Many people assume that I am a born and bred Kiwi, for various reasons. I am always quite happy to tell them they are wrong.
I was born in Singapore, a tropical city-island that is roughly the size of Lake Taupo. Fun fact: chewing gum is banned in Singapore, and they take it quite seriously 😂
Owning land and a house is a rarity in Singapore and like most people, we lived in an apartment block in the suburbs.
As a child, my favourite things to do were:
- Spending hours in the library reading.
- Walking to the neighbourhood market with my parents and having breakfast.
- Racing my brother in the neighbourhood park on our bicycles.
- Buying $1 ice cream sandwiches from the ice cream man opposite my school.
- Dancing in the monsoon rain (I didn’t really care if my homework got wet, oops!)
When I was seven, my dad moved us to California for a year as he studied for his post-graduate qualifications. If you’ve ever talked to me and heard a weird American-esque accent, this is why!
Adjusting to a new country was and always will be hard, but school holidays to Las Vegas, San Diego and Disneyland helped make the experience more enjoyable! Of course, I was more preoccupied with what to wear to pyjamas day at school and how high the swings can go. But my parents had larger problems to worry about.
One day, Dad wasn’t feeling so well and went in for a doctor’s check-up. Turns out he had kidney stones and hemorrhoids.
All I knew was that I got to hang out with him for a week while he sat on a weird cushion. Thankfully we had health insurance, so medical expenses were covered!
In 2012, my dad got a job based in New Zealand and we moved to Auckland. I can’t say I was very happy; leaving my life and all my friends behind again!
But in that first month in New Zealand, I absolutely fell in love with this country. It’s very easy to with the wonderful people, beautiful environment and great lifestyle!
We’ve been here for just over five years and I have had quite the experience. From the hot springs in Rotorua, the steepest road in Dunedin, and bracing against the wind in Wellington, I can say that I have really grown into myself in New Zealand.
With the highs, comes the lows. Over the years we’ve had many health scares. Now my parents are getting closer to their 60s, health is a big issue that we are constantly aware of.
Dad has had blood pressure problems on and off, with high blood pressure and hypertension headaches. My mum has been quite healthy, but due to constant fatigue, she’s had to keep an eye on her iron levels in case it turns out to be a larger problem.
My brother and I have worried my parents constantly. When he was actively playing football, he had a major calf injury and there was talk about having to do restorative surgery.
I’ve had a mysterious lump appear on my arm that my GP cannot figure out. Being sent see specialists and go through ultrasounds and MRIs can be costly. Thankfully, we had the foresight to get health insurance and the costs are covered by the insurance company. If we didn’t, I would have spent over $1,500 just this month alone on healthcare!
I’ve always been taught the importance of being prepared by my parents and it is definitely paying off.
Even though we’ve lived here for a while, we still aren’t very knowledgeable about the healthcare system in New Zealand. Getting health insurance through nib was very helpful because of their variety of plans, easy online claiming and mobile app.
You can choose to go with their Everyday plan, their Hospital plan or do both! As a young adult with parents approaching their 60s, I am able to choose a plan that can cater to my own needs, as well as making sure my parents are covered.
Anything can happen to our society, to our lives and most importantly, to our health. Having nib health insurance removed the stress of thinking about payments, allowing me to focus on my life, health and family.