Review & Q&A of Getting Rooted in New Zealand by Jamie Baywood

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country's population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted
I don't normally read memoirs of stories but I decided that I would give it a try and I was thrilled I did. After reading the first couple of chapters/days in the book, I could see that this memoir would be different from the rest out there. The fun banter and witty comments added to the amazing journey that is told across this book.
Getting Rooted in New Zealand is a memoir of Jamie Baywood's adventure to New Zealand. I had no idea what to expect when I read this book, though after the first couple of chapters/days I was hooked. The book is told in Jamie's point of view over a course of a year and a bit, from July 2010 to September 2011 and the many things happen during this time.

The first couple of months are about Jamie settling into New Zealand life and making new friends, along with trying to date whilst there is becoming a harder that she first thought. Men in New Zealand are the different to men in California, all people in New Zealand want is one night stands that they will never see again, though that is not what Jamie wants.

As the months go by many thing happen to Jamie, she loses her job, has to find a new place to live and still has yet to find a man. Though she does relay tales of previous men who were in her life before her trip, these were interesting to read about and most of them had humours elements to how they ended. Though living in another country is different the language and saying are completely different or means something different to what it is in English. For example, Getting Rooted in America means to put down some roots and to settle in but in New Zealand it means to have sex though it comes across as more ruder.

The humours side to this book is brilliant, the story about finding happiness across the other side of the world and the memories that we make along the way make this book just like any other novel though this book changes things due to the fact that it is a true story and the events in this memoir really happened.

There are many other life lessons that Jamie learns over the course of the book and how they make their way into her life. The friends she makes during her stay in New Zealand and how she meets Grant, a Scottish man and how she finds everything she was looking for over the course of her time in New Zealand.

There are many other stories within this one that makes this book a enjoyable read, the different houses Jamie lives in during her stay, the jobs that she has whilst exploring what New Zealand has to offer and how not everything you say in New Zealand means the same like it does in the States.

My favourite part from Getting Rooted in New Zealand would have to be, thinking about it there are so many to choose from the phases, Bob the mime, Jamie trying to work out the different means for words in New Zealand and also Scotland as well after meeting Grant and all the other crazy things that happened over the course of the time Jamie spent there.

I loved reading Getting Rooted in New Zealand for the adventure that Jamie went on, for the humour that was in the book and for the simple fact that it was true. It had everything you could possibly want in a memoir but also just like a novel in many ways, it told a story about life, travelling and the love that will find you along the way.

If I had to sum this book up in three words, they would be Fabulous, Realistic and Amazing. After reading about Jamie's life and how so much can change in such a small amount of time, it really showed me that sometimes you have to live your life the way you want to and happiness will find you, even if it is in another country, you never know.
with Jamie Baywood
Hi Jamie, Thank you for doing a Q&A with me for you debut book, Getting Rooted in New Zealand. Which is about your adventure to New Zealand and the year that you spent living there. After reading your book, I was so excited to ask you some questions that I had through of over the time reading Getting Rooted in New Zealand. So, here we go. . .
1.       Could you tell us a bit about Getting Rooted in New Zealand?
While living in New Zealand, I had funny experiences that I had trouble believing were true. I wrote the stories down to stay sane. I wrote situations down that were happening around me and shared them with friends. Most of the book was written as the events happened; it just took me a few years to work up the nerve to publish.
2.       What was your favourite part of writing the book?
I had the opportunity to write and perform for Thomas Sainsbury the most prolific playwright in New Zealand. I performed a monologue about my jobs in the Basement Theatre in Auckland.  The funny thing about that experience was Tom kept me separated from the other performers until it was time to perform. I was under the impression that all the performers were foreigners giving their experiences in New Zealand.  All of the other performers were professional actors telling stories that weren’t their own. At first I was mortified, but the audience seemed to enjoy my “performance,” laughing their way through my monologue. After the shows we would go out and mingle with the audience. People would ask me how long I had been acting. I would tell them, “I wasn’t acting; I have to go to work tomorrow and sit next to the girl wearing her dead dog’s collar around her neck.”
3.       What made you decide to travel to New Zealand? And what advice would you have for someone who wanted to travel and living in another country like you did?
I left because I was perplexed by how to date in California.  I had one boyfriend from the age of fourteen to twenty-three. There were a lot of life experiences and things I should have learned in high school and at university that I didn’t.  After my first relationship ended I felt like a zoo animal released into the wild. I had no idea how to date and for a few years was completed bombarded by unwanted suitors in California. In my mid-twenties, I had bad dating experiences in California and a dream to live abroad. I read in a tour book that New Zealand’s population had 100,000 fewer men than women. In the attempt to have some ‘me time’ I moved to New Zealand. 
It was shockingly easy to relocate to New Zealand literally a few weeks after I made the decision. It only took a couple of weeks for my work visa to go through. I was 26, single, I quit my job, I moved out of a little cottage I was renting and put the few things I had at my mom’s house and brought a suitcase with me to New Zealand. Within two weeks of my plane landing in New Zealand, I found a place to live and a job. I don’t know anywhere else in the world you can do that.
The world is small.  Sometimes the grass actually is greener on the other side. Sometimes it isn’t. If things aren’t working out for you at home with relationships, instead of staying at home crying that you’re single, consider yourself free. You are free to do whatever you want.  For a single female traveling alone, New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world.
As an American citizen there are actually very few places in the world you can get a work visa and just show up. If you are an American under thirty you can a work visa in Australia and if you are an American under thirty-five you can get a work visa in New Zealand.  Go before it’s too late.
4.       You are currently writing you second book, is it linking with your first book or is it something entirely new?
For the past three years, I’ve been disassembling and reassembling my life by moving to different countries. I’ve lived in five countries now; America, American Samoa, New Zealand, Scotland and now England. I plan to publish another book next year about attempting to settle in Scotland. 
5.       Why did you decide to write about your adventure to New Zealand?
Publishing my book Getting Rooted in New Zealand was my way of transforming poison into medicine. I hope that it can help people that have had bad dating experiences or bad work experiences – make them laugh and not give up hope.
6.       Here at 23 Review Street, I/We love cupcakes. What is your favourite cupcake?
Red Velvet.
Thank you so much for answering my questions, I really enjoyed reading your amazing book. I look forward to reading your next book when it comes out.
Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon:
Jamie Baywood can be followed on the following sites:
Thank you to Jamie for giving me a copy of her book to read and review. Also, for the Q&A about her book as well.
Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.
Another day, another book, 
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