BIG life update! We’re moving abroad to…

The big day has finally come. We’ve sold the car and all our furniture. We’ve boxed up and shipped off our remaining belongings. We’ve handed in the keys to our apartment. We’ve said our goodbyes. We’ve left New Zealand, with no idea when we will be returning to the place that has been home for the past eight years.

Now, James and I are going to be embarking on our biggest adventure yet as we move abroad indefinitely!

I’m no stranger to moving overseas. In fact, this will be the eighth time that I have packed up my life and relocated. Funnily enough, I didn’t actually grow up in a family that moved around much. I lived solely in Australia for the first 20 years of my life. That means the eight international moves I’ve made have all happened in the past eight years of my life.

Moving countries once again got me a little nostalgic. This blog post was intended to just be an announcement of where we are moving next. However it turned into a reflection of every move that has led me up to this point in my life.

For those interested, below is the brief version of my moving journey over the past eight years. For those who just want to know where we are moving to next, scroll down to move number 9 where all is revealed!

MOVE 1: Auckland, New Zealand

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After living in Australia all our lives, my parents dropped a bombshell on me in 2013. They were moving over to New Zealand, and they wanted me to join them. I visited Auckland with them for a week to see if I could see myself living there. That was all the time I needed to confirm that I would never be moving to New Zealand.

Yet, a few months later, I begrudgingly joined them. I assured them (and myself) it was a temporary arrangement. I really just wanted to save up to go on to YWAM (an overseas mission/ bible school) and I knew living at home was the quickest way to do this.

I absolutely hated my first six months in Auckland. During this time I was working three jobs, living in the middle of nowhere and had no friends. When the day came to finally leave for YWAM, I couldn’t have been happier.

MOVE 2: Denver, Colorado

My next move was in 2014 to Denver in Colorado. This is where I did my 5-month mission/ bible school with YWAM. I had the best time ever and I was so sad when it came to an end. I was even sadder knowing I was heading back to Auckland, a city that really did not feel like home.

MOVE 3: Sydney, Australia

My second stint in Auckland didn’t last long. I had finally started to make some friends, but I still didn’t feel settled in the city. At the time, I was also in a long-distance relationship with someone from Sydney. Given I didn’t have much tying me to Auckland, I decided that I would give Sydney life a go.

In 2015, I packed up all my belongings and moved to another new city. Unfortunately, Sydney life wasn’t any better than Auckland life. I didn’t know many people, I wasn’t enjoying the university course I had chosen, and things weren’t going well in my relationship.

I took a trip overseas which turned into one of the most pivotal moments in my life. This was when I made the decision to take Polkadot Passport seriously and make an attempt to turn it into my career. This was also when I came to the realisation that I needed to move away from Sydney.

MOVE 4: Auckland, New Zealand (again)

Shakespeare Regional Park | Best Views in Auckland

I realized that if I really wanted to build a career in travel blogging (which at the time, was making me very little money), it would make sense to use my parents’ place as my base once again. So I came crawling back to them in Auckland. This time around, I finally started to make some solid friendships and settle into Auckland a little more.

Just as I was finally starting to enjoy my life in New Zealand, I had the rug pulled out from underneath me yet again. In 2016, my parents told me they were moving back to Brisbane. With my homebase gone, I didn’t have much tying me to New Zealand. I also knew I did not want to move back to New Zealand.

At this time, Polkadot Passport was starting to gain a lot of momentum and I began to travel more and more than ever. It felt like the right time to move to a country that I could use as a good base to travel from, which New Zealand certainly was not.

MOVE 5: Budapest, Hungary (kind of)

I had fallen in love with Budapest the first time I visited and always thought that I would like to live there at some stage. I took my parents moving back to Australia as a sign to do it. So I packed my life into suitcases and told everyone I was off to Hungary’s bustling capital.

Things didn’t go exactly as I had thought. My intention was to move to Budapest. However, once I go over to Europe, my work really started to ramp up. I was bouncing from country to country, without a moment to actually settle myself in one place. I ended up semi basing myself in London, where my uncle very kindly let me crash at his place between my trips.

MOVE 6: Auckland, New Zealand (yet again)

This turned into a year and a half of full-time travel. It was incredible, but it was also incredibly exhausting. By the end of that time, all I craved was stability, a sense of home, and a consistent community. During this time, I went back to New Zealand for a month to visit my friends. It was wonderful being back, and for the first time, I really felt at home in Auckland. So in 2017, I decided, once again, to come crawling back to Auckland.

The next few years in Auckland were some of the best of my life. I finally had the best of both worlds. A balance of the excitement of international work trips and the stability of a home base. Most importantly, I had an incredible group of friends and community to do life with. After years of searching for a place to call home, I had finally found it in Auckland.

MOVE 7: Coffs Harbour, Australia

Of course, ironically, in this moment where I was feeling more content than ever, in 2019, I felt called to move overseas to do another season at YWAM. But this time it was to a YWAM base in a small little beach town in Australia called Coffs Harbour. Nothing in me wanted to move here, but I felt a very strong pull that I could not shake. Thank goodness I did, as this is where I met my husband James!

MOVE NUMBER 8: Auckland, New Zealand (for a final time)

Coffs Harbour was always intended to be a temporary move. So towards the beginning of 2020, I moved back to New Zealand, just moments before all hell broke loose with the COVID pandemic. A few months later, James moved over to join me in Auckland, and we’ve been here ever since.

As much as we’ve loved our life in Auckland, we’ve been dreaming about moving overseas for quite a while now. Not being able to travel for two years has given us seriously itchy feet. Unlike many of our married friends, we are not ready to “settle down” quite yet. We want to make the most of life before we do!

As we are finally coming out of the other side of the pandemic, we feel that this is the right time to migrate overseas and start travelling again.

MOVE NUMBER 9: London, United Kingdom!!!

That’s right, we are heading to LONDON! Both James and I have had a strong desire to live in this bustling city for a very long time. We’ve talked about it many times over the past couple of years. Finally, we are doing it!

So, why London?

It’s certainly not the most exotic destination we could have chosen to move to. After all, it’s basically populated by half of Australia and New Zealand. However, we know it’s going to be a great launchpad for travelling to Europe and beyond.

We are both very fortunate to have British passports, making it very easy for us to move to the UK. After the process we had to go through to get James a partnership visa for New Zealand, we’re very happy to not have to deal with visas for a while.

Finally, despite my immediate family being in Australia, and James’s family being in Canada, both of our extended families actually live in the UK. After living in New Zealand without any family for the past couple of years, we are really excited that we will finally have relatives nearby!

What’s next for Polkadot Passport?

We are spending the next few months visiting our families in Australia and Canada. After this, we will take some time to travel around Europe before settling ourselves in London.

As for Polkadot Passport… This blog is making a serious comeback! After two years of not travelling and almost giving up blogging altogether, I am more enthused than ever to be diving back into the world of full-time blogging.

As you might have read in my lastest blog post, Polkadot Passport is no longer just a travel blog, but a travel AND food blog. I am so excited to extend this platform to include more food-based content, including recipes from every country in the world.

Thank you to everyone who has stuck by me on my blogging journey. I hope you’ll continue to follow along as I enter this new exciting season of Polkadot Passport!

Much love,

Nicola

Nicola Easterby Bio Image

HEY THERE, I'M NICOLA!

I am on a mission to discover the BEST destinations & dishes from around the world. Whether it’s hopping on a plane or into the kitchen, come join the adventure!

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