Kiwi dream replaces the American dream for US expats

Published:  29 Jun at 6 PM
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New Zealand is world-famous for its spectacular landscapes, with many US expats seeing it as a resurgence of their parents’ American dream.

New Zealand’s magnificent mountains, rolling green hills and rugged fjords became famous as the backdrop for the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and its follow-up, The Hobbit, causing many US citizens dreaming of a new life to become obsessed with moving to the South Pacific archipelago. In a recent NBC TV programme, a group of US expats were shown gathered around a fire discussing the Kiwi traits of ingenuity and can-do attitudes.

One woman compared the Kiwi lifestyle with that of her parents who were living the American dream 50 years ago, adding that the dream nowadays belongs to New Zealand. Another member of the group had left her homeland job in finance and now earns far less than in her former life but is far happier about her work-life balance. Anything you decide to try, she added, can be made to work here.

Travel writer Liz Carlson arrived in New Zealand from the USA in 2012, and believes the Kiwi dream is a slight exaggeration, but understands where the idea originated. People in the USA, she said, are realising it’s all gone horribly wrong, giving them a motivation to get up and go before it’s too late. Basically, she added, the American dream was driven by the urge to become rich, get a big house and everything that goes with it, but nowadays the illusion has broken. Some Americans, she said, are tired of it all, seeing New Zealand as a haven far from a failed society.
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