READER REPORT:

Trading NZ for Spain

TANIA FERNANDEZ
Last updated 05:00 12/03/2014

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Are you a Kiwi living overseas? How does it compare to New Zealand? Tania Fernandez has found the move to Spain tough.

I moved to Cullera 10 years ago.

Cullera is a small town on the southeast coast of Spain. Culture and tradition are strong here, asevident in the many fiestas that occur during the year. The climate is superb and the people are very open and friendly.

I am a typical Kiwi girl who was born in Golden Bay but grew up in Christchurch.

Moving to Spain was not quite the romantic vision I had in my mind. In fact, it turned out to be the most difficult period of my life. A brand new culture, language, food, music, education system and health system meant that I had to learn a whole new way of life.

I have been back to New Zealand every year to see my family and friends. I love New Zealand. My heart belongs there. It is a very special place. Kiwis love their country and they respect it. It's the last paradise on earth, where one can safely drink and swim in unpolluted waters and walk in clean streets.

Spain has many positives, alongside some problems that need to be changed. On the one hand, it appears politicians are caught in a cycle of corruption, the Catholic church is still a dominant force and the population has lost respect for the body that governs it.

On the other hand, people show strong solidarity among family and friends.

The Spanish have faced financial crisis, 25 per cent unemployment and a government that is still stuck in the cycle of taking more and more from its people while showing no signs of improvement - but the people battle on with smiles, laughter and love.

There are clear differences but it is, in my opinion, difficult to choose one over the other. In a perfect world all nations would have the same attitude towards the enviroment, politics, religion, education and health but let's face it - what a boring world that would be!


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