Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

  • where:

    New Zealand

  • what:

    The middle of nowhere

  • why:

    Self discovery

  • how:

    Tons of paperwork and thousands of dollars

  • Geotag Icon Show on map

New Zealand was one of the more bizarre experiences of our lives. Marcy and I moved to Wellington, which is the most Southern city on the North island, as well as the capitol, in January of 2009. We had made a reconnaissance trip a few months earlier in November of 2008, and Marcy was able to secure a job, so with the financial unpleasantness looming at the time in the states we decided to pack up an head for greener pastures. Over the following two years we discovered that the pastures weren’t that much greener and challenged many of our conceived notions about life and ourselves.

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy MilksExperiencing the effects of social egalitarianism in some form for the first time was eye opening. Quality was diminished in varying degrees for most aspects of our lives as people coming from a middle class American background. In many ways life in New Zealand made me long for a good dictator. Trying to get anything done well with multiple equally counted opinions is ineffective at best. I do still believe that a population is worse off under a bad dictator. New Zealand and it’s citizens enforce the average which is fine for most, better for some and worse for a few that usually end up moving to the UK or Australia.

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy MilksWhen people move to New Zealand the number one reason they will give is the lifestyle, which in the immigration brochure includes better work life balance, beautiful beaches hours away from ski slopes, wine in the Wairarapa, active outdoor life style, etc… First, I will say that there are some of the most amazing beaches I have ever seen, often with a few or no people in sight. As for the rest — long frustrating work hours, far from everywhere, ridiculously expensive for almost everything, extreme nationalism, sunburns on cold cloudy days in 5 minutes, wine was ok, primary culture of rugby and beer, rain rain rain rain rain sideways rain and moldy uninsulated houses. That said there is the good as well — efficient online tax system, efficient banking system — both make the US look like it’s using technology from the middle ages, prostitution unions, affordable health care, cleanish environment and activities are cheap because companies don’t have to carry liability insurance.

Over the two years we lived in NZ we made a few friends, learned many things and got rid of the notion that you can escape the madness in the world, which on one hand is very freeing and on the other very depressing.

Photographs by Eric Scott

Franz Josef Glacier

Photographs by Eric Scott

Franz Josef Glacier

Photographs by Eric Scott

Kakariki

Photographs by Eric Scott

Kaka

Photographs by Eric Scott

Pencarrow Head

Photographs by Eric Scott

Pencarrow Head

Photographs by Eric Scott

White Cliffs with Mount Taranaki in the Background

Photographs by Eric Scott

White Cliffs

Photographs by Eric Scott

Woolly Cow

Photographs by Eric Scott

Castle Point

Photographs by Eric Scott

Castle Point

Photograph by Eric Scott

Island of Lost Soles

Photographs by Eric Scott

The Pinnacles

Photographs by Eric Scott

Babe

Photographs by Eric Scott

Lazy Seal

Photographs by Eric Scott

Wellington Tram

Photographs by Eric Scott

Wellington Harbor

Photographs by Eric Scott

Kudos

Photographs by Eric Scott

Tararua Forest Park

Photographs by Eric Scott

Native Bush

Photographs by Eric Scott

Native Bush

Photographs by Eric Scott

Huka Falls

Photographs by Eric Scott

Orakei Korako, Taupo

Photographs by Eric Scott

Orakei Korako, Taupo