A New Home, Familiar Comforts: Migrant to New Zealand – 2 months

It’s been just nearly two months since he embarked on this new chapter, a voyage from his native land to the lush greens and beautiful landscapes of New Zealand. Like an artist carefully adding colours to his palette, he has gathered a spectrum of experiences, each one adding depth and texture to his journey as a migrant to New Zealand.

Rewinding back to ten days ago, he busied himself with sprucing up their rental house, transforming the unfamiliar structure into a warm and inviting home. Every piece of furniture was meticulously selected, and each arrangement carefully thought out, creating a welcoming atmosphere for his eagerly awaited family.

His spouse, brimming with a mix of excitement and nostalgia, left India with their children last week. Gathering her belongings, she shared emotional goodbyes with her parents, in-laws, relatives, and friends. It wasn’t just the departure from a familiar place, but also an emotional farewell to a chapter of their lives. The goodbyes were heavy with emotion, leaving behind loved ones and a life that they had known all too well.

The moment her flight lifted off the tarmac, she waved a silent goodbye to her homeland. The sight of the receding land from the airplane window was a stark reminder of the massive leap they had taken into an unknown journey.

With teary eyes, she looked forward to the new journey awaiting her and her family. As she comforted herself with thoughts of their impending reunion, she dreamt about inviting their loved ones to visit them in New Zealand one day. She envisioned hosting their loved ones in their new home in New Zealand, an aspiration that provided comfort during this poignant farewell.

Although bidding farewell to her homeland stirred a whirlpool of emotions within her, the journey that lay ahead presented its own unique set of challenges. The prospect of managing her children single-handedly during the long flight was one that filled her with apprehension. In this unfamiliar milieu, she was to bear the responsibility of their care, safety, and comfort, a daunting task.

To her immense relief, the airline staff stepped forward to provide invaluable assistance, easing her burdens significantly. Their professionalism, combined with a palpable sense of empathy, lent an unexpected smoothness to the entire boarding process. Their support, both in managing her children and in navigating the practical aspects of air travel, served as a comforting presence in an otherwise challenging journey.

The assistance provided by the airline acted as a reassuring balm against the emotional upheaval she was experiencing. It was a reminder that while she was stepping into an uncertain future, there were systems and people in place to facilitate her transition. This unexpected support not only offered her respite but also fortified her spirit, transforming a potentially stressful situation into a manageable experience.

During a stopover in Singapore, a minor hiccup arose when she couldn’t connect with her family due to network issues. However, she found comfort in the camaraderie of another Indian family also migrating to New Zealand. This unexpected acquaintance not only helped her connect with her spouse but also sparked a new friendship that promised to be beneficial, given that the family worked in the health sector.

The previous week heralded the long-awaited moment of reunion for the family. Accompanied by a friend who generously offered his assistance, he navigated through the bustling airport to collect his family, their faces glowing with anticipation. The journey back to their new home was filled with laughter and shared stories of their individual adventures in his absence, making the drive seem both short and sweet.

The instant they crossed the threshold of their new home, the house began to resonate with life. The echoes of their children’s innocent laughter and excited chatter seeped into every room, infusing the space with warmth and vitality. Their youthful excitement as they explored each room, their small hands touching and claiming their surroundings, brought an ineffable sense of completion and belonging.

This was not just a house; it was their home – a haven for their dreams and a foundation for their shared future. Their arrival and the simple joy they brought with them transformed this space into their sanctuary. The air now carried the undeniable scent of their presence, the walls now echoed their shared memories, and the rooms now held the promise of countless stories yet to unfold. The excitement that filled their new home was tangible, making this moment of reunion a cherished milestone in their journey as migrants to New Zealand.

The subsequent days after their joyful reunion swiftly transformed into a flurry of activity. The reunited family was now a single unit, diligently focused on acclimatizing themselves to the unfamiliar environment. Weather patterns, drastically different from those in India, demanded a considerable period of adaptation. Simultaneously, the persistent effects of jet lag were an additional challenge they collectively grappled with.

However, in their unity as a family, they found strength. They embarked on an explorative journey to familiarize themselves with the enchanting city of Auckland. Their new residence, the peculiar lifestyle of the Kiwis, their local neighborhood, and the intricate network of roads all presented a novel spectacle. As new inhabitants of these localities, every facet of their surroundings was an invitation to a unique, exhilarating adventure.

Their status as migrants lent a fresh perspective to their lives, with each day unraveling a new aspect of their adopted homeland. The daily scenes that might have been commonplace for the locals were, for them, an exciting blend of culture and lifestyle they were eager to assimilate.

In the midst of these transformative changes and fresh beginnings, there were certain aspects of their previous life that offered a comforting sense of familiarity. One of these was the sheer delight of indulging in their cherished Indian meals – the aromatic rice, robust dals, spice-infused sabzis, and fluffy paranthas – that served as an edible connection to their roots.

Savoring these traditional dishes at their dining table in New Zealand wasn’t just about filling their stomachs, but also about filling their hearts with warmth and a sense of belonging. It was as though each morsel contained within it a memory of home, soothing their yearning for the familiar amidst the unfamiliarity of their new life.

These homely flavors, in a sense, served as a gastronomic bridge between their past in India and their present in New Zealand. It was a culinary embodiment of their dual identity, celebrating their Indian heritage while embracing their Kiwi lifestyle.

This infusion of traditional Indian cuisine into their daily life in New Zealand brought a dash of vibrancy to their migrant journey. It made the assimilation process more enjoyable and enriching, not merely a quest for survival but a flavorful exploration of a life interwoven with two cultures. This gastronomic journey played a pivotal role in their overall migration experience, encapsulating the intricate balance of maintaining one’s cultural identity while embracing a new one.

The previous week held a sense of poignant silence for his parents back in India. The absence of their son’s family, the hush that replaced the kids’ usual laughter and chatter, gave the house an unfamiliar quietude. It was as though the walls echoed with memories, stirring a mix of nostalgia and melancholy within them. Their home, once brimming with life and activity, felt oddly vacant. They grappled with the reality of their solitude, an unsettling stillness that they had not anticipated.

Simultaneously, they also experienced a sense of being left behind, a feeling of abandonment gnawing at their hearts. The joy of their son’s successful migration was tinged with a personal sense of loss, leaving them uncertain and conflicted about their emotions.

However, technology bridged this physical distance and brought a slice of their son’s new life in New Zealand right to their home in India. The moment they saw their grandkids’ faces light up on the video call, their spirits instantly lifted. It was as though the digital screen transcended geographical boundaries, momentarily blurring the miles that separated them.

Their eyes sparkled with joy when they saw their grandkids splashing around and playing in the bathtub, their laughter echoing through the video call, reaching straight to their grandparents’ hearts in India. This sight, this moment of pure, unadulterated joy, was a balm to their longing hearts. It reminded them that although they were physically distant, the bond of love remained as strong as ever.

Seeing their family thrive and find happiness in their new home in New Zealand infused a renewed vigor into them. It was a poignant reminder that their solitude was a sacrifice made for the happiness of their children and grandchildren – a sacrifice they would willingly make time and again.

Auckland beach