As this month we’re celebrating our first whole year in Australia, I’m turning my attention to some freelance writing projects about the subject of emigration. I thought I’d use this post to ask you a question: have you ever thought about moving abroad? Whether to move as a family, work abroad as a couple, travel long term or even teach English abroad?
If you’ve ever thought about doing it (even if you didn’t really have the intention of following it through), what were the road blocks that halted you? Was there one big thought that scared you?
If you’ve already made the move, I’d love to hear what parts of the process you found the most difficult? Is there anything in particular you would have liked some more help and support with?
If you’re in the process of making the move – as I know some of you are because you send me lovely emails after seeing my column in Australia and New Zealand magazine – what parts have been the most difficult and what bits are you dreading?
I love being able to help people through the articles I write, and this information will be really valuable to me as it will help me put together resources that can hopefully take some of the stress out of the big move.
Please leave your thoughts in the comments below, and if you know anybody else that has moved abroad (to any country) or is hoping to then please share the link with them. I’m not going to quote anybody in any articles – this information is just to help me out with planning some future projects and is just for my own interest. You know, because I’m nosy like that 🙂
Thanks very much for your help! And if you’re interested in reading more about the process of moving to Australia, you can check out the link to all of the blog posts about our migration journey.
PS If you are thinking of moving abroad or are in the process and want to talk to somebody that has been through it, please drop me a line as I’d love to link up and chat. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or hunt me down on social media (where I spend waaaay too much time) and say hi Instagram, Facebook or Twitter
We did seriously consider moving to Australia, then we had Crevette… Although we wanted to raise our children there, after having our first baby, we simply couldn’t take him (or ourselves) away from family I wish we’d still made the jump then. You guys look so happy in Australia (1 year already???). xx
That was definitely the hardest part for us – deciding to take the kids away from their grandparents. Living through the final couple of weeks in the UK was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Thankfully, the emotions calmed down once we arrived. I do miss family and hate that they’re missing seeing the kids change and grow but I also can see all of the amazing experiences our kids are having over here and know it was the right move for us. Timing is a tricky one though isn’t it – after our round-the-world trip in 2008/09 we came back to the UK planning on moving to Australia only to find out we were expecting twins which totally put us off the idea due to the family thing. It was only later that the idea came back to us when hubby was going to be made redundant and we kind of saw it as our last chance to give it a go. You never know what opportunities are going to come up in life or how long they’ll hang around for. And yes, it has already been a year! Well as of 24th Sept it has. Madness 🙂 xx
This is a good and very nice idea Karen! I think it’s nice to offer out help as a real “been there, done that” person without it being your job to do it which can put people off entirely thinking there’s some sort of motivation behind it!!
I’m sure you’ll get lots of people who will find this very useful!
I’ll be sure to spread the link around!!
Thanks Chantelle! I remember how scary it was to make the move and how many road blocks people put in front of us to try to talk us out of it. I’ve loved writing my magazine column and being able to share some of the positives – although it is hard work, you know as much as I do that it’s worth every bit of it 🙂 xx
Rosie @ Little Fish says
This is a great idea! Your articles will be a really helpful resource for people thinking of moving abroad. We moved to California nearly four years ago now. The hardest part I think was the practicalities of trying to organise somewhere to live from the other side of the world! I would recommend looking for a temporary place to begin with, so that you can then take the time to find somewhere yourself after your move. x
Yes! That was a really tough part wasn’t it? I was still on Google hunting for accommodation about six weeks before we landed, and it had me feeling so stressed out that we’d land with nowhere to go. Thanks for that – it’s great to hear where other people have struggled as it gives me ideas to research resources that might be able to help people. x
Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault says
We moved to France from the UK 8 years ago. It has not all been plain sailing but I don’t believe that any life, anywhere, is perfect and without problems. The language and cultural difference have, at times, been unfathomable but we get to live in a fabulous rural location with our own smallholding that we could not have afforded in the UK. The boys are bilingual which will be a huge advantage for them and through our gite, we have got to meet so many wonderful people from all over the world.
That’s very true – everywhere comes with it’s own issues – nowhere is perfect. It’s weighing up the benefits and the lifestyle of one experience against another. And being willing to give stuff a try even if it sounds scary!! Your home sounds idyllic and it sounds like your boys will be learning loads from the experience way beyond just the language skills. Thanks for stopping by.
Wow has it been that long already??! WOW! What a great idea and I will share on twitter. I hope you’re all settling well and it feels really homely now. Jess xx
Thanks lovely. Yes, it’s been a year – I can’t decide if it has flown by or not as it kind of feels like we’ve been here for years now! It does feel like home – I hadn’t expected we’d feel that way so quickly but we love it here.
Congratulations on surviving one year in Australia Karen! Yes I’m sure there are a lot of people out there looking for likeminded people who’re thinking about making the big move. As scary as it is, it’s also exhilarating! Love your blog! Look forward to reading more. Cheers, Nicole
Thanks Nicole. I’m not sure where the year has gone but then we have been so busy! It definitely gives you lots of confidence in your abilities when you make a move like this. Thanks for reading.
I honestly can’t believe it’s been a year for you all already! Where has that gone? It does go quickly though doesn’t it? I can’t believe it’s been 6 for us almost. Hopefully looking at our third country soon….
It just flies, yet it also goes slowly too! Wow, your third country! I’m not sure I’d have enough energy to do it again. At least not for a few more years 🙂 Thanks for reading and good luck!
We have been emailing previously Karen. We found the agents who you recommended were the ones for us. My husband I both spoke to Veronika at Sort out my Visa and we felt very comforted that she was going to help & was willing to spend time answering our questions. So we are in the process of moving to Australia. One of my worries at the moment is since we have announced this to our friends & family everyone seems to have become more closer & wanted to spend time with us which is now making my 7 year old daughter not want to move as she will miss everyone. I am actually concerned leaving everyone will be more difficult then I have previously imagined. Another worry is how we will settle in & make it feel like home.
Hi Angi, Lovely to hear that Veronika is looking after you. I’m so happy we used their services – and I still email her from time to time with questions even now.
I totally get what you mean about everyone suddenly getting closer to you – your family and friends all want to make the most of the time you have left together but it does make it more difficult. I guess the only advice is to enjoy your time together but also remember why you’re making the move. Leaving and saying goodbye is hands down the hardest part of the process but you move through it. One of my four-year-olds started to feel sad about us moving after seeing family getting upset. When we landed, it only took a day at the beach and a trip to a wildlife park to pat koalas to show him why we’d made the move – straight away he fell in love with the country. Your seven-year-old is still young so hopefully she will easily adapt to her new life over here when she sees how incredible it is.
Remind me where you’re going again? There are expat meet ups all around the country and these are great places to make new friends as the people there know exactly what you’re going through and will become your support network. The PomsinOz forum is a good place to search.
Keep me posted about your journey and feel free to email me back if you want to chat email@example.com xx
We are still in the early stages with the visa so no dates yet, we hope to be there before April 2016 & moving to Melbourne. As we have family & friends here to help us settle in. The expat network sounds a great idea, thank you. I have been showing my 7 year old the pictures of you & your family when you visited Moreton Islands so I feel she is back on board with the move to Oz (for the moment!) we look forward to your next adventure.
Thanks! It’s great to hear things are moving forward for you guys. Although it’s unsettling while you’re going through the process, kids seem to adapt to their new life so quickly. Especially when you can take them to fun places like the beach and the incredible parks here. Best of luck with it – the next six months will fly by and you’ll be here before you know it. Please do shout if you have any questions I can help with. I’m going to be setting up a new website and blog aimed at people migrating over here soon so I’ll keep you posted when that is live. xx
My husband and I are moving our twin girls, who have just turned one, out to Sydney next year, we have no family there or support network, so it’s all a bit scary…
Hi Natalie, Sorry I missed this comment last year! Are you on the PomsinOz forum? If not hop on there and see if you can find any expat meet ups – I’ve found ours a great support. Our local one runs bbqs for families every three months and then there are informal meet ups in between. Also, look for the local suburb mum’s groups on Facebook when you know where you’re moving to (i.e. we had ones called Redcliffe mums/Sandgate mums here) – it’s a great place to reach out and find some new mum friends to meet for coffee or a picnic. People over here are so friendly that you’ll find yourself making friends at the swimming pool or in the park – just take any opportunity to grab people’s number and arrange to meet up again. Getting a little network in place is so important.
Also, do any of your friends on Facebook have contacts in Sydney? I bet somebody will. One of my FB friends linked me up with one of their friends (turns out she lived around the corner from the rental we’d just taken on) and we instantly became really good friends. They even ended up lending us sofas, tables and camping gear while we waited for our container to arrive. People who have made the move already remember how tough it was so will want to help you out. Please drop me an email if there is anything else I can help with firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m just in the process of setting up a migration website aimed at helping families to make the move but it won’t be live for a while yet but I’m more than happy to help if I can.
Also, check out the AMBA website to find the twin club local to where you’re moving! Twin clubs are always a great source of support! x