As a quick background to my journey, I’ve worked very hard to become a teacher as many others have too. It’s not the kind of journey you spend five years building up just to quit because you can’t afford the life you’re after. As a born and bred Aucklander, I love the place. It’s awesome and exciting. Yes, there’s traffic but you kind of just put up with it because you’re surrounded by family and friends.

My wife and I got married late last year and we had planned to move in together, ideally in a house that we could have to ourselves. In Auckland, Epsom, where I had a job teaching a year 6 class, the average rental price for your own home was $1,000 a week. We could have moved out of the suburb but the trade-off was commuting time. Any house we could afford would have had a 40-minute to an hour commute to my job.

We looked with amusement at house prices in other provinces and then began thinking, ‘Golly, we could afford this’. But my partner’s extended family is in Taranaki so we chose New Plymouth, believing that having family nearby is always a positive. I spent time securing a job before moving and then we bought a house.

It’s been a year since we moved to New Plymouth and we have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We’ve got involved with church and a few hobby groups. We know lots of our neighbours, often joining them for walks or cups of tea. There’s no traffic on my commute and we love ending the day walking to the beach.

In regards to teaching, the job is the most rewarding, amazing, stressful and difficult job I’ve ever experienced. Regardless of where you work, I imagine teaching across the country has similar stresses. However, outside of Auckland, I personally am not also stressed about my mortgage or ability to start a family.

In summary, I still think Auckland is awesome for those who are after the challenge.

If you’re going to leave though, get a job first. My wife and I are thankful to all those people who have helped us and given us the opportunities to live our version of the ‘Kiwi dream’.

All the best for your journey as a teacher. Teaching is such an awesome career and I’m still learning and growing in the profession and loving the highs and lows.

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