Jessica Wynne Lockhart the author (left) and her partner with Lexi the dog in Akaroa.Courtesy of Jessica Wynne Lockhart

Jessica Wynne Lockhart and her partner first moved to New Zealand in 2018, eager to explore life in the southern hemisphere.
After struggling to find an affordable apartment, the couple signed up to be house sitters, and ended up booking back-to-back sitting gigs for an entire year.
But when COVID-19 began, a 7-month sit was canceled, leaving the pair with nowhere to go to safely isolate and prepare for the nationwide lockdown.
To her surprise, Lockhart then began receiving messages from the homeowners of houses she had cared for, checking on the couple’s well-being and offering them places to stay.
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In 2018, my partner and I moved to New Zealand with the full intention of doing all the things you do when you move to a new place: We were going to find an apartment, look for jobs, and buy furniture. Once we’d ticked those items off the list, any remaining energy would be devoted to making friends. The move was a chance for us to create a new life together; since she’s Australian and I’m Canadian, New Zealand was the one place we could both easily get visas to work and live. 

But within days of arrival in Nelson, a small city on the South Island, it became clear the standard plan of attack wasn’t going to work.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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