Tim Jones, popularly known as the Grow Good guy, is originally from the UK but is now living on the other side of the world – New Zealand. When Tim encountered a heavy rejection from the army, he was determined to leave the UK and prove his self-worth.
Feeling undermined in the UK, Tim went to Australia and hoped for a fresh start with different people. While he wanted to get away from the old group of people who made him feel disheartened, Tim found himself ironically interacting with Australian army people, the reason why at some point of his stay in the country, he tried applying to the Australian army. Ultimately, when Tim decided to follow his girlfriend in New Zealand, that led him to a new chapter of his life.
Encountering the destructive earthquake in Christchurch was his turning point to reflect on his life decisions and purpose. Tim and his family decided to leave Christchurch because of the fear of calamities. Still, they ended up moving there again after a few years after his realizations and desire for further success.
Now, Tim’s inspirational journey is his tool to spread positivity and encouragement to more people. With his program, Grow Good, he works as a motivational speaker and coach that supports people in achieving their life goals and discovering a purposeful meaning to life.
Born in Oxford, UK, but half Welsh. He’s been a passionate supporter of Welsh rugby since watching his first game in Cardiff in 1986.
Schooled in Abingdon, England, he studied Mediaeval History in Cardiff.
After graduation, he went exploring Australia for a year, boomeranged back to the UK, and met a Kiwi girl whilst he embarked on a 10-year career in the world of medical device sales.
Following the Kiwi girl, he ended up in Auckland in 2004 and has been in NZ since then. Now out of the world of medical devices, he works as a coach, trainer, and consultant in his own business, Grow Good.
Tim specializes in working with individuals and organizations to help them tap into their Purpose Fuelled Performance, assisting them in the transition to becoming a force for good - hence Grow Good.
“You’re either running away from or running towards something.”
In one week, the girl who I was dating broke up with me I got the rejection letter from the army and as I open that letter walking from the letterbox into the house, I tramped in dog poo and my housemates were just like, haha, you know, you're a complete and utter failure, you've got nothing, you know, even even the dog poo is out to get you. So that was a real moment for me of like, Okay, I need to get away from here. I need to run away from all of this because I now don't know who I am. And I don't know what I want to be. So yeah, that was like a really big thing that sent me to the other side of the world initially.
Daniel De Biasi 0:34
Hi, everyone, and welcome to episode number 46 of the Emigrant's Life podcast where we share stories of people who left the country to chase a better life. And through stories you can find ideas, resources, a motivation to do the same. I'm Daniel De Biasi. And in this episode, I had the pleasure to chatting with Tim for more from the UK to New Zealand. Tim is a business coach, trainer, consultant and a public speaker. He's also known as a Grow Good guy. Tim's journey abroad started when he got a rejection letter from the army, a career that he spent 10 years building, feeling like a total failure and completely lost, he decided to move to the other side of the world trying to find himself and prove his worth. As you will hear from him in this episode is destiny follow into Australia, where he stayed for a year before coming back to the UK. Back home, he met a girl from New Zealand. And together they decided to move back to the other side of the world, this time to New Zealand. If you're considering moving abroad, and just need a leader motivation. I think this episode wil do it. Tim shares his story in such an inspiring way giving away great life lessons. So without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Tim.
Hi Tim, thanks for being on the show. Thanks for having me. That's a pleasure. So Tim, let's start from I don't know, a little bit by yourself. Where are you originally from and where you are now.
So originally from the UK. So I was born in Oxford, which is down in the south of England, and currently living in Christchurch in New Zealand, which is down in the south of New Zealand.
Daniel De Biasi 2:03
Okay, on the other side of the world.
Literally the other side of the planet.
Daniel De Biasi 2:05
Yeah. And what HD delivered the UK?
That's a great question. So it was in 2004. It's now what 2021? I'm 42 I don't know do the maths so sort of mid 20s I guess. O'm so old now. I can't quite remember. Yeah, it was I think about 25 ish, somewhere on that 25, 26.
Daniel De Biasi 2:23
And did you go straight from the UK to New Zealand or you went somewhere else?
Sort of kind of so I guess for part of the backstory, initially left the UK in about 2001 2002 and went live in Australia for just under a year. And then went back to the UK. And then year 2004 came straight pretty much straight to New Zealand. Yeah. Other than the stopover, I think it might have been in LA I can't remember so many years ago.
Daniel De Biasi 2:47
Okay, and you mentioned you went to Australia, how long were you in Australia for?
So yes, I lived in Australia for a year. And, I think growing up in the UK watching, you know, neighbors and Home in Away. And any other movie that or film that had Australia in it was always, it always seemed to be this amazing place where people are friendly, and the beer is cheap and cold. And the women are beautiful. And you know, life's just amazing. So kind of like, check it out. Let's go and see how true this this story is. So yeah, went to Australia for a year. I guess partly also, in the UK, it's quite common well back then I don't know what the kids are doing now, man. But back then it was quite common that people do a gap year. So between leaving school and maybe going to university, they take a year out and go traveling. And I didn't do that because I kind of thought in my head I just want to go just get university done. So I think it was partly a bit of a Hey, I just need to go out and go see some of the world see what's out there. But yeah, I think Australia and New Zealand probably at the time Australia moreso held a little bit of an interest. So from being based in a rainy dreary, cold UK, it's like well, what's what's not to like about Australia? Obviously apart from the myriad animals that will just eat you and bite you and destroy you at the first opportunity.
Daniel De Biasi 3:56
So when you decide to leave the UK was just for an experience just for a year and then come back and study your life or carry on with your life in the UK?
Yeah, that was particularly what I went towards it. For me there was there was a couple of things that happened in the UK just before going to Australia that I guess were looking back are really sort of driving forces on that. I think when we first connected last week we say you know humans are fundamentally driven by fear or desire so you're either running away from something or running towards something and at the time I think there was a genuinely a part of me that was not quite you want to get out of the UK and go and travel a bit and and go somewhere, you know, go to the other side of the planet by yourself and see what happens. You know, can you survive? It's one thing going from, I guess from Oxford data Cardiff or I went to university for three years, short minutes, that's quite a big step for a young adult. I'm 17, 18 you know, living away from home, but to go and do that on the other side of the planet where you literally and I chose Brisbane to go and live in Australia because I thought there's no point going to Sydney and living in a house full of British people working in a typically what most people were doing was going and getting a call center jobs or working in a call center in Sydney and then hanging out with other British People, what's the point in going to Australia if you're going to hang out with other British people? So there was a part of me that wanted to go and have some life experience. But also, I guess I had a series of disappointments in my life in the UK that really looking back were probably a bigger part of that journey or for exploration to go. And I guess, kind of find myself, as people might say, See, the type of school I went to, it was pretty much predestined that you were going to go to university, there was no question at the age of 15, 16. Would you like to leave university and maybe go and, you know, get a trade or, or start a business? It was, you know, which university would you like to go to? What do you think you'd like to study? And I think as part of that process, not really knowing what I wanted to go and do when I was an adult, the only thing that really came to my mind, because a lot of my mates were the same, and I think a lot of young boys are the same, is I wanted to join the army. So I wanted to join the British Army as an officer. And in 19, it would have been 1999, just after uni, and I went through that process, and I failed, I failed the selection. And everything that I planned on for my future was sort of torn out from underneath me. I remember in the same week, I was living with a group boys in Cardiff. And obviously, in general, young males are very supportive of each other emotionally, not. In the one week, the girl who I was dating broke up with me, I got the rejection letter from the army. And as I open that letter walking from the letterbox into the house, I tramped in dog poo. And my housemates were just like, haha, you know, you're a complete and utter failure, you've got nothing, you know, even even the dog poo is out to get you. So that was a real moment for me of like, Okay, I need to get away from it. I need to run away from all of this, because I now don't know who I am. And I don't know what I want to be. So yeah, that was like the really big thing that sent me to the other side of the world initially.
Daniel De Biasi 6:32
And there's something changed when you went to Australia, there's something that clicked and something that you discover when you left?
I don't think so initially, I mean, to be honest, I was at that time, what 21 ish, 22 ish. You know, young guys still had no idea, you know, what I wanted to be. And really, it was, I think it was just a case of putting myself in a completely foreign environment to see was I still kind of worthy as a human? And what was really quite random, or quite interesting, in retrospect, was the first guy that I kind of really bumped into who became really good mate of mine, Tyson. And I'd been living in a backpackers for about a week. And then I thought I need to get out and go and get a house so, lets go and rent a place before anybody can get a job. And so I was cruising around the Maya center in Brisbane. And I've just thought maybe I'll able to get a retail job had no idea really what what kind of job I could, I would want to go and do. And cruise around the Maya center, there was a country rugby store. And Canterbury rugby is a big New Zealand Rugby sort of app or oil company. And then low and behold on the on the front door had, you know, retail assistant required, you know, apply within, and I walked up to the counter, and I'm like a six foot 400 kilo plus dude, the guy behind the counter was this sort of six foot 400 kilo dude. And we sort of looked at each other kind of squaring each other up a little bit. And I was like, Hey, I'm interested in the job. And he said, Oh, yep, so clearly you play rugby. And I said, Yep. And he said, Who have you played for? And I said, well just landed here. But in the UK, I played for a university applied to the army and a couple of other local teams in South Wales. And he said, Are you played army rugby? And I said, Yeah, why? And he said, I've just left the Navy. I'm a Navy rugby guy, we should probably become mates and drink beer. And that was pretty much it. So he's like, Look, as far as I'm concerned, you got the job. I'll talk to the manager. I'll just you've got it. So he got me the job. And then pretty much within about a few days of getting to know Tyson I said, hey, look, you know, I've got no friends here. You're the first person I've kind of met that seemed to be like a decent guy who I could go and have a beer with them. Have you got any other mates that I could take out for a beer and I can just start building a network here? And he's like, Yeah, sure. So that first weekend, we went out and he organized a few of his mates. I've never actually I'll never forget this. I said, hey, look, thank you so much, guys. I know this is a bit weird. Like, you know, Tyson just met me. You guys have no idea who I am. But you know, I think I'm a decent guy. I'll go and get the first round of beers in and so I guess having watched so much Australian TV, the only beer that used to see on TV in the UK was VB so I went up to the bar, I was like, Can I get a round a VBS and I came back to the table and this is in Brisbane in Queensland, and they all just look at me as if I've, you know, I don't know, spat in their beer or like throw cigarette butts in their beer. And they're like, what have you bought? And so I've got you some beers isn't this what you guys will drink? No, of course. No, this is Queensland mate. We don't drink VB. That's from Melbourne. I was like, Aw, sorry, he said we only drink forex here. So Tyson went back to the bar with me so right he needs to exchange these for some for exes and you also need to get for bundys and I'm like what's a Bundy and I was very quickly introduced to Bundaberg rum and coke. So we said right from now on, this is your round. It's for x and some Bundy. Okay, so yeah, that was great. But it was interesting. I met these guys and they were all ex army guys or ex navy guys. And a lot of their parents were ex army, ex navy and Tyson entered in ended up introducing me to a family of some family friends of his and the dad was an ex army guy who'd served with twice instead. And they had a room to rent in their house and he hooked me up with them and they gave me a really good deal. And I basically ended up having this second family in Australia that I lived with for just about a year. And it was just kind of bizarre that I left the UK to get away from this whole military thing. And you know, this is the group that had kind of rejected me and I land in Australia and within a month I'm back with basically hanging out with the same type of guys that I was hanging out with, you know In the UK, like carbon copies of the people, and I think at the time, it was just kind of almost a sort of resignation that okay, well, this is my type of people. So yeah, I don't think I still spend much of that year just trying to do something and just spent three months working as a rugby coach for the Queensland rugby union, going into primary schools teaching rugby with young kids and stuff. I just can't remember, I think I did some other random jobs because I was on a working holiday visa, I could only have like three months with the most I could work in any employment before I had to move on. So yeah. But yeah, it was, I think it was just more a case of having been through quite an intense schooling system. I went to private school in the UK. So it's quite, you know, I went to school on a Saturday from the age of seven until I was 18. You know, so it's quite intense schooling, you know, nine to five every day, and Saturdays until lunchtime. So I think a big part of it for me was just almost like a bit of a relief valve and just like, just go to Australia, no one's kind of watching you, you can just kind of start to be a bit more you but still very underdeveloped as a human being in my mid 20s. You know, when you the brain for males typically doesn't develop until their mid 30s. So I was still, I think it was almost like an extension of university in terms of drinking and having a good time. But just having that reassurance that other people do like me, because I think that's fundamentally what that big hit given me was like, you're a loser. People don't like you.
Daniel De Biasi 11:15
What's so interesting, the fact that you float through the other side of the world, youstill find like a group with the same group of people that you were hanging out in, in the UK. But generally question for because for me, if I was in the same situation, I will like a question myself, like, should I pursue this career in an army, should I try again? Should they just know do something about it? Because seems like this career is follow me around the world, literally.
And I did I actually, after a couple of months, I thought maybe I shoukd try apply to the Australian Army and maybe see, see if that's the thing. Maybe this is like maybe this is part of the journey. And I generally when I met a recruitment person, and having talked to the couple of dads who was around with us, okay, you know, what, what do you reckon? And they're like, yeah, like, we think you'd be a good fit and dadada. But because I wasn't an Australian citizen, you couldn't volunteer or you couldn't join up? And I said, well, surely if I do volunteer, though, I'm a British citizen. So surely, like, there's something within that. And if I was going to volunteer for your military, wouldn't you give me citizenship? Like, couldn't that be a thing? And they were like, yeah, doesn't work like that. And I was like, Yeah, okay. So I guess I just sort of consigned myself to hanging out with the guys that are from that kind of background, I threw myself into playing some rugby with the local rugby clubs. And I think for me, the message was, you know, you are who you are. Just because you didn't pass one test in your life that doesn't define who you are. Whereas the kind of person I am or I was at that time, that was quite defined. If that makes sense. It's I think it was it was almost like reaffirming that you're not, you're not a complete Muppet, because these people think you're okay. And these people are the people that you could have been if you'd been on that track in Australia. So it's always quite bizarre, though.
Daniel De Biasi 12:48
No, totally. But after a year or after finding that you move to the other side of the world, you managed to survive find a place and also being the other side of the world and see that you can survive you can take care of yourself, did that give you like a dose of confidence that you can actually know you're capable and you are responsible for yourself?
Massively, so. Because I guess I'm an only child. So a lot of people think that only children are sheltered and massively privileged, potentially. I think I was quite sheltered. I don't think I was really ever pushed too much by my parents, they were always quite cautious. Like always be careful. Don't do that. Or don't do this, don't do this. Because I think there was an element of wanting to just burst out and go, I'm gonna give this a go. I mean, you could argue that I wasn't that adventurous. I went to an English speaking country, a mini version in terms of a lot of its culture and systems and processes of the UK, like the, you know, the legal system;s the same, you know, everyone speaks English, relatively safe. And I did no, like I said, I chose Brisbane to go to because I didn't know anybody there. But I did have friends in Sydney and in other cities and in Australia, so that if I did get stuck, I could go to them. So it wasn't, you know, it's not like I went to Venezuela or, you know, the middle of the Amazon had to sort of go and learn a new language. But it was quite interesting. And, you know, leaving fairly well crafted communities and networks and basically going to start I mean, literally, I was in a backpackers to begin with, I didn't know anyone I met a couple of people in the backpackers went on a bit of a road trip with some people from the backpackers but pretty quickly got back then, the internet wasn't I guess, as established, you know, got the local newspaper to go and find listings for rentals, went around on the bus to try and get a rental ended up I moved in with these two girls. Initially, they had a broom in a basement sort of thing. And kind of worked out. They weren't really my people quite quickly. And then at the same time I was working for, you know, where I'm at twice, and he's like, hey, look, you should talk to the Tolhurst, they've got this room, you know, it'd be awesome because we can just hang out and you know, you've got instant friends. And the one thing that didn't always there was a guy, Gary, I can't remember his surname. He was another one, he's like retired Army officers. One of his, I guess bits of advice has stuck with me for my life. And it's something that I always advise people who are about to go travelling will go and move somewhere and he said, Look, all you got to do is keep smiling, shaking hands and see it a day, and good things will come your way. And I'm like, you can't fold that as a premise for when you were in a foreign country and you don't know anyone, go out of your way just to go and meet people say, Hi, I'm Tim, it's great to meet you. What are you up to? Who are you? And I guess it's hard to do that. Because you know, you're in a foreign country. And naturally, on a psychological basis, we you know, stranger danger. We're always taught, you know, don't talk to strangers. And but I think, yeah, if you're considering going somewhere else, it's on you to throw yourself into the community rather than wait and rely on people to invite you in, although it's nice if people do invite you in. But you can't guarantee that because people are so busy, they got their own networks, their own social networks, their own communities already going and it's kind of on you. And I think that's sort of two bits of advice I always give to people is, don't go to the city where all your fellow countrymen and women are living go somewhere, like a lot of people travel from New Zealand and Australia to the UK and they always go to London. I'm like, why would you go there? Because you're going to live with a bunch of Kiwis and Aussies in a flight in London, go drinking with them, work with them, party with them. Go to Manchester, go to Leeds, go to Edinburgh, Glasgow, go to Dublin, go to a city where you will be an anomaly you will be different because people will want to hang out with you. And that was definitely something I did find in Brisbane people are like you're Brit, like, what are you doing in Brisbane? And I'm like, I just wanted to come where there were no British people and they were like, like, cool. Yeah, we get that. Because we don't like them either.
Daniel De Biasi 16:18
And people are- I find that people like that to do want to try to integrate with you want to try to like in the first step to try to integrate with their culture and go with them.
Totally. And that's the whole point of traveling, you know, this, this is where I guess again, the British do such a poor job in general, you know, the stereotypical British holiday maker is they fly to Spain, they want to stay in a British run Bed and Breakfast where they can eat British food, they want to go to a local pub that sells fish and chips and British beer. And it's like, well, you're just going, you're going to a little England with better weather. That's all you're doing. instead of actually, Let's go and meet a different culture. Let's learn about them. And for me, that's always been a really big thing. Whenever I've traveled or gone anywhere overseas it's like, I want to meet the locals, I want to understand what makes this place tick as much as I can, being somewhere for a short period of time. But to get to know people like what what's happening in your world, like what's good, what's bad, you know, and particularly for me, as a traveler, what is the impact that I have of being in your country? Like, is it good? Or is there stuff that that I'm bringing that you don't like, because I want to make sure that you know, when when we go somewhere, hopefully in the post COVID world, and also, you know that you're being a good citizen, but you're also learning stuff. That's the whole point of travel.
Daniel De Biasi 17:22
No, I absolutely agree with you. But at the same time, I think like a fine. Maybe people try to find comfort when you go to a new country. Everything is totally new so having something that is familiar, and people that are already speak your language, your accent, the same kind of culture, it's just makes it easier. So that's probably why everywhere you go, there's like I don't know, Chinatown, Little Italy, like this community that people created just because it's easy. It's just easy to live abroad. So I'm totally with you though.
It's totally sensible. But I think at some point, you have to break out. You don't have that as a bridgehead baby. But I would totally advise people where safe and practical to throw yourself into somewhere. You're gonna meet something, I'm pretty sure well, I got robbed in the backpackers. Someone robbed- I think I was really I was quite naive. In that regard. I kind of thought, Well, my room's got a look, I'll be alright, I'll just leave my stuff there. I had like a mobile phone and a mini stereo stolen, potentially from by the cleaner. You know, so that was like one on one. I think that you know, there are some practicalities, you have to really think about when you're traveling in a foreign country, particularly if you if English is not the fault. Yeah, well, whatever your preferred primary language is if they're not speaking that in that location. But then, you know, I've had, I've had just as much in terms of robberies and stuff happened to me in the UK when I was living there. So you sort of go well, you know, it's not necessarily a thing, but I was naive in that regard. But then you take calculated risks, but you've got if you don't put yourself out there, you're not going to grow as a person, you're not going to, you know, have that depth of experience. I mean, culturally, you know, white Australia is not massively culturally different from white Britain. But you know, the family I live with, they owned a farm in a place called dubba dubba, which is sort of just in the over the New South Wales border from Queensland as well, I got to go and experience staying on a rural farm in rural outback New South Wales, because the family had a farm there. And they said, Yeah, come down for the weekend, you can help us do some stuff. And, you know, I've got a depth of experience beyond just going on one of those big buses, you know, where they take you to all the tourist places, which is you can't get that experience anywhere in the world. Because if you're going to do that, you almost might as well just stay at home, save your airfare, and just go on boozy bus trip round your local community.
Daniel De Biasi 19:21
I totally agree with you and going back to your story like trying to find yourself because I think at least from my experience when I moved to New Zealand, I don't know I just kind of like a this feeling that I could be whatever I wanted, I can start fresh. I'm in a new country and the other side of the world I can start completely fresh. Did you have the same kind of experience that helped you trying to figure out who you were or who you are?
I think I'm probably not like I say in Australia, it was more around just having a good time and just trying to get over that army miss or that that fail that kind of sat over me. And then I went back to the UK because when I was traveling in Australia, you know I was working minimum wage jobs, not really earning much money. I just thought, Well, you know, this is I don't get to really do as much as I want it, I'm kind of living the life of an Australian. That's cool. But now I'm working minimum wage jobs, I'm not getting to see as much of the place as I kind of would want to. So I've messaged a few mates back home and they'll say, Look, why don't you come back, get a, you know, a proper job. And then you can look to transfer and get, you know, move back to us. Like, that's a really good idea. So what I'm making the UK ended up getting a job with Johnson and Johnson, so you know, massive global company on their graduate entry program. And a few months after starting that I met a Kiwi girl. And so we went out for about a year in the UK, and my training program was coming to an end and her visa was running out. And so it was pretty much the two options we had, you know, to stay together was either we had to move to New Zealand, or she or we'd have to get married so that she could get a visa to stay in the UK. And I guess being your mid 20s, early 20s. I was like, probably moving to New Zealand is less risky than getting married at this point. And I thought, well, you know, I've been to Australia and New Zealand can't be that different. They all speak they have a funny accent. They like rugby, and barbecues and beer, and therefore outdoorsy, I think by that point, I kind of compartmentalize the army stuff in my head, I'd got into it, you know, I've got a good job, it's well paid. I think really, my whole focus just went on material stuff. It was like just earn as much money as you can. It's like I was I was very much kind of in the system, I think at that point. And really moving to New Zealand was it was slightly different. It was similar in some ways, because like, well, I'm in a foreign country, the only person I know is my girlfriend. We ended up staying with her brother for a bit. He introduced us, it was quite random. He was good mates with a former All Black. So for those of you who don't know, New Zealand Rugby, the All Blacks are like that at the New Zealand rugby team, pretty well known. And within I think about the first three or four nights of being there, her brother was like, Hey, we can play some pool with this dude. And I was like, Yeah, cool. And we get down there. It's like, holy cow, like you played rugby for New Zealand and like, you're massive. And you know, my girlfriend's brother, like, this is quite random. And then he'd had a few beers that I hadn't thought I wasn't drinking. He's like, ah, can you just move my car and put it outside? You know, he is outside, really like from All Black, she's given me his car keys, leave his car straight. It's like, that's random. Welcome to New Zealand. Yeah, I think I was kind of just on the treadmill of earning and working that I didn't really have I didn't give myself space. I think like I say, when you look at the psychological development stages, for boys, typically, it's early 30s is when you actually start to think about life, who you want to be and challenge yourself a bit more. So I'm still in that phase work. I didn't get to the army, but I've got a good job here. I'm earning good money, it was relatively easier. I think moving to New Zealand, having already once moved to Australia and had no network moving to New Zealand with some connections, some networks, I even managed to pre sort of almost pre interview for some jobs in this because I sold medical devices or selling hips and knees. And so it's quite a boutique, I guess, role. And so if you've got experience in that, it's quite easy to get a role. So that was really useful. Having a job that was sort of in demand, or not many people could do it, which meant I had sort of two or three offers of a job within a couple of months of being in New Zealand. So it always just felt like I'd taken life as I was living in the UK and was running it now just in New Zealand. And just people just spoke funny, they had a funny accent.
And it wasn't really until last when I'm with that girl we went out for about another three years in New Zealand 2007. So 2004 I arrived, we broke up 2007. And that part of that was I wanted to move down to so I was living in Auckland in top of the North Island of New Zealand. Part of it was why things weren't going as well as they could have been. But I also had an opportunity to move down to Christchurch with the job that I was doing there. They were looking at creating a role in the South Island. And I said, Well, actually, I'd quite like that. So why don't I take that role a new recruit for my old role instead? They're like, yeah, sure, we can do that. And I've always been attracted to the South Island for the lifestyle. And it's the client I like the climate down here is colder in the winters. It's a dry heat in the summers, whereas Auckland is sort of just muggy and sort of humid and rainy quite a lot. And it's just not really it was interesting. You know, Auckland is a subtropical environments, there's like, this is interesting. I'm living in a subtropical place. I've never done that before. There's different you know, that landscapes different. But yeah, I kind of felt this towards Christchurch. It's a bit more British. I guess there was something in that. Yeah, I didn't really feel a massively unpacked more of myself until we hit the earthquakes here in 2010 2011. And that was like the major. Oh, my God, like, what are you doing? Who are you in the moment? I was also, yeah, round about that 32 mark I think I started to have some conversations in my head around actually live without What are you doing? Like you don't really enjoy this job anymore. I've been doing it for 10 years. We're seeing quite a lot of stuff going on in that role and in the industry more broadly. But yeah, it wasn't really until the earthquakes and then our wife and I had our daughter in 2012 that I really started to think about who I am what do I want to do.
Daniel De Biasi 24:51
I heard other people that said that the earthquake just something clicked in their mind. Their perspective completely changed the fact that they have to work life nalance just completely changed just because you value more of your lifestyle, the life that you live outside of the work that you enjoy more what you have after the earthquake, that's not the first time to hear that.
Yep. a lot of people had what's called a subconscious awakening. So, which is what I had. So if you have a near death experience, or if you lose someone really close to you, in a tragic accident, or even just death, and the birth of a child, those are sort of three major ways that you can have what's called the subconscious awakening. And I had two out of the three, so we had earthquakes and then birth a child. So very, very quickly, my brain is going, whoa, like, you're not living your life, like should be here, brother. Um, you need to have a real think about stuff. And I think a lot of people in Christchurch, we all had that simultaneously. It was quite interesting.
Daniel De Biasi 25:45
Yeah, totally. I kind of want to go back a little bit. When you say that you move back to the UK, you were doing like a low paid job in Australia, and you have to move you decided to moved back to the UK. You had like, let's call it like this failure of not being able to go to the army, you do see going back, not make it in the in Australia, I have to go back to the UK as another failure or we're just like another step in your life?
Yeah, no, definitely didn't consider that a failure. Because I guess I went, I didn't have any intent. When I was going to Australia, it was like, I'm just, I just need to get out of the UK, I just want to go go find myself, whatever that look like at the time, which I think was more about meeting people who thought I was a good person. I think that was the majority of what I was looking for, rather than I think it was that real information of like, you're not a complete dick. It's like you're actually a decent human, you're a good guy, you've got some qualities, it's just that the time wasn't right for you, you know, at that time, or genuinely, I just did not meet the criteria. I mean, I look back and it's like, actually, a I'm quite glad. Because if I had joined the British Army in 1999, I would have spent the next 10 years in Afghanistan and Iraq. And I'm like, What I really want to do have been there, you know, fighting a war that I'm skeptical about best, you know, I think, yeah, sure. There are some genuinely evil people in that region who are doing some really bad things. But I think there's a whole lot of other reasons as to why we're there which, so I kind of look back and go that I kind of think it will happen for a reason. So I definitely didn't consider leaving Australia as a failure. It just felt like it was a stepping stone, it was part of that forward movement or that momentum of Okay, we'll get yourself out of this. Because was I depressed? I don't know if I was depressed. But I was pretty annoyed, pretty miffed that I was like what I'll do now, like the only thing I'd set my heart on for sort of 10 years of schooling, you just been told you can't do. So yeah, it was it was definitely more of a stepping stone. And then coming back into or getting like a proper job in the UK was, again, like to get through the selection process for the for the graduate training program, only two of us out of about 1000 applicants made it through. So it's quite an intense, I was fortunate in that I got recommended for the role. So I think it was like a four step screening process. So they had like general applications. And then there was an initial screening. And then there was some interviews, and then some psychometric testing. And then a final test was like the process, but because I got recommended by a mate of mine who was already working for them, you basically get through the first two stages. It's like, Okay, you've met the character test, because you've been recommended by someone who basically in my world said, Look, he's pretty much a carbon copy of me, you know, he'll do really well. So yeah, I think that was it was kind of just part of the stepping stone. And I think getting the graduate training position at Johnson Johnson has kind of caught on back on track, come back winning again. Because I think realistically, throughout my life to that point, the failure of the army was pretty much the only major failure that I'd encountered. So I guess partly, I was psychologically unprepared for that. Because up until then, it's like, Yeah, you've passed your GCSEs you've passed your a levels, you've gone to university. It's like, you know, you're kind of one of life's winners, you're doing okay, here, you're going to leave University, you're going to get a job somewhere, you know, someone through your school network, you know, or just whatever. So yeah, it's kind of like one setback, but I think it was because it was such a deep setback. And it was like, now it's like a real chat. I've got to think of a new direction. And a direction that I've not even pondered, I think that was probably more of it
Daniel De Biasi 28:50
It makes sense. And when you were in New Zealand, you broke up with your girlfriend.
Daniel De Biasi 28:54
Why did you decide to stay in New Zealand and not going back to the UK? What make you stay in New Zealand?
Yeah, because it was when I went to New Zealand Initially, I said to my parents, I'm like, I'm just gonna go for a year. I just got to see what it's like. And then, you know, we'll sort of visa stuff out. And we'll probably come back. I guess, you know, we kept going out for sort of three years. I've got a pretty good job, which had some good opportunities. Like I said, I was kind of focused on that work mindset at that time. And it was all just about material, get more money to be able to do more things. I was really fortunate. The company that I ended up getting a job with was a Swiss based, multinational company. So every year I got a business class trip back to Malta go to Davos in Switzerland. And to do that trip, you pretty much had to go la Heathrow, I think, Geneva and then got the train from Geneva to Davos. So I basically got a business class trip ticket back to the UK every Christmas. So I'm like, well, this is kind of working for me. I get to see people in the UK. I'm not going to pay to go home. I also get two week skiing in Switzerland every Christmas is like this is terrible. You know, life was pretty good. I got to go to a lot of conferences around the world as part of this the role I was doing, and I was like, would I be doing this if I was working for this company in the UK? No, because I think by virtue, so I was the first person- there was like three divisions of the company I was working with. And the one I ended up getting the job for I was the only employee in New Zealand. So basically, I have to create this division. And so that was my job for two to three years, or four years, was building the revenue of that division. So we can sort of start hiring more people. So although I was only the sales rep, I effectively had the, like, I met the criteria of a general manager of a division. So I was being invited to conferences in Malaysia, Australia, Switzerland, in the US. I had like a pay level or paygrade, way, way above what I was recruited for. So I was kind of looking at that and going, would I be doing this if I was in the UK? It's like, No, you just be a number in the system. So it's like, I think there's a part of that. And also like the I mean, you've lived in New Zealand, it's not a bad place to live in.
Daniel De Biasi 30:51
Some place to live, yeah,
it's a beautiful country, there's a lot to see and do. I think, yeah, maybe at that 2007 point when we broke up, but I guess there was still there was an opportunity of our why you get to live in Christchurch. I like skiing, you know, the ski fields, 90 minutes from the house where we live, we're living now in Christchurch. It's like, again, you know, would I be living a better life if I was in the UK right now? And I was kind of like, I don't think I would be, you know, I mean, sure I get the you can go to go skiing, but you have to fly to France or Italy or whatever. And it's you can't really do that for a weekend. Or you can get that there's a train thing- it's called a night train you can get from London, that leaves on a Friday afternoon at like four o'clock and you sleep overnight, and you ski Saturday, Sunday, and they get the train back Sunday night. I mean, you can do stuff like that. Sure. But yeah, I think the life that I was living, it just kind of felt like I probably be going backwards if I moved back to the UK just because of what I was doing with my with the business or the company I was working for. Yeah, I don't think it really ever crossed my mind in those first few years.
Daniel De Biasi 31:44
And with the earthquake eating Christchurch where you were living, you're an immigrant. So you don't have like a route anywhere. So you can move freely, pretty much.
Daniel De Biasi 31:52
Why did you decide to stay in Christchurch, and not move somewhere else after this after the earthquake, because that scared a lot of people. So some people lost their houses. It was like a huge earthquake.
Ultimately, we did. And that's one thing. That's I guess that would be the other piece of advice I'd give would be don't trust the advice or don't trust the brochure that the Tourist Board gives you as to what goes on in the country. Because at no point was there any brochure that I saw that said New Zealand has earthquakes, volcanoes, and other natural disasters of quite large scale, like that was never on any brochure that I saw when I entered New Zealand, it was just like, Oh, look, there's no animals here that can bite you. It's amazing. The people are friendly. Have a great time. So always check that fact check the country you may be to be at after the earthquakes we actually did move, I guess. I mean, after we moved down to Christchurch from Auckland, within a couple of months, I met different young lady. And pretty quickly, we thought, yeah, we quite like each other. So 2009, we got married, and 2010, just for the earthquake started, we were like, yeah, we know, maybe we should think about having kids. And so when the earthquakes hit, so my wife owned the house that we sort of were living in, she'd bought it before we met, we sold that house so that there were two big earthquakes, sort of 1000s of little ones, but the two main ones were the September one, which was the initial one. And then February 2011, was the really, really big one. And we had sold our house the day before the February earthquake, because we realized that we wanted to move from Christchurch, if we were going to be serious about having a family, we just thought living in a city that is experiencing thousands of aftershocks with potential for another massive one is not a great place for someone to be pregnant. And right, you know, and there's a lot of interesting research around this is a topic called epi genetics. And not many people heard of this topic. But the trauma that a mother experiences whilst they have a child in the womb can significantly affect the child's long term outcomes to the level that it can affect it can alter the DNA of the child. And it's they think it's all based on hundreds of thousands of years ago, if you were a tribe of people walking around, you know, trying to find somewhere to settle down for the winter, if the mother felt that the winter was going to be particularly harsh, the child would have to be, I guess their genetic makeup would be altered so that they could handle a harsher environment to which they were going to be born into. Whereas if the environment was like, hey, actually, the harvest looks really good this year, the winter is gonna be quite mild, then the child doesn't have to be as resilient. So we didn't know this at the time. But we are super, super glad that we ended up getting out and we ended up moving to Auckland for a couple of years. Because the role I was doing for the company I was working for was a national role. So I changed companies a couple of times at this point. So I was the only again the only employee for this company in New Zealand. And they were like, we don't really care where you live as long as you can service the clients and my wife's company were amazing. They basically said, Look, here's two months salary, call us when you're ready. We don't expect you to be going to work. You just call us when you're ready. And when she you know she had a conversation having to look where we're thinking of looking to relocate and they said well actually, we've got a vacancy for a job in Auckland, if you want it, we can kind of just make sure that you get it. So we ended up getting transfer. Yeah, my wife got I mean, in general, you know, other than the army thing I just feel like my life has been incredibly fortunate. Like there's been I don't know whether that's I'm just a positive person who looking back you kind of go well, it could have been worse. But there seem to just be some significant moments where it's like, it actually could have been a hell of a lot worse. Like, what if our house hadn't sold and we'd been left with a house that was I mean, the lady who bought it I don't know why she bought it. It's why would you buy a house that's just been through a massive earthquake that no knows like, if there's gonna be more or actually have damaged this property is like insane. But she bought it just like cool. We get to move on. So yeah, we ended up living in Auckland for a couple of years, which is quite cool. Me and my wife hadn't lived outside well, she'd lived outside of New Zealand but she in within New Zealand, she'd only really lived in the South Island. So then we went up to Auckland lived up there for a couple years. For me, it was kind of okay, cuz I had mates who were still there from the first time I'd been there. And it was pretty seamless for me to get back into things.
Daniel De Biasi 35:38
And why do you decide to do and back to Christchurch?
So ultimately, we had our daughter 2012. And it was roundabout 2013. It was a couple of things. So I'd read by this point, I'd really had enough for the medical device industry. I was like, as part of this subconscious awakening, I kind of realized that I wasn't living the life that I wanted to live. And so I kind of had like a massive early midlife crisis in terms of the transition of my career. I kind of thought maybe it was just the medical device stuff. So I ended up in 2013, I applied for and got a job as a general manager for firms, surveyors and engineers, really quite random. But it was part of the plan in 2013. It was that right? I want to get out of medical. So I want to get a job that's non medical, I want to get a leadership role, ideally, for sort of job progression, CV progression, and we want to move back to the South Island and the South Island move was was really for family because my wife's family are all local down here. Whilst It was good for the first maybe 18 months of having no one around to sort of say, Oh, no, don't do this. Because people with if you have kids, you know, everyone's got an opinion as to how you should do everything from how they don't hold them like that. Now Oh, you have a bottle of milk has to be at 34 degrees, not 32 like whatever, I'm tired, the kids getting fed, like leave me alone, so it's quite nice not having that. But then we got to a point where actually having some family and friends around would be useful. Plus also, I guess, if you haven't, if you don't know much about New Zealand, the housing prices in Auckland are just utterly insane. So I was like, well, we can have a better life. And I guess my wife was originally from here, I'd originally chosen to move to Christchurch it just felt like a natural thing to go back once the earthquakes had settled.
Daniel De Biasi 37:07
And earthquakes on the side, would you recommend New Zealand for people that wants to move abroad as the first country to go?
Yeah, definitely. It's pretty easy to get into in general. Well, obviously COVID. Yeah, it's it's interesting. Kiwis, we have to be careful what I say cuz technically, I am a Kiwi. I guess in some ways, I have a kiwi passport. I still can't bring myself to support the All Blacks that I don't think I'll ever get there. Kiwis, like to say say that they're the friendliest people on the planet. I think every nations likes to claim that they're the friendliest people on the planet, in general think he was a pretty welcoming, and they can be a little bit suspicious sometimes of foreigners and even if you're English, English as a first language. But again, I think back to my first comment is kind of on you to try and integrate. And people do say that the South Island, particularly Christchurch can be what they call quite clicky because people tend to stick to their groups, Auckland and Wellington less. So Auckland is a very transient city. It's a big city very ethnically diverse. So I think it's easy. It's probably easier to land in Auckland, and get opportunities than it is in a smaller place in New Zealand as some of the smaller centres are very small. But yeah, in general, pretty friendly. It's pretty accommodating. Does not matter, really who you are what you're about. Most people give you a chance. So definitely worth a go. And a beautiful place in the South Island of New Zealand is such varied terrain. It's amazing.
Daniel De Biasi 38:25
Yeah. And I noticed that with te earthquake, they actually the earthquakes like the reconstruction of the city brought a lot of foreign peoples into into the city. Everywhere you go there will be mostly like a foreign people than Kiwi. Usually even the company I used to work for like 40 people maybe they were like five key with everybody else were from all over the world. So for me making friends was much easier just because there are so many people in my same situation. But also even the Kiwi that I met they were Kiwi from the North Island Kiwi from somewhere else. I don't know, I never actually felt what you said like a close community because I always found even people like a local a Kiwis that they were not from crisis. So we're pretty much in the same boat.
I think that definitely changed post quake pre quake, okay, it was Christchurch was renowned for being very difficult to integrate as an incomer, because it was all like, you know, What school did you go to and all the rest of it was, like I say now there's large amounts of Filipino and Irish immigrants through the building industry, massive, massive populations, and like I said a lot of regional immigration or emigration within New Zealand. So Christchurch has definitely changed. But I still think in many ways, if I still would probably go to Auckland as my first because it's just bigger, there's more jobs, there's more opportunities. I mean, housing is tough, but in terms of, you know, all the most of the big companies are based in Auckland, it's kind of like it's probably an easier place to get going. Yeah, I don't know. Maybe it has changed, but I think I probably still go go there.
Daniel De Biasi 39:48
Okay, I want to only add one thing because maybe things have changed. But last time what was there a few years ago, if you were living in Aukland and you're trying to apply for the permanent residency, it will get less points. Because we're trying to get people away from Aukland is like a so 60 or 70% of the population of New Zealand is in Aukland do much. They're trying to give spread people all over the country. So if you are in Aukland, it will be harder to get a permanent residency. That's the only thing. And you have any regrets about leaving your country?
I wouldn't say necessarily regrets. I think it's- if you remember there was that movie sliding doors, with things like Gwyneth Paltrow, where all these moments in life where and I think that is such a true a truism. It's like every opportunity that there's at least one or two, if not 10, doors that you can go through. When I was in osya. Remember the name of the movie, but there was this movie, and in the movie, there was a French character and this line stuck with me. It's like, there's no such thing as regrets. There's only things you did or didn't do. I quite liked that as a general, like you had two options, you chose one you didn't choose the other, it's like, and you don't know how the other one would have panned out, it might have been better, but you don't know. So I think it's dangerous thing to kind of go too far down that. Regret might be a big word for it. But things like I mean, I've made it back to a couple of friends' weddings, but there's been quite a few friends weddings that it's like, I just can't make it back. It's you know, it's $3,000. You know, I can't take the time off work. It certainly makes it hard in that regard. But then a lot of my friends from university are living all over the country all over the world. So not so much. I think I miss things I don't, I wouldn't say that I regret I like my rugby, I really miss being able to go to Cardiff and watch Wales play rugby in the Six Nations, particularly since I've been in New Zealand, I think they've won more Grand Slams, and won the Six Nations more times than they have in the history of the thing, since I've been living in New Zealand. So it's like, really, but then a part of me is like, well, maybe that's because I'm living here is helping them win. So I just need to stay here. I don't know.
Daniel De Biasi 41:35
It's my superstitious thought. And I'm sticking to it. I think more recently, what I am, there's an interesting topic that I've come across. And it's this idea called Domicide, where you kind of don't feel at home in the place that you're living. And I do increasingly have a sense of that. Occasionally, I'll say something like, you know, what a Kiwis do that and my wife kind of goes, boy, you are a kiwi, and you live amongst kiwi, so kind of get over it and you go, but I'm, I'm kind of not a Kiwi. Because, you know, I lived in the UK for 26 years of my life. And I've been in New Zealand 14 years. So I'm kind of still more British than I am Kiwi in the majority of my life. And I think the more I've been on my own journey of growth and expansion and trying to work out who I am and my place in the world, I keep being drawn back to the fact that I guess and it's rightly so you know, there's big moves, to have more multi culture in day to day life in New Zealand, but I reflect on it and go I have nothing in me that is moldy. I am more Celtic. You know, my dad's family was Welsh. You know, Jones is like the most common Welsh surname, my mum's family is effectively Irish. So I should be spending more time thinking about learning Gaelic or Celtic than I should Mali, because that's more who I am. And I think that's the one thing I do really miss is that deep connection to culture, my culture, and my heritage, is quite missing in the newer parts of the world. Like, I mean, maybe like in Canada as well, you know, the US, New Zealand, Australia, no, the school that I went to my secondary school, they can trace their history back to I think it was 1158 is like there's a seat of learning been on that site since 1158. And then you come to New Zealand, and you see a sign for a historic house, and it was built in 1920. And you start going, it's not quite as that. I think that's, that's the one thing I'm really struggling, you know, on a regular basis is this connection, this deeper cultural connection to who I am In the land here, which I don't feel and I do, I am slightly increasingly feeling a calling to get back and have that sense of nourishment from the country that you kind of come from, which is an interesting one. So you know, in a pandemic ridden world where you can't even go and do that for a holiday. I don't know, maybe if I went back to the UK, I kind of like if I went back to the UK in Europe for a couple of months and just really experienced the whole culture and kind of got my fix for it. I probably see a whole lot of stuff that I don't like happening, you know, they'd be idiots because you know, you always see the local media archive people in the UK such idiots and you kind of go back in New Zealand, they don't do that. So maybe I just need to go back to the UK for a couple of weeks and see that there is just as many idiots doing silly things there as right here because undoubtedly there is but I do think that cultural things that's the thing I'm missing but I don't say I regret it yet.
Daniel De Biasi 44:11
Okay, that's that's an interesting point. I never experienced that. Maybe I experienced especially like a different language, different culture that when I talk to local people, I can relate with my childhood, the things that I have in the movies, they're kind of the cultural from different country, I can't relate with that. So maybe I'm kind of missed that in a way but the same time I still attracted to their culture because for me, it's the like a new culture. I'm attracted I learned more about that that so I'm having like a missed my original culture yet so, I'd like to see that in a few years. But that's an interesting point.
Because you could you do end up being in a really, there's a potential risk of ending up in cultural no man's land, because quite often, you know, people back home will when I when I speak with our man, you sound like such a Kiwi. Um, whereas here a lot of people go ask, Well, how long have you been in New Zealand for? So it's like well, I'm not kind of readily accepted by either group on face value. So obviously, when I don't fit into either group fully, either you know where I've come from, because they think I sound differently. And where I am, they can clearly generally clearly identify that I'm not of, you know, New Zealand, it's a really interesting place to be, where you kind of, you don't feel as if you belong to either one fully. So there's like, it's like, there's this little part of you that's kind of floating in the ether, that doesn't have a home, which is this, this sort of darker side concept of not not being fully, maybe I just need to support the All Blacks and go all in and that'll be the I can't bring myself.
Daniel De Biasi 45:38
But it's interesting, because that's not the first person that I interview that say the same thing. They they move to a different country, and still don't find a place that they can call home, that they feel settled. They're trying to always maybe find a different country trying to move to somewhere else, where they hope that they can find a place they can call home.
But I think there's partly there's an element, you know, if you look, the fact that you've left your country in the first place, would suggest that there's an element of you that that has an itch that needs to be scratched in terms of not being where you are. So I always think that, you know, that if you look at the populations of the countries that were settled, or driven, you know, particularly from a Western European perspective, the first people who go there, gave up everything, and risked everything to get on a boat, to go to the other side of the planet, like, there's a mentality of the people that have settled a country, and that is going to be passed down. Like there was a strong proclivity for people to be of a certain personality type to go and do that. And that has to filter down genetically. Um, yeah, sure, over time, you know, more people come into the population that are that are that but the very fact that you have that you had, because there's plenty of people I know. I mean, there's people that we know, here, they have lived in like two different houses within a block of each other. And that's it. In fact, there's, there's a couple we went to their wedding a couple weeks ago, and the wife, she and her three siblings all live within, like 10 kilometers of where they grew up. I mean, they've all traveled, but they've all come back to live within 10 Ks, of where their mom and dad live. And a part of me just goes, I can't understand that. But why wouldn't you just go a bit further than that, that seems a little bit too close. But then there's plenty of people that still live within 10 kilometers of um, that and I've never even traveled. So I think there's an element of personality type that drives you to go to make maybe that's just, I mean, I've got a good mate of mine, he moved to New Zealand, about the same time as me. And he started the job with me in New Zealand on the same day. And he, he would have been, maybe five, six years ago, he was like, obviously, I think he's different cuz his wife's British as well. He was like, we've just had enough of New Zealand, we just don't feel it's got anything more to offer us. So they ended up immigrating to the US, and they've been there. And Matt's got a successful job then and they love it, they move to the inner in Colorado, so Denver, I think, yeah, I think perhaps is different for me was my wife's kiwi, my daughter's half kiwi, you know, it's kind of like, where we live feels like home. But it's just that that deeper kind of cultural level.
Daniel De Biasi 47:51
It makes totally sense. I feel like I have friends in Italy. I don't know if it's the same in England. But even like, I'm come from, like a small town in Italy, even then feels like if you are even moved to a different town, like two kilometers away feels like you are leaving. It's kind of like a being a part of the team. So you're leaving your team to go on to another team, or feel that way. So even like, I can't leave the town where I grew up in the town where my parents grew up. I can't leave it because that's part of who I am. And so people don't never leave maybe for that reason.
Yeah, I think some people are just scared to go and try new stuff. You know, I think you can broadly split people into two categories, you know, people who want to go and try and do new things in a wanting to explore and test and try and push the boundaries and others are like, kind of happy, I don't I don't want to go and try something different kind of like what I've got. And I think that's what what I guess on a high level makes humanity interesting because you bump into these different types of people and everyone's got different thoughts.
Daniel De Biasi 48:43
Exactly, and probably the people that are listening to these episodes of this podcast that are from the other category, people, they want to explore, but maybe they are afraid to do so. So hopefully through your story, they can find the motivation to move to New Zealand.
Go give it a go. I mean, the worst, you know, if all as long as your financial considerations are well thought out, realistically, you get on a plane. I mean, when I came to New Zealand, I got myself a working holiday visa, because I wasn't sure that I know how to get work visa and residency and all that kind of stuff. Because I was young and naive. And if I'd actually looked into it, it would it would have been quite easy. But I sort of I'm kind of working holiday visa, if I don't get a job. Worst case scenario, I'll go and get a job working on a ski field or in a mountain bike park or whatever. I'll do six months. I've got a return ticket, I can go home. And I think that's that's the big thing to realize is unless you're frighteningly unlucky, and you end up in some country that has some kind of military coup or a natural disaster destroys or you know, stops you getting to the airport to get out. in general. If you don't like it, if it's not working out. You can just get on a plane and go home. And you just said I had a holiday. You know, it's not like you imagine 100 years ago you sell everything that you had to get on the boat with a one way ticket. That's a different it's a different a different world.
Daniel De Biasi 49:54
Yeah, I actually met old older man in the airport in Christchurch. He was telling me they moved to New Zealand from the UK in mustn't be like a 60 or 50 or something I took six months on a boat to get to New Zealand. So things now it takes like 30 hours is a long time. It's still it's not six months.
Because you can you can sleep for half of that time. And you're watching, and you're watching movies for the other half and they feed you. Yeah, and you're not getting scurvy. And you're not going to be righted by pirates and your boats not going to sink. Yeah, it's like, yeah.
Daniel De Biasi 50:24
Yeah, no, no, no, I agree. 100%. And also, I used the same kind of visa when I moved to New Zealand, which is, as I know, it's an amazing visa, as you say, you can do whatever, if you have to pay the bills, you can do any jobs. And yeah, just go from there. Yeah, there's no pretty much there's no risks. Yeah, especially in New Zealand like a such a safe country, there's like a really no risks. And did you have to face any challenges in your journey that you can think of,
I guess, probably don't mean, the biggest challenge has been more recently. So 2016, my dad got quite sick. I think this is the the challenge or the consideration for anyone who ends up living away from home for an extended period of time is, you know, especially in this period of time, we've got this a mum that we know, through school, you know, her mom just passed away in the UK, or she was pretty sick. And I think she passed away when she got back, you know, that's doing that under these situations. It's just been pretty testing. And now she's in managed isolation for two weeks. And so yeah, 2016 my dad got, well, late 2015, he actually got diagnosed with cancer, but he didn't tell me too early 2016. And so 2016 was my so 2015 I went out on my own in business. So I just quit corporate life, late 2015 to start my business. And then early 2016 had a Skype call with my dad and he's like, are like, I should probably let you know, I've got stage four cancer, I don't know, it's not looking great. But they don't really know how long I've got him. And I had had a bit of an interesting relationship on and off, which, I mean, I guess ultimately, my, the relationship I have with both my parents probably was also a driving factor in terms of, hey, let's just get out of here, let's sort of get away and just go and live your own life for a bit. But um, that's probably the biggest challenge is navigating a sick parent on the other side of the planet with no clear timelines as to how they're doing. So when he told me I went back initially in things like July 2016, to give his partner because my mom dad divorced when I was just after uni, and to give his partner a bit of respite because she was looking after him. And I stayed there for about a month. And then I came back and then in late, and it would have been September. He was like, hey, look, I'm feeling like I'm going downhill quite a bit. I think you should probably come back over this might be you know, the last visit. So went back over. And in fact, it was about I said, Okay, look, I'll book a ticket for like a month's time or three weeks time. And about a week after I booked the tickets, I had a missed call from his partner, as Oh, this doesn't look good. And she sent me a text saying, hey, look, he's got you know, your dad's going downhill really quickly. You should probably get over here. And then I had a call of after that from one of the consultant oncologists saying, hey, yeah, look, I think this was like a Thursday evening, corner Wednesday evening, New Zealand time. And they said, Look, realistically, we struggled to see your dad getting through to Sunday. Like you should probably get on a plane now. So literally, I changed my rang a New Zealand today. Look, can you help me out here. So I've got a literally packed my stuff and 6am The next morning, I was on the plane to the UK, I landed Saturday lunchtime, like get to the hospital and my dad had had a couple of blood transfusions, and he was like walking around as if nothing was wrong. So I ended up staying there for about another month. And he was seemingly kind of doing okay. And it got to the point where I said, Look, I gotta go home because I've got a wife and family and a business. And, you know, I can't, I'm spending a lot of money in an Airbnb and stuff where I was in sort of dissatisfied swanzey in South Wales. So I went back and then yeah, in November, he passed away, so had to go back for a funeral. So that's probably been the biggest challenge of, of being over here is sort of navigating intense personal relationships with a parent, and then severe illness. Because it's, it's hard not, you know, not being able to be there to sort of help as much as you can, but just also economically, mentally, physically, spiritually, like, that was a hard year. You know, really, really hard year.
Daniel De Biasi 54:02
Yeah, it must have been. :ike an uncertainty that you're on. Yeah.
Yeah. Just Just not knowing.
Daniel De Biasi 54:07
I can't even imagine what that means.
Yeah, it's just life.
Daniel De Biasi 54:10
And do you feel lucky to be an immigrant?
Definitely. I mean, I guess there's no, you know, I've got my Kiwi passport. And citizenship is no guarantee that they give you that, you know, if you're not of upstanding character, and meet all the criteria, so definitely feel hugely blessed and lucky for the opportunities that I've had. And you know, where I am, you know, pretty much love what I'm doing where I'm at, you know, my wife and my kids just finished building a beautiful house, I certainly wouldn't be living in a house, like we've built in the UK pretty unlikely, was pretty good. It's hard. But like I said, it's really hard to know. Would it be any better if I hadn't come here? We'll never know. But yeah, definitely, I think, but again, I'd argue that the people that put themselves out there and go out of their way to go and try things, generally, you're gonna land on your feet, you're just going to be open to the opportunities that are presented to you. But yeah, definitely feel bring it around. Particularly we're a month away, month away from the ski season. So that's get really good.
Daniel De Biasi 55:01
And do you think like your journey as an immigrant and going through like a different stages, different places in life, do you think that help you as well to grow your business? Because you say you got your own business? Do you think that part of being an immigrant helped to run your business in a way?
I mean, I guess the path that happened to me the fact that I ended up in Christchurch and I went through the earthquakes if I if I hadn't experienced the earthquakes, would I be who I am today? Probably not. I think there's an element of when you're trying to unpack what's happened to you what hasn't happened to you in your life, you can either look at it from a deeply rational perspective, or you can look at it from a more spiritual perspective. And I think there's almost more fun in looking at life as slightly with an element of fatalism. And you kind of go well, if I got into the army, would I have made it out of Iraq or Afghanistan, I could have been a statistic, I could have been in a body back that maybe that was a path was a path that the universe said, No, actually, we got something bigger for you. But at the time, you don't see that. I absolutely love my daughter to bits, you know, best thing that's ever happened to me, wouldn't have happened to me if I had not come to New Zealand. So I think all of the things that have happened to me and coming to New Zealand is a big part of it led me to start my own business. Would I have done that? And I don't know, I think I have a general proclivity to wanting to be my own boss deep down inside me. But would it have happened? I don't know. So I think that the journey that I've been through here 100% led to that. And there's lots of learnings and things that I've had on the way that Yeah, change how I do things and how I approached that for sure.
Daniel De Biasi 56:26
Yeah, it's all about all those sliding doors. that opportunity you actually decided to take because even just the beginning, just decided to go to Australia. There was a yeah, I was letting go. But it was your decision to do it.
Daniel De Biasi 56:37
Same going back to the UK, same trying to follow your girlfriend to DC you know those like, yeah, they are sliding doors, you don't know what would have happened. But at the same time, you create your own luck in a way.
Daniel De Biasi 56:47
And I like to talk about a little bit about your business, because you're Tim Jones, but you're also known for being the grow good guy, right?
That's the one.
Daniel De Biasi 56:56
Do you wanna tell the listeners what do you do?
Yeah, totally. See this, this was a big part of this, the earthquake experience birth, a child, subconscious awakening stroke, early midlife crisis, which I think one, they are both the same thing just to the different guys. And so there's a really good movie on Netflix called the bleeding edge. And if you haven't seen that, it's basically it's the best way for me to summarize what my job was and what it was about. So I'm selling these medical devices and really realized that that the whole industry, the whole medical device industry is massively corrupt. And the companies all they really care about is making as much money as possible. And if they kill patients on the journey to making more money, it's like, well, you know, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs is the sort of general mentality of the industry. I guess it was the earthquakes in the birth of my daughter that led me to really see that for what it was. And so it's like, cool, I'm done. I'm out of this. And then I worked for this firm of surveyors and engineers for 18 months, and just seem to be that, particularly property developers and other people in sort of big, big end of town and construction, all they cared about was making as much money as possible. It's like, we don't care if the buildings are environmentally friendly, or if they support the local communities. It's just like, who cares about making money. And it was on that journey, I discovered these things here if identity is gonna be video for this, but there's a group of businesses called B corporations, certified B corporations who are for profit businesses that want to balance making money with doing good in the world. And I saw Well, that sounds a good place to start. So yeah, 2015 ended up going out on my own. And I thought, right, I want to start a business that will become a B Corp that can help grow other B corpse because my background was in sales, I figured if I can take all the skills that I've learned in some really big, I mean, Johnson and Johnson pay 1000s of dollars or pounds to help you become a better salesperson. It's like if I can take all the content information I've learned on my 10 year career to date as a salesperson, and give that to smaller businesses that are wanting to make meaningful social or environmental positive impact. That sounds like a pretty better place for me to be in rather than making money for these big companies. So yeah, that's kind of what Grogan is all about is helping the businesses doing good in the world to do more good specifically through sales training, but also do purpose coaching, basically trying to help misguided people like myself navigate that midlife crisis to work out who they want to be when they grow up. And so that they can maximize the amount of good that they can do in the world. So yeah, my business is called grow good. And I'm the good guy, cuz I'm all about trying to help grow more good in the world.
Daniel De Biasi 59:10
Uh, yeah, no, I really appreciate what you do, because I don't know, that's the kind of way I like to approach business to actually do something nice. And actually are other people that don't do just for the business. I'd like to finish with a question. What do you have any other advice for the listeners that wants to move abroad?
Just give it a go. I mean, literally, I think I'd go back to Gary's comment, you know, just go out there with a positive mindset shake hands say today, just like, Hey, I'm Tim, what can we do? Like, how do we play with each other? I think just go with that kind of mindset. Just be open to opportunities and give it a go. The worst that can happen is you have to, after a week, you get back on a plane and go, you know what, that wasn't for me. But hey, you've just learned something about yourself, or you get somewhere else and you go, Oh, my word. These are my people. I love it here. I'm just going to, I think just be open to the opportunity. There's a really cool guy. He's called Professor Richard Wiseman. He's got he's done a lot of studies on luck. And essentially that people who consider themselves lucky, get more things in life because he from his research, they're just more open to the opportunities that come their way. So just have a go be open to the opportunity, say yes, as many times as you can, as long as it's legal, moral, ethical, and within your boundaries of tolerance. Just Just give things a go, because you'll learn so much about yourself. And I think that's the, for me, that's the true value of travel and getting out there to see parts of the world that you would not ordinarily see smell, touch, you know, whatever, and just see what that what that tells you.
Daniel De Biasi 1:00:32
Yeah, I 100% agree with you. And where people can find you if people wants to get in touch with you or lay with your story where people can find you?
Best place is probably just on my website, which is grow good.co or if not, I'm on LinkedIn, if you look for Tim Jones, the good guy on LinkedIn, I will definitely pop up. So those would be the two best places come find me.
Daniel De Biasi 1:00:51
Sweet, awesome. Everything will be in the show notes at emigrantslife.com. Thank you so much Tim to share your story and be on the show.
Thank you man and thank you for what you're doing, hopefully, helping people live the dream. Exactly.
Daniel De Biasi 1:01:03
Yeah. Hopefully your story will inspire people to move to Christchurch or move to New Zealand. Maybe people will come to see you on the street and introduce themselves.
I mean, if anyone does, I've helped a few people through friends of friends, like people who do make it to New Zealand. Like if you need connections or help, I can always try and help.
Daniel De Biasi 1:01:20
Sweet thank you so much for doing that. Awesome. Thank you so much, Tim.
See you, mate.
Daniel De Biasi 1:01:24
Thank you so much for tuning in this week. You can find the show notes, we links, insights, and much emigrantslife.com/episode46. If you enjoyed this episode, share this episode with your friends and you can leave us a review on Apple podcasts or pod chaser. And one more thing if you want to move to a new country or you need help, feel free to reach out to me either via email at [email protected] or through our website. Amiens life.com. It's absolutely free. I don't charge anything for it. Just reach out to me and we can schedule a call. I look forward to meeting you. Thanks again for listening. Talk to you in the next one. Ciao.
Aeron's story proves that your circumstances don't determine your future.