When globetrotters settle down
The Lonsdale family have lived in Luxembourg, Pakistan and Morocco and are no strangers to starting again. But the family are putting down roots in Cambridge and loving their lives here.
Jason: Hi. My name’s Jason. I’m originally from the UK, and I live in the town of Cambridge in the Waikato.
Ellie: Hi, I’m Ellie. I’m originally from England, but now I live in New Zealand, in Cambridge.
Ronin: Hi, I’m Ronin. I was originally born in Luxembourg and now I live in Cambridge, New Zealand.
Jason: We came here on a working visa for my wife, and she works as a clinical psychologist. Once we got here, I spent the first three years changing roles and working as a house husband, staying at home, looking after the kids. We got settled in and they went to primary school. And that was great. The kids enjoyed it – I think they really enjoy the school here – the enjoyed the outdoors.
Ronin: There’s so much more open area with, you know like trees and playgrounds and stuff to actually properly play in and have fun. So you enjoy the learning more.
Ellie: Brilliant. The school, I made loads of friends. I think when I was seven, I got my bike licence. That means you can go anywhere you want and to school by yourself. And I’ve been going pretty much by myself ever since.
Jason: We’ve been very fortunate here. We’ve got some good friends that we’ve made on the streets with kids of a similar age to ourselves. I think that New Zealanders can be a little bit more difficult to get to know to start with. People have got their established circles and to break into them sometimes takes a bit of effort. It’s not always going to work like I said, we’ve made some good friendships here – people we can rely on. And that’s been good.
Ronin: My friend who just recently moved to a farmhouse, he has a massive stream which we can swim in and they put their boat down it. We could never have done that in Morocco.
Ellie: There are a lot of new things to try. So like in Morocco there wasn’t the Weetbix Tryathlon. Yeah, that was really fun.
Jason: I think very much you’ve got to give a place – when you move somewhere new – you’ve got to give it three years. A year, in my experience, is never long enough. That’s the time when you are feeling at your lowest. It’s when you haven’t quite made your new networks of friends. You haven’t quite found out where everything is, you’re missing your family and people go home. But it’s not enough. You give somewhere three years and you’ll know, and I think we’ve discovered that. We’ve been here three years now; we’ve made friendships, we’ve settled into the community. You know, this could be our home for the rest of our lives.