Woman in New Zealand

Being a Woman in New Zealand

There’s a lot of good news when it comes to being a woman in New Zealand. Generally, women are educated, well treated, and respected in New Zealand. But the picture isn’t all rosy. They face the same challenges as women in the US and Canada with compromises to their careers as primary caregivers and the pervasive danger of violence against women.

Aerial view of a southern Thai island.

Geography and Climate of Thailand

Moving to Thailand means not only getting used to a whole new set of rules and social customs, it means navigating an entirely new physical country too. While a general overview of the lay of the land is helpful for a traveler, for an expat, it’s one of the keys to a successful life.

A pair of transgendered performers greet visitors.

Gender Roles in Thailand

Thailand is a traditional but increasingly progressive society when it comes to gender roles. Women are actively involved in what some might consider ‘men’s work’, but they’re also usually primary caregivers in the family. Additionally, Thailand has an extremely progressive and tolerant view toward homosexuality, and it may be one of the most open societies in the world when it comes to transsexuality. Despite this, Thai women and anyone identifying as LGBT face the same issues as their counterparts all over the world.

A game of cricket in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo © Aloysius Patrimonio/123rf.

Talking Cricket in New Zealand

To most North Americans, the rules of cricket are rather mysterious. After all, a single match can last for five days! But playing can be good fun, and even watching might enthrall you after you’ve figured out how it all works. Here’s a brief overview that may help you follow the conversation in the local pub.

A new building at Srinakarin hospital in Khon Kaen,Thailand.

Health Care in Thailand

Health care in Thailand is generally good and inexpensive. In fact, people from all over the world come here for everything from routine plastic surgery to fertility treatments. The nicest private hospitals in Bangkok look more like five-star hotels than health care facilities, and doctors often speak three or four languages. Public hospitals are sufficient for many issues but are not always staffed with nurses and doctors that you will be able to communicate with.

Thousands rally for action on climate change around New Zealand. Photo © Rafael Ben-Ari/123rf.

New Zealand’s Social Climate

New Zealanders are generally a good-natured bunch. They enjoy a climate of social tolerance and political stability, but they also enjoy a good debate and love to complain about their elected leaders as much as the rest of us. Kiwis see themselves as proud underdogs and good global citizens, generally lean left and liberal, and have a healthy sense of humor when it comes to their country and their culture.

A cargo ship with working crane bridge in a Bangkok shipyard at dusk.

Moving Your Belongings to Thailand

Thailand has nearly everything you’ll need to set up a comfortable home, so it really is feasible just to pack a couple of suitcases with the clothing, documents, and books you’ll need and get everything else while you’re here. If there are things you need to ship, author Suzanne Nam has advice about costs, timeframes, customs, tax exemptions, and tips on common items to consider packing or shipping that are either unavailable or very expensive in Thailand.

Clouds over the mountains near Queenstown in New Zealand. Photo © Dmitry Pichugin/123rf.

Weather and Climate in New Zealand

Parts of New Zealand boast that they can offer “four seasons in one day.” That may sound a little daunting, but for the most part New Zealand weather is temperate and influenced mainly by the ocean air currents and the mountains. And since New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, spring goes from September to November, summer from December to February, autumn from March to May and winter from June to August.

A row of kneeling statues with their hands in the wai pose.

Conduct and Etiquette in Thailand

Thais are generally an extremely friendly, social, and curious people. A mai pen rai attitude, which loosely translates as “no worries,” pervades casual social interactions. That said, failing to observe certain key social customs may offend. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the wai, daily conduct and etiquette, and how to properly address everyone from coworkers to shop clerks.

A typical small town house in rural New Zealand. Photo © Gina Smith/123rf.

Buying Property in New Zealand

Buying property in New Zealand is a big investment. While the process itself isn’t much more or less complicated than elsewhere, there are a handful of unique considerations to be made. Here are explanations of leaky liability, cross-leases, and common terms used in reference to housing and real estate.