I knew I had a choice to make: I could follow this maniac to the middle of nowhere and work as an accountant or go back to living out my pitiful existence in Toronto working as an accountant. The choice was clear… I needed more beer.

The planning conversations later laid the groundwork that allowed us to finally reach the land of milk and honey.

Our high level plan was simple:

  1. Nicole would save enough money to evidence that she could
    • Sustain herself for the full 12 months required for the student visa and;
    • have enough money to pay for her full years tuition without a hitch
  2. Aaron would apply much later for the Silver Fern VISA which would be accepted immediately because he is an amazing accountant with a lot of badass skills that New Zealand would be lucky to have. Aaron would also save a shit ton of money to support not only himself but Nicole as well.

The execution of this plan wasn’t as simple…

In my next post I’ll explain the huge learning curve we were exposed to in trying to migrate over to New Zealand and why this 2 step high level plan needed to be a lot more detailed by the time we needed to apply for our VISAs.

Have you ever set a goal that you had no idea how to achieve? Was the outcome what you expected?

Questions, Comments, Hate and Love below!

Our New Zealand Story Part 1: Student VISA Woes and Working Holiday Shortcuts

(Coming Soon)

“Our New Zealand Story” is a series I’m starting in conjunction with my “Immigration NZ” series to give a more detailed narrative into what exactly we had to go through to get into New Zealand. My hopes are to outline the requirements of each VISA we encountered in the Immigration NZ series and provide some context into our experiences in the Our New Zealand Story series. 


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