Destination Queenstown

It’s been a while since the last post. However, there were lots of changes, a little roller-coaster, and a lot of frustration. The main point is that we have moved from Dunedin to Queenstown. Seems like a dream move, but nothing is as beautiful and shiny as it seems. Tu cut a very long story short I deal with anxiety and depression since around 2017. It’s very laborious and tiring process to get your head straight, when things fall apart, and the mountain called life gets very, very challenging and steeppy. The problem with mental health is simple, people can’t see it from outside and don’t understand what is wrong when everything looks good on the outside. However, what they can see is a shell covered in weird personality and strange sense of humour that most people don’t get it. Getting old doesn’t help, and you try to make decisions to improve things, hoping for the best. Moving to Dunedin was one of them.

It’s strange and scary when you are moving from place you really like workwise, such as Preston theatres to a new, so distant one. Dunedin supposed to be a step up, a place where we should enhance skills and improve our lifestyle. Lots of hopes, good will and enthusiasm. We realised very quickly, that this wasn’t as good move as we were hoping for. Work wise, we moved from fairly modern, good place with some greatest people I’ve ever met, best manager we ever had and great team spirit to something completely different. I was told that Dunedin is about 5 years behind western standards. Hmmm, not quite. My impression is, that place is 30-50 years behind, but is stuck in old ways, and the problem is, doesn’t want to move forward. It is a place divided between nurses and anaesthetic technicians, and it is a place where my profession is treated as 3rd category citizens. It’s filled with incompetent, arrogant staff, with no people skills and no understanding what teamwork and morale is. It’s not all bad. There are plenty of truly fantastic, friendly and helpful doctors, anaesthetists, nurses, anaesthetic technicians, oda’s and other staff. However, people who run the show, and are responsible for a flow should be either redeployed or forced to retire.

Anyway, you learn and enhance new skills hard way and unsupported. I always thought about myself as lucky, and during my time in Dunedin, my luck didn’t leave me. However, learning and improving is not a comfortable process. Always means lots of frustration, anger and hopelessness, one big struggle. For a while the only thing I had in my head was ‘’what the f… is this, what the f… have we done’’. I came to a point when I literally lost it and thought ‘’I have to get the hell out of here’’, because I’m going to seriously damage myself, my mental health and my family. The city of Dunedin didn’t help, as is also superbly outdated and stuck in the old ways, not realising that times have changed, and it should adapt to it. I accepted a mistake eventually and started looking for other places that we could move to and find ourselves a new home. I was tired of working in the worst place I have ever worked, any job, any country.

We started looking round, and visited potential places such as Queenstown, Nelson and Greymouth. Initially Queenstown and Nelson told us no, so we accepted that we probably would have to wait till April, and then make a move. Then suddenly we had a phone call asking if we’re still interested with Queenstown job, brand new hospital, but most expensive place in whole New Zealand. We had a little chat, and decided to go for it, had an interview few days later and got offered a job. Nothing is as simple as it seems, because there was a buy-out clause an MIQ that had to paid by somebody. In total around $13 000 – a lot of money, and there was a moving cost on the top of that. I had some savings, but it was used to relocate to a new place (not easy to find a house to rent in Queenstown, believe me), pay a bond and few weeks for two houses, one in Dunedin, one in Queenstown.

Due to shortage of funds we decided to move everything ourselves. Mrs. Sting and kids were packing the car to the maximum, driving to Queenstown 3.5-4 hours, unloading the car, staying overnight and driving back following. Repeat for another two weeks. Driving to Queenstown every other day is not easy and very tiring. I had to work obviously, Christmas included, so was only involved in packing the car. The most positive thing about that period was fruits season (mainly cherries) that my wife and kids were buying in kgs. while driving through Roxburgh.

We still had all the heavy stuff to send over such as desks, couches, chairs, table, fridge, washing machine etc. Instead of paying over $3000 for a moving company, we decided to hire a truck for 24 hrs and do it ourselves. I never drove a truck before, so obviously was a bit anxious but still went for it.  Loading truck and secure everything inside takes time, then driving over 4 hrs in the middle of very hot summer is quite a task. Especially that my left mirror was completely faulty, and I could not see anything other than my passenger side door.  I had to stop few times to readjust it, but due to its fault quickly the left mirror was unusable again. My kids decided to company me, my daughter to Queenstown, my not very chatty son back to Dunedin. In our new home we unloaded truck as quickly as possible and had to go back to Dunedin, another 4 hrs + with an annoying faulty mirror. Quite a badass trip if you ask me. We returned a truck and following day had to drive to Queenstown again with a car loaded to a maximum, this time hopefully for a last time.

New place, new hospital. Seems idealistic, but Queenstown is superbly isolated, so job is not as easy as seems. Lots of responsibilities involved that I never had before. Also as mentioned before Queenstown is most expensive place in New Zealand, so I can feel my pocket whet it comes down to pay for a rent. What Queenstown offers, though is stunning views, it’s a heaven for hiking, climbing, scrambling, mountain biking, water sports, skiing etc. Place where you usually go for holiday. There is always a price that you have pay for it, but it’s only the beginning. I want to stay here permanently, as I feel that I have found a place on earth for ourselves. This is a journey, and it’s only the beginning…  

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