Living in Wellington: what’s it really like?

I accepted this job having been to New Zealand but never having visited Wellington, the country’s capital. I remember receiving an email from the Head of Department offering me an interview. Fuck. I’d just missed out on the job in New Zealand I was gunning for and had completely forgotten I’d applied for this one. Maybe it’s a sign, I thought.

But what is Wellington even like? I could get this job and be living in a city I hate. With that in mind, I did what any modern day person would do and sought advice from my trusty friend Google. I typed: Wellington, NZ, and pressed enter. Images of a cable car immediately came up. Is this how everyone gets around in Wellington? Would I be catching a cable car to work?

 As I skimmed through the information certain phrases kept repeating themselves:

Earthquakes

 Strong Winds

 Steep Hills

 Parliament buildings

 Cable car

 Oh, great. Shit weather, dragging my ass up hills, and every day I would be risking my life in a city known for earthquakes. I started to worry. Maybe I won’t even do the interview? I don’t think I want to live here.

I dug deeper and typed: things to do in Wellington. The damn cable car was top of the list again. I read on:

Cuba Street Night Markets

 Courtenay Place Nightlife

 World’s Best Coffee

 Craft Beer

 Festivals

 The Little Melbourne

This was looking promising. I started to get excited at the possibility of living in Wellington, but remained skeptical. The next morning I woke up and did my interview. I was exhausted and briefly read over my notes before interviewing over the phone. It went okay but I had already decided I wasn’t going to be disappointed if I didn’t get the job because I wasn’t 100% sold on Wellington.

Less than an hour after the interview finished I had two missed calls and a voicemail telling me I had won the position.

Oh God I am moving to Wellington.

I booked a one-way flight and spent three weeks in New Zealand before I moved to Wellington to start my job. It was excruciating waiting to see if this was going to be the best or worst decision of my life.

I have been here five weeks now and can wholeheartedly say there is no place I would rather be. Google wasn’t wrong, but if I were to write a list describing Wellington this is what it would read:

Hipsters

 Diversity and Acceptance

 Multicultural

 World’s Best Coffee and Beer

 High cost of Living (that is worth it short term)

 Great public transport

 Mild Winds and Earthquakes you (usually) don’t even notice

 Brunching on Cuba Street

 Nightlife on Courtenay Place

 Endless opportunities

After five weeks living in Wellington, I still haven’t been for a ride up the iconic cable car. Not because I don’t want to, but because I have found a city full of life, vibrancy, and energy that I haven’t experienced before. Every weekend I am flooded with opportunities and possibilities in a city that always has something new and incredible to offer.

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