17,000km is a very long way to come to start a new life, but that's exactly what Tetiana Perevernykhata, a senior developer at Xero and her husband did two years ago.

Tetiana believes it's one of the best decisions she's ever made, as she’s about to celebrate her third Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere. 

After graduating in Ukraine and working for three years as a developer, Tetiana, and her husband embarked on a life-changing move to Auckland. Tetiana says moving here was an obvious choice for her, "New Zealand to me is like a big dream, it's an extremely beautiful country with a mild climate and a beautiful summer." 

Tetiana became aware of the hugely successful New Zealand software company Xero, a multi award-winning firm that provides cloud-based accounting solutions for small to medium sized business all over the world, after talking to others in the industry. She liked what she heard and applied for a role.  

"I met a few people before from Xero and had also heard talk about Xero as a company, how they support people and the technologies that they use. I was really impressed. I decided it would be the perfect place for me to continue my career and my growth." 

Tetiana says adapting to life in Auckland was surprisingly simple, "It was unexpectedly easy to adjust to life here, people are very friendly and you feel at home. The culture is incredibly different from other places I've been – it's much friendlier here."  

When it comes to the seasons, summer in New Zealand is her favourite time of year. What used to be a traditional winter festival back home has now become a very different type of holiday. 

Red Pohutakawa tree on a New Zealand beach

Tetiana comments, “Unlike the Northern Hemisphere, where it’s snowy and cold, Christmas in New Zealand falls during the summer months, so I really love the long holiday and the wonderful weather. It’s the best season for exploring the spectacular scenery the country has to offer and I always take two or three weeks away from work to travel around and find new places.” 

Some people might find it a bit of an adjustment to celebrate Christmas in the sun when they’re used to snow, but Tetiana is very happy with the change and says, “The biggest difference for me is New Year's Day, which is the main holiday of the season in Ukraine, and is celebrated much more than Christmas. In New Zealand, the celebrations are split more evenly.” 

Her new lifestyle as a Kiwi has also opened many more chances to explore the great outdoors. She explains, “The Christmas holiday is my favourite time of year. It’s when I take the chance to really enjoy my time outside, walking in parks and gardens and going to the beach.” 

Festive backed ham with pineapple on a table

When it comes to the annual festive feast, Tetiana and her husband enjoy a mix of both Kiwi traditional festive meals and Ukrainian style summer-time meals such as barbecued foods, roasted vegetables, salads and fresh fruits. 

With a great career at Xero, and a long hot summer ahead, Tetiana stresses that moving to Auckland is a fantastic decision concluding, "I would never change my decision, it’s been a very smooth and great experience and I'm very glad that I took this chance to move.  

I look forward to many Kiwi summers filled with friends, food and travel in the years to come, and I encourage others thinking about making the move to look at the opportunities – it will be a great change in their life!"  

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