‘It’s so easy to start a conversation with people here’

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What is your ethnicity? Where did you come from?

I am from Chile, South America. My hometown is Quilpué city, which is close to Valparaiso.

What brought you to NZ?

Photo by Paulette Mankoch Soriano

Many reasons. First and most important among them was an experience of living overseas, learn a new language and meet more people. I have always liked to travel and take photos. NZ is the perfect destination for its amazing landscapes.

I arrived in NZ in August 2016.

How do you feel about your decision to come to NZ? Why?

In general it was a good decision. It has been a life-changing experience, with both positives and negatives. I got to fulfil some dreams and got so many experiences in a short period of time. Some negatives were too big, but they also made me travel. Last year, I travelled to Japan and Fiji.

One good thing that has happened to you since you moved to NZ.

Photo by Paulette Mankoch Soriano

Compared to Latin America, NZ is a very safe country. I learned to explore and salvage relationships with people. It’s so easy to start a conversation with people here, and learn about their stories. These experiences also help me learn more about myself. I really appreciate how safe this country is and how friendly the people are.

One experience you had since you moved to NZ that could have been avoided.

NZ has the lowest level of corruption and some people take advantage of it. If I knew my rights, I would have made my decisions better. If I could go back in time, I wish I was psychologically prepared for the overseas experience – it was overwhelming. If I knew it would be this way, I would have been better prepared and more organised.

Photo by Paulette Mankoch Soriano

What would be your golden advice to a new migrant to NZ?

Know about your rights. Be prepared and open to uncertain situations and people. There would be ups and downs. Take the positive aspect of any situation that comes your way and go with it. Approach every experience as a learning.

 

To find out about Paulettte’s photography, click here and here.

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