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We are moving to New Zealand [personal]



Time for a quick personal update.

We (Jo, kids & I) are moving to New Zealand on July 15th. We are going to Wellington and will be living there for next 2 years.

New Zealand…Really? Why? How?

To understand that, we need to go back in time, to EDATE(TODAY(), -75). In April 2010, I moved back to India from Denmark. By then our twins were 6 months old. Although Jo & I are peripatetic, we brushed aside the travel urges so that we can take care of the kids and watch them grow. So we settled in Visakhapatnam, a beautiful coastal town in southern India. We bought a car, house and made it our home.


But every now and then we travel. We were fortunate to visit Thailand, Australia, Maldives, Singapore and USA during last 6 years. As the kids got older, we revisited the idea of travel. This time, we wanted to be gone for a while. Since the kids are of school going age, we wanted to be in a country where they can enjoy schooling (and easily transition to India, should we decide to come back). This means, we can only go to English speaking countries. We narrowed down the list to New Zealand, USA & Australia. The visa process for USA is complex, lengthy, uncertain and costly. Since we have been to Australia a few times, we wanted to try a new place. So New Zealand it is.

Then, in early 2015, we applied for long term New Zealand visa. This is called skilled migrant category visa (SMC). The process took almost an year and just before Christmas 2015, we heard from the NZ migration authorities that our application is accepted and we can travel. It took another 3 months to complete the visa formalities (visa stamps in passport, migrant levy payment etc.)

We then wanted to wait until July so that kids can complete their school year in India (and I can eat mangoes during the season #yummy). So that is how the travel date of July 15 got fixed.

Our New Zealand plans

New Zealand is a beautiful country and there are so many things to do. We are looking forward to,

  • Hiking famous and remote walks of NZ.
  • Cycling beautiful trails
  • Camping and RVing
  • Making new friends
  • Learning new skills (carpentry, open water swimming, skiing and growing hens)
  • Run a few meetups & live Excel classes in New Zealand

Of course, those are our long-term plans. During the first 8 weeks of arrival, we will be busy with the usual stuff like,

  • Finding a place to live
  • Enrolling kids in to school
  • Arranging transport (car & cycles)
  • Figuring out usual things (groceries, bank, phone, internet etc.)

If you live in Wellington and would like to catch up or help me, please email at chandoo.d@gmail.com. 

How does this impact Chandoo.org & you

Not much really. I have been a bit lazy wit blogging since Jan 2016 because we are preparing for the travel and dealing with associated emotions. But blogging should pick up from end of August. All our courses, products and ebooks will be available as usual. Our support will be regular too. I will be resuming the podcast from August. So, more awesomeness for you all in all.

Once we settle down in NZ, I plan to run live classes in Auckland, Wellington & Christ Church.

Thank you for making this happen

Thank you from bottom of heart. Without your support, love and willingness to learn, I could not have dreamt of this. Thank you for making Chandoo.org a partner in your journey to awesomeness. You are one of a kind.

Thanks also to the amazing people at ENZ.org, who helped me at all stages of this migration.


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79 Responses to “We are moving to New Zealand [personal]”

  1. Ben says:

    All the best Chandoo. Glad to know this in no way impacts chandoo.org or any of us...

  2. John E E says:

    Sounds a great idea!
    I 'moved from England to Scotland at similar time 'for a few years'. Turned out to be so good I am still here 🙂
    All best wishes

  3. Jeff Weir says:

    See you at the airport, Chandoo. I'll round up a bunch of hobbits and elves as a welcoming party.

  4. Anthony says:

    Congratulations! Best wishes and speedy settling in!

  5. Puneet Gogia says:

    Best Wishes Chandoo.

  6. Kate says:

    Wishing you and your family all the best Chandoo and looking forwards to the end of August for more awesomeness

  7. Mehmet Gunal says:

    I wish you and your family the best of everything in your new life. In case that you need any support from Turkey, please do not forget that you have a friend here.

  8. NARAYAN says:

    Hi Purna ,

    Congratulations , and wish you and your family all the very best.

  9. Michael says:

    Sounds very exciting! Good luck and thanks for all the tips!

  10. Ben Collins says:

    Congratulations! What an exciting new chapter for you and the family. Wish you all the best and look forward to hearing about your adventures (and Excel) here. NZ is a beautiful place!

  11. Emerson Carlos da Silva says:

    Best wishes to you and your family.
    Good lucky on your new journey.

  12. Stef@n says:

    Chandoo Great 🙂 best wishes for you and your family 🙂 a wonderful time will begin 🙂 wish ALL the best 🙂 best greatings from Germany Stef@n

  13. David Evans says:

    Good luck and best wishes to you and your family. They are lucky to have you as a resident of their beautiful island nation. You had better brush up on your rugby data, as NZ:Rugby as India:Cricket!
    Chandoo.org will look and feel the same whether you are in Calcutta or Christchurch. It's my go-to resource and the home of some truly smart and nice folks.


  14. John Maybee says:

    Hey! I hope you enjoy the Kiwi's - it's a gorgeous country and the weather is terrific. Hope you like lamb.
    On your list of English speaking countries I was surprised not to see Canada - you are missing out on a beautiful part of the world if you don't get up here - you should check it out on one of your holidays and may I suggest Vancouver?
    All the best!

  15. Kim Mullins says:

    Good for you and your family! You guys have a unique opportunity in this life go live it! Without you generously imparting your knowledge and instructions many of us would not be able to do the things we are able to do! Thank you !

  16. Melanie Beck says:

    That's wonderful for you and your family! Congratulations on the new adventure. Keep us posted. Would love to see a picture or two!

  17. Ro Fernando says:

    Hi Purna

    Oh my a new exciting chapter awaits you and your family.
    As it happens I lie in Wellington, New Zealand. I would love to meet up with you and your family and will gladly help you settle into New Zealand. It IS a very beautiful Country. I am glad you chose Wellington as opposed to Auckland. Please feel free to email me and would be happy to assist you in anyway

    Ro (Rohitha)

  18. Jo Forsythe says:

    This is awesome. Wishing you safe travels and exciting adventures for you and your family!

  19. Manick says:

    All the best Chandoo! You need lot of courage to shuttle between countries with family! And, we know, you like challenges. Have a great time!

  20. Aalok Gautam says:

    All The Best To You & Your Family For Your New Journey.

    Best Wishes & Love

  21. Rubin says:

    Congratulations... Blessing to you and your family.

  22. Marcus says:

    Welcome to our fair country! 🙂

  23. Mike says:

    Welcome to Wellington Chandoo and family! Enjoy your stay here.

    It's cold here today, so please wrap up warm for when you arrive. 🙂

  24. Matt Loveridge says:


    Another fellow Wellingtonian here

    Am sure you are going to enjoy the coolest little capital in the world.

    Meet ups are going to be amazing!

  25. Oz says:

    Noooooo ....
    Your kids will start using words like 'zed.'

    But seriously. CONGRATS!

  26. I am sure that in this country, you will meet many people and quickly you will get many friends, you are a very generous teacher and all you will do it’s going to be successful, congratulations!!


  27. Dave T. says:

    Simple. Congratulations!

    Your stuff is great ... NZ is great. Great Squared!

  28. Miguel Cubeles says:

    I am so glad you choose NZ for living, more chances to attend one of your meet ups or classes, and good choose too with Wellington,beautiful city. Al the best from Auckland and "Kia Ora" Chandoo

  29. Seamonkey Madness says:

    Great to see you are moving to the best little capital in the world! It is truly a great place to live, especially when the weather plays ball. You can't beat Wellington on a good day. The waterfront is the best place to be when the sun is out.
    Unfortunately it is quite cold at them moment, but in saying that it has been the warmest summer ever. Whether that is a good or bad thing in the context of climate change is another matter. 😉

    I hope you get to achieve all the goals on your list, and more Chandoo.


  30. David Hager says:

    Sounds great for the kids. Good luck.

  31. Waqar says:

    Wow, that's a great news Chandoo 🙂 Wish you nd your family a very good luck. You know what, I really like the idea of spending life in different cities/countries and wrote a blog on it couple of months back. Have a look


  32. Romauldo says:

    CONGRATS ! All the very best on your bold move to NZ

  33. Leon-K says:

    This is fantastic news. You have given so much and worked so hard for your achievements. You deserve all the happiness and opportunities that life presents to you. I am so very happy for you and your family and I can't wait to see how this influences your site and your creativity.

  34. Sachin N Harale says:

    Wonderful news! I wish you a fulfilling life at your new home in New Zealand. India will miss you.

  35. ANAND says:

    Dear Chandoo,
    Heartily Congratulations , and wish you and your family all the very best. Also expects to return to Mother Country India.
    Warm regards

  36. nikki says:

    Wishing you and your beautiful family all the best, "Mate" - thanks again for always making us awesome..... 🙂

    #lovemangoestoo !!

  37. Jagdish Negi says:

    Congratulations and good luck for your new endeavour...Best wishes for you & your family...

  38. Divisha Joe says:

    Super excited. Welcome to Wellington. Am sure I'll see you around especially at a Meetup. Jeff said he's going to set something up 🙂

    • Ro Fernando says:

      If someone set ups a meetup it would e super cool. Please keep me apprised. Feel free to email me > ro.fernando@clear.net.nz

      • Jeff Weir says:

        Hi Rob. You can sign up to the meetup at http://www.meetup.com/Wellington-Microsoft-Excel-Meetup/

        I'll be setting up the first meeting fairly soon...just need to secure a venue and allow Chandoo to get over his jetlag, so that he doesn't muddle his VLOOKUP arguments in his presentation!

        • Ro Fernando says:

          Hi Jeff

          I have signed up at the meetup link.
          The Library Bar in Wellington hosts some other meetup groups.
          I am a member of the Porirua Club and if you like I can ask them if we can higher a room there for a meetup. I am sure I can get a good deal and the Chef there is an Indian guy.

          If you wish to discuss this further please email me > ro.fernando@clear.net.nz

          I assume Chandoo has landed safely in NZ

          Might be good to meet him first and welcome him to our lovely Country.

          I would be very keen to do that

          • Jeff Weir says:

            Hi Rob. Chandoo doesn't get here till 15th July. I never though about doing a meetup at Porirua. That's a good idea worth looking at further. I'll reach out by email.

          • Jeff Weir says:

            Whoops, I keep calling you Rob in error. Please excuse me...I blame my trigger-happy fingers!

  39. Suresh kumar says:

    Hi Chandoo Congratulations!,

    All The Best To You & Your Family For Your New Journey.

    Thank you so much, Now I am a MIS lead in a reputed company, is because of all your teaching. thanks once again.

  40. Rayudu says:

    Have safe journey and all the best to you and your family.

  41. KNZ says:

    Congrates and best wishes on your lovely endeavour to you wife n kids. take care

  42. Hui... says:

    Congratulations Chandoo!,

    All the Best to You & Your Family for your new journey ahead.
    Of course you will have to relearn English...

    I will have to convince Eva to have a Holiday in NZ now, seeing as I could never get her to visit India

    • Jeff Weir says:

      "Of course, you will have to relearn English..."

      Only if he goes foshing.

      • Hui... says:

        or eats Fosh and Chups

        • Jeff Weir says:

          Funny story: Chandoo and family came over for lunch today. I made a Tofu soup for starters from a recipe I'd never tried before, and had to apologize on account that it tasted a bit bland. Then I go to the stove to cook the next course, and there's all the herbs sitting there that I'd chopped up ahead of time for the soup and then forgotten about.

          • Chandoo says:

            Thanks for the lunch and walk Jeff. It was lovely. Next time remember to add the spices (or better still come to our house and we will make you a tasty tofu / chicken soup for you... :P)

  43. Sanjib says:

    First thing first.....get a cycle there!!!

  44. Karin says:

    Best wishes. It's wonderful to see people living their dreams.

  45. Colleen says:

    Thanks so much for this blog! Wishing you and your family health and happiness, peace and prosperity in your next home.

  46. Inet Kemp says:

    Wishing you and your family a safe journey and many exciting things to come.I am following you from India to New Zealand and am keeping a watch on your next post.

  47. indzara says:

    Congratulations, Chandoo. Best wishes for your new journey. Thanks for continuing to inspire other entrepreneurs.

  48. NJ Dawood says:

    As a frequent "lurker" to your excellent website (I have had you in my RSS feed aggregator for years), I would like to wish you and your family all the best for your travel/emigration to NZ.
    As a result of being made a job offer, I also emigrated to NZ (but from the UK) with a young family, some years back. We reckoned that it would be a good change because:

    (a) It has a low-density population (less hassle) and is relatively cosmopolitan. Auckland is the largest "city", and the capital (Wellington) is the second largest. They are defined locally as "cities" but are in reality no bigger than some mid-sized UK towns, which makes living in either place pretty agreeable, though the traffic congestion in both can become fairly bad in the rush-hour times - apparently due to a combination of generally physically difficult or restrictive terrain/access for roading, and poor forward urban planning. (Christchurch would probably be a good example of an exception there.) The overall population is only approx. 4.5M (at last census).

    (b) It is a great place to bring up kids in a multi-racial society and receive an English-based education - though earlier the educational system standards were not so hot, but are improved/improving, including the tertiary sector.
    I used to think that Wellington was pretty cosmopolitan, but when I moved to Auckland I was surprised at how much more cosmopolitan it was. For example, my 5½ y/o son goes to a primary school on the edge of the city centre where the majority of children in his class seem to be non-NZ indigenous from various countries, and approx. 50% seem to be Asian + Indian (his best friends are two Indian boys, an Iranian boy, and a Japanese boy).
    My 15½ y/o daughter's girls' school nearby, whilst calling itself "diverse" is actually probably more properly described as being 71% "ethnocentric" on Maori & Pasifika, according to the school's own ethnicity enrolment stats (2014):
    Ethnic group:
    Maori & Pasifika - 71%
    Asian - 16%
    Other - 4%
    European/Pakeha - 8%
    International - 2%
    Use of the word "ethnocentric" above can be substantiated, as this is an Auckland school where the Auckland population ethnicity distribution (2013 ex Wikipedia) was:
    Maori & Pasifica - Island: 26%
    Asian - 23%
    European/Pakeha - 59%
    Middle Easterners/Latin Americans/Africans - 2$
    'New Zealanders' - 1%
    Others - 0%

    (c) NZ has a beautiful natural environment that is good for exploring. There are large areas of the country that were preserved (with foresight) in perpetuity since the 1940s and '50s as national parks for public R&R (Rest and Recreation). If you are into "tramping" (hiking over hills and across valleys in the country, with rucksacks, etc.) or just overnight camping, then it is set up for you with many campsites, and tramping trails with huts/refuges/bivouacs all over the place (probably more so in the South Island than in the North).

    NZ Mountain Safety Council handbook advises: BE PREPARED for the climate though, which, though generally temperate, can change over just a few minutes to something very dangerous, (say) turning beautiful little streams and gulleys into dangerous torrents and deathtraps, or dropping the temperature so rapidly (icy blasts coming from the South Pole) as to cause rapid onset of hypothermia. Trampers and even hillside joggers seem to die every year because they are not properly prepared/clothed and simply don't appreciate the risks.
    If you would like a guided tour of Auckland with some local knowledge thrown in - if you happen to go there - then contact me via my email address and I'd be happy to try and help. I have in the past done several such "tours" for friends/family visitors from overseas.

    (Note: all data provided above is from my spreadsheet analyses using publicly available statistics.)

  49. Juanito says:

    Exciting news - here's to a successful transition for you all.

  50. cesarino rua says:

    The trips are travelers. What we see is not what we see, but what you are.
    Words of "Fernando Pessoa" Portuguese poet.
    Best wishes for you and family

  51. Kendall says:

    This is so awesome! I'd love to catch up with you when you're all settled in our creative capital. You've picked a great city in Wellington and you'll certainly be able to tick off a few of those items on your checklist from there!

  52. Shryeas says:

    All the very best.

  53. MF says:

    Hi Chandoo,
    All the best! Wish you an awesome life in New Zealand!

  54. Devender Bisht says:

    All the best Chandoo!!

  55. Mark says:

    Welcome to NZ! Hope that your travel and settling in goes well.

  56. Juan says:

    Congrulations Chandoo, all the best in this wonderful life experience! It takes a lot of courage to decide to move to a new place with a family, I admire your decision. Have a great new life in New Zealand!

  57. William says:

    Wao! This is very inspiring. We pray that you settle well. Safe journey and let us keep at it!

  58. pothi says:

    Best wishes for your new adventure in New Zealand, Chandoo!

  59. Toli says:

    I have learned much of things from your blog. All the best to you all in NZ!

  60. Guillermo says:

    Thanks so much for all sharing your excell gifts of talents Chandoo. I wish you all the best in New Zealand and all your future endeavors.

  61. Otmane says:

    Best of luck dear Chandoo 🙂

  62. vaidhy says:

    Good Luck!! Chandoo for you and your family.

  63. Venkatesh says:

    Hi Chandoo and family

    All the very best for your new expedition. May Lord be with you and family.

  64. Santosh Matala says:

    All the best Chandoo. Have a great time.


  65. Jessica Jolly says:

    Congrats on your move! New Zealand is on my wish list of countries to visit, but I could not migrate there because they don't take people over 50 for permanent migration! 🙂 So I will have to content myself with a visit some day.

  66. Cris says:

    Dear Chandoo, what a beautiful family you have!
    I have moved to US around 16 years ago and it has been such a journey.. I wish you the best and amazing things ahead for you! Good luck!:)

  67. Manish says:

    Dear Chandoo
    I am happy for you . But sad as a Indian .Its a big loss to India you are our hero . Best of luck and keep blogging .

  68. Marcos Brooks Allen says:

    Dear Chandoo.
    I wish you the Very Best of Luck in your new adventure. May God Bless you and your family Exceedingly in Abundance.


  69. Deepak D Gupta says:

    Read this late. Best wishes to you and family.

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