It is now time for me to write my first blog. Please be kind.

Late 2016 I decided that 2017 was the year that I would make some big changes. What could have been bigger than leaving my little hometown situated in the countryside of the Midlands (UK) and embark on an adventure down under?

That was it, a week later I was in possession of a visa and had a flight booked. I was lucky enough to have family in New Zealand which I am incredibly grateful. They picked me up and put me up for the first few weeks, who knows where I would have been without them!

Originally I thought I would come over for one year and get it out of my system, go back to the UK, move back into my house and get back my dog from my Mum and Dad. Hard to believe that year is now up and I feel very lucky to say I have just had my Essential Skills Work Visa approved – thanks, NZ immigration. I went home for Christmas and learned very quickly that my dog is no longer mine and I will not be getting him back from my Mum even if I were to go home!

Over the past year, I have been on what I can only describe as an amazing adventure, I have gained international work experience, made some great new friends and been on road trips with people I’d only met once before. I’ve been confused by people saying they like my pants…..still, a year on I hear it and fear that people can actually see my underwear and they’re not just complimenting my trousers!

I’ve felt homesick, which usually results in me frequenting the international aisle of the supermarket to buy overpriced hula-hoops and foxes biscuits to get a carb fix with that taste of home!

In summer I spent far too long procrastinating over choosing which beach to go to on a Saturday. Winter was not so fun and despite the constant, “you should be used to the cold," comments, I had more layers on inside my house than I have ever had in the UK. Central heating is something I will never take for granted again.

Despite the lack of Yorkshire tea, central heating and constant confusion over pants I can honestly say that this has been one of the greatest things I have ever done. Everyone has been welcoming and supportive with a genuine family sense of care so all I would say to anyone considering making the move is to do it. Push yourself out of your comfort zone you can always go home…. But stock up on hula-hoops and Yorkshire tea first -or whatever other favourites available!

If you could go anywhere, where would you go and what would your home comforts be?