It is one year since I left Auckland.
A crazy year of selling a house, moving a family, renting a house, starting a new job, buying a house and moving a family.
But how does my new life look one year out of Auckland?
Well, plenty has been written about a slower pace of life and cheaper houses and I can confirm all of this to be true. Getting anything done in Christchurch is considerably easier than Auckland.
It is truly surreal how many places I visit and get a park right outside the front door.
Would never happen on Dominion Rd.
And yes, we have purchased a modern, four-bedroom house with a large garage and an ensuite for a fraction of our Mt Eden mortgage.
So life is peachy south of the 09.
Do I miss things about Auckland, you betcha.
I miss that lovely humidity. That mild (if wet) winter.
I miss the Indian community of Mt Roskill and the dumplings on Dominion Rd.
I miss Wild Wheat bread, The Westmere Butcher and the fish market.
Most of all I miss Narrow Neck, Takapuna and Langs Beach. Oh how I miss you Langs Beach.
I do not miss rain, traffic and cockroaches.
Part of me misses the hustle and bustle of corporate life, the ruthless, fast-paced action of snake pit.
But most of me does not miss this at all.
Zero politics in my Christchurch place of work, no one whose ambitions far outweigh their abilities and will throw you under a bus to get ahead.
And in my year in The Mainland quite a few of my friends and colleagues have cashed in their Auckland abodes and moved back to the near-new shaky city also.
Don't think I started something.
Most of all, who knew family support was such a game changer?
Like a bizarre case of Stockholm Syndrome, you get used to the isolation of surviving Auckland with a family, but life is definitely better closer to Nana and Pop (says Captain Five Year Old).
So one year on, thanks Auckland.
Thanks for 10 years of long hot humid summers, broadening our horizons and most of all thanks so very much for capital gains.
It will be nice to be home for a Christchurch Christmas.
- Ian Avery is The Hits Content Director for the South Island