While arriving at your first day at a new job to find a cow in the driveway might phase most Londoners, for Patrick Carroll it’s just another exciting aspect of his new life in Taranaki.
Patrick and Maria Carroll made the move in 2010, seeking an escape from their fast paced jobs and a chance to settle down. In 2012 they welcomed son Tadhg to the family, and are relishing their new laid-back lifestyle.
“Maria’s family are here, so when we wanted to take a step back it was the perfect place,” Patrick says.
“When it was time to have a family of our own, it was an easy choice, though we’re about to return to the UK for the first time since we left so Tadhg can meet his other grandparents!”
Immigration was easy, as Maria was a Kiwi, and they didn’t have a house in the UK to sell, so it was just a case of deciding what they wanted to take with them, and bidding farewell to friends and family – the part of the process Patrick found the hardest. As a result a lot of time is spent on Skype.
The couple spent some time renting and exploring the various neighborhoods, before settling down and buying a home in the central New Plymouth suburb of Westown.
“My commute to work was an hour in London. Here it’s ten minutes with no holdups. I really don’t miss traffic congestion!”
Patrick’s workplace is also quite different from his former role, having gone from a workplace of 4,000 at the UK Sky TV to a scheduling role with Vector - a staff of around 100 – and his own web and graphic design business. You can see why Patrick finds work more relaxed here.
Maria, a former business analyst now works for the SPCA, which has resulted in regular visits from an array of furry creatures, much to the delight of Tadgh.
“We looked for work online before we came over, but it was actually through a family contact here that I got the job at Vector. It’s who you know!” Patrick says, offering the advice to anyone else looking to make the move to secure employment before arriving.
“Job security is key. We had a plan that has worked out for us, so there’s not much we’d do differently.”
While weekends are largely dominated by the social calendar of their two-year-old, Patrick has found Vector a social and family focused workplace, and the local community easy to fit into.
And when it comes to Taranaki’s weather, which can often be influenced by the neighbouring rainforest, Patrick is unfazed.
“I’ve got one rain jacket that I haven’t worn in two years. It could be a bit sunnier here, but I’ve had worse, and the landscape has everything you could want - the beaches, outdoor activities, going for a walk on the beach is so novel for me – I love it!”
“I love that the Mountain is so close – it’s amazing that it’s right in our back yard!”