Your Local Experiences: Expat Living in Wellington

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flag_new_zealandAfter you use askalo to find local tips and recommendations, its nice to share your new discoveries with your local community. In this way we can all learn about to best things to do and see in your city.

We invite you to also share your local experiences in a guest post on the askalo blog.


Our guest author Diane Morgan is the creator of the blog American in Exile, where she writes about living in Wellington, the "coolest little capital in the world."

My name is Diane Morgan and I'm originally from Bergen County, New Jersey, USA. I've been living outside of America for nearly 10 years now but have been in New Zealand for the past four of those. I came to New Zealand with my boyfriend (now husband!) in 2007 because it was easier for us both to get work visas in NZ than it was to migrate to each other's countries!

Before I came to NZ, I had never really worked in an office but I completed a master's degree in political science in 2006 so my husband and I thought coming to Wellington would provide more job opportunities for me because the main government agencies are located here.

Within a few days of arriving in Wellington, a recruitment agency had found me short term work and had also lined up several interviews with large government departments. After my first interview, I was offered a 7 month contract as a project administrator with one of the bigger departments. I've been there ever since but have moved up the ranks to become a business improvement advisor. Working for the government has its ups and downs but provides a relatively good work-life balance which allows me time to go explore the amazing surroundings I find myself in.

My husband and I love Wellington because it offers an incredible combination of culture, wilderness and job opportunities. It's a relatively small city but still offers a great mix of restaurants and nightlife, yet there's a surf beach just down the road from my house!

Some of my favourite things to do in town are eating out and going to the movies. If you're looking for top notch restaurants, my recommendations are Martin Bosley's, Logan Brown, and the Boulcott Street Bistro. If you're looking for mid-range, I'd go for Chow, which is Asian fusion, or the General Practitioner for more traditional fare - the lamb pie is always fantastic!

As for cinemas, you must check out the iconic Embassy at the end of Courtenay Place. It's a refurbished theatre with some of the most comfortable seats in town. Most new films coming out of the world-renowned Weta studios are premiered at the Embassy. If you're interested in film-making, you can actually head out to Miramar in the Eastern suburbs of Wellington to see where Peter Jackson created some of his masterpieces like Lord of the Rings and Avatar.

There are some smaller cinemas peppered around Wellington which I'd also recommend, such as the Brooklyn Penthouse Cinema and Island Bay's Empire Cinema. They're both extremely cosy cinemas and you can bring a glass of wine in with you!

So that's my two cents on Wellington. Of course there's plenty more on offer such as great walks along Wellington's wild south coast, surfing in Lyall Bay or having brunch in one of the many cafes in town. If you'd like to read more about the "coolest little capital in the world", check out my blog: www.americaninexile.com.

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