When I woke up on November 9th the seemingly impossible had happened (even though I went to bed early the night before knowing full well what the outcome was going to be) – Donald J. Trump had been elected the 46th President of the United States.
I began seriously – I had joked about it during the interminable 2016 election – to consider immigrating to a different country. I considered the English-speaking countries first – Canada, Australia, the UK – and even South America.
Then as we started to move into the holidays I let the inherent goodness of the season rekindle – just the tiniest bit – my hope and I thought “Well, this has to be a façade – he just can’t be much of an idiot – he has to step up for the good of the American people and the world”
Then January came. And February.
It’s been 100 days
100 days of convoluted bizarre “alternative facts’. 100 days of hate filled rhetoric and embarrassing diplomatic gaffs – Mexico, Angela Merkel.
100 days of Sean bloody Spicer and Kellyanne Conway.
I didn’t think the madness would get worse.
I was wrong.
It’s time to take the plunge and become an ex-pat. Not because I don’t love my country, but because it’s no longer my country.
Why Not Canada?
Don’t get me wrong – Canada is a beautiful country. Canadians are among the nicest people around.
I love BC and Victoria and have been all over the country,
It’s just…well, frankly it’s too close for one. And though it’s beautiful, it tends to be on the colder side.
I figure if I’m going to move I’d move someplace that has a more varied climate and better working opportunities and also differs a bit more than the US.
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Ok, English Speaking Country – What About Australia?
Australia is nice and I’ve considered moving there in the past.
The Aussies have a good track record of welcoming immigrants since they took in WWII Baltic refugees.
However, the cost of living in Australia is a bit high and property is very expensive as well.
Immigrating to New Zealand
Then there is New Zealand….and there is a lot to love about New Zealand and immigrating there.
There is a reason that after the US presidential election visits from U.S. citizens to the Immigration New Zealand website soared.
The average visit in a 24-hour period is 2,300 and it was at 56,300 in the post-election period!
New Zealand Now — a website about living, working, studying and investing in the country — experienced the same spike, with a 192% increase in U.S. visitors.
Heck, even a Supreme Court Justice – Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg -joked that she might move to New Zealand if Trump won.
And while some of my compatriots may not have been serious about moving, I am.
Wellington, New Zealand — also known as “Silicon Welly — is very serious about recruiting U.S. citizens to move there.
For instance, the city has launched an initiative called LookSee Wellington with its goal of recruiting 100 talented technology candidates from across the globe focusing on the United States (yay for me!)
The program arranges meetings with prospective employers who have roles that match a candidate’s skills, and flights and accommodations are covered.
But don’t worry about not being in the tech industry if you want to move away from the Trumpian madness to greener pastures
Wellington is a great place to live whether you work in the tech industry or not!
Diversity is celebrated – gay marriage is legal and the first female leader was elected more than 20 years ago.
If you hold a work visa valid for two years or more, public healthcare is free or low cost.
And per capita, Wellington also has more restaurants, cafes, and bars per capita than New York City.
New Zealand is known as an “incubation nation,”- a place where innovation thrives and where people can make a real change and have the impact.
If you couple that with stunning natural beauty – think Mount Taranaki, Fox Glacier Cave or Milford Sound – with great opportunities in construction, engineering and even the film industry (remember Weta and the Lord of The Rings?) you have a rock-solid reason and absolute lack of excuse not to immigrate to New Zealand.
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So, I’m not waiting – and neither should you!
Not only is New Zealand full of opportunity, but they want you and want you to succeed!
This blog has been written by anonymous blogger from the United States of America