Globe-trotting Charan comes full circle
“It’s definitely the best thing we could have done for our family,” says Charan
After travelling the world, Charan Mischewski, has found the ultimate family lifestyle, in the small town where she started.
Growing up in Ngatea, Charan attended Hauraki Plains College; spent year 13 on a student exchange in Switzerland, studied for a BA in history and politics at Auckland and Waikato Universities, then flew away for three years to work in the U.K and Croatia. Later she gained a Diploma in Environmental Planning from Waikato.
Returning to New Zealand in 2007 she met her future husband, Daniel, in Christchurch. Coincidentally, he was also a Hauraki Plains kid.
“To do all of that (travelling) and come back and go out with someone I went to school with seemed bizarre to say the least,” laughs Charan. “We knew each other (back then) and got on well, but we weren’t in the same year.”
Getting married and buying their first house in Te Rapa, Hamilton, where there was work for both Daniel, an agricultural mechanic, and Charan, a policy analyst, the couple went on to have two children, Calin, now 4, and Madison, 3.
“We enjoyed Hamilton, but once we had the kids we weren’t going into the city much at all and Daniel was a bit over driving across the city every morning to get to work.”
Looking around for somewhere else to live, the couple kept coming back to the place they’d grown up. For the price of their 1970’s weatherboard three bedroom, one bathroom home in Hamilton, they could buy an almost new four bedroom, two bathroom brick home in Ngatea. For hunting and fishing enthusiast, Daniel, there were a number of boat ramps, hunting spots and ponds close by, and the couple would still only be an hour’s drive from the dazzle of Auckland and Hamilton.
Top schooling was another big draw card.
“Hauraki Plains College was a big tick in the box for me,” says Charan, “It’s a great all round school with a great reputation, and principal Ngaire Harris is a very inspirational woman. She inspired me to do a lot of the things I’ve done. Ngatea Primary School has a good reputation too.”
Fears small town life might be too underwhelming for the well-travelled Charan, quickly proved groundless. The town has grown a lot since she left 12 years earlier. With plenty of new people to meet, lots of sporting activities on offer, a relaxed, supportive play centre, work for her at the nearby Hauraki District Council and a good job close by for Daniel, she has no desire to move back to the city.
“It’s definitely the best thing we could have done for our family,” she says. “It comes down to what you value. Once you have kids you tend to be more worried about what school they are going to go to than what clothes you’re going to buy. You don’t care if there’s not a Max shop down the road.”