So you want to emigrate? 3 tips to consider.​

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Do you dream about emigrating? Find yourself asking what it’s all about? Do you ever question why it is that you or your husband work all year for a measly couple of weeks off in the summer? Dream of a different life? An easier life?

For those of you in the northern hemisphere it’s that time of year again. The sun is out, the kids are nearly done for the year and there lies ahead a couple of weeks where your husband (or wife) is off work. Two weeks that you will spend as a family.

You may go camping, you might fly to somewhere foreign or you could simply stay at home and enjoy the garden.

After day three you’re into a blissful routine. One which includes everyone.  You sleep in later, you make lunches that are more exotic than a cheese toastie, you stay out late in the garden with a bottle of wine and let the kids go to bed hours later than is usual. You put the fairy lights on. You smile more. You’re happy. You walk, you talk, you relax. You remember why you and your partner got together in the first place. You muse about how fabulous life would be if it could only be this way always. Life is much easier with the two of you around. The kids argue less. You are so much more relaxed.

And then you begin to question. What is it all for? Why are you working your backsides off for a two week holiday in the caravan? Is this it?

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Photo by Lawton Cook.

You start to fantasise. If we sold our house and bought something over there, we could be almost mortgage free.

You’d only have to work two days a week. We could open bed and breakfast. You could work from home. I could teach yoga or a writing course.

You pour another glass, you become excited.

You start to google.

You can’t remember the last time the two of you shared something other than the Weetabix. You tell the kids to put a film on. They can’t believe it, it’s 9.30pm but you don’t care. You can’t interrupt this exciting dream.

The decision to emigrate.

The above scenario is usually how the seed is sown. And whereas some will wake up the next morning and shriek “my god, what were we thinking? Your Mother would kill us” Others, will suggest going for a long walk to carry on the conversation. Take the idea further. They will have the laptop out on the kitchen table with ‘best places to emigrate with kids’ typed into the search bar. Before the kettle has boiled.

Are you one of those people? We certainly were. From the moment we made the decision to sell up to the day our feet landed on New Zealand soil there lay approximately 9 months.

This is not written to persuade you, nor dissuade you from throwing everything up in the air and chasing your dreams to some faraway land, no. It would be rather hypocritical of me to do the latter, considering that’s exactly what we did and have never looked back.

Dreaming is wonderful, exciting, but… there always has to be a little but.

I know of so many families that went through exactly the same process as us, only to return home a year later with their tail between their legs complaining that it was not how they thought it would be. Nobody wants to go to all that expense and trauma of saying goodbye to family and friends, only to be home in time for the new year sales.

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photo by Morre Christophe

If you are in the honeymoon period of your emigrating plans, you may want to consider the following three points. Remember, these are not meant to deter you but to give you a gentle reality check. You’ll thank me in the long run. Be honest with yourselves. If you are emigrating for the any of the following reasons, you might just want to book a week in Spain and recharge your batteries.

So then, before you put the dog into kennels, tell the school to stick their fundraiser where the sun don’t shine and burn all your bras in the belief that when you get there, you’ll be a free and easy hippy, read on.

  • When you emigrate you will become a different person. Moving countries doesn’t change the person you are. Don’t believe for one minute that although you are a sarcastic, unfunny, control freak in your current country, you will suddenly become some sort of  Mother earth who sits playing harp in the wheat field waiting for her children to finish talking so she can gently mutter humorous, wisdom filled observations about the state of humanity. No. You will be you. He will be him and they will be them. Of course, circumstances change the way that you react to the world but ultimately, you will still be you, a few thousand miles won’t change that.
  • You will no longer moan about the weather.  If where you live receives a bucket load of rain, then no, you won’t moan about that so much. In fact you’ll be glad of the occasional pour but remember, no country is perfect. Sooner or later you will start complaining about the flies or the constant need for sunblock. You will start to hear about how the crops aren’t growing or that the cows are hungry because of the shortage of grass. Yes, a nicer climate is lovely, and it’s wonderful to be able to plan outside activities and know you won’t be rained off but be aware, a different country doesn’t mean the end of whining about some aspect of the weather. It’s universal. It’s the law. Want to moan? The world over does it about the weather.
  •  You’re going to be rich. No. You’re not. As I mentioned earlier if you are moving to a country where a property isn’t as extortionate as your current residence then yes, you will probably have at the very least a significantly smaller mortgage. Hurray! But I’m sorry to tell you that that’s where it ends. It’s all relative. If you don’t have to find a large mortgage repayment each month one of you probably doesn’t need to work (hurray!) or, you both only work part time. As a result, you have less money coming in. Yes, you have more time- which let’s face it, was probably one of the prime motivating factors for emigrating, but being wealthy? No. In fact, you will probably have to step down a notch in the finance department. You can’t have both, money and time. Unless you are very, very smart, and let’s face it, if that were the case you would have done it at home years ago.

Emigrating to another country is a life changing decision. It is enormous. It is one of the most exciting, challenging, daring and rewarding adjustments a person can make in their life. Throw into the equation a family and the waltzer gets faster. But please, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Only you and your family will know what they are. If there is anything whatsoever you would like to ask me about, please do.

Those that have emigrated find it hard to answer the never ending question of “so, why did you leave?” Make sure you’ve got your answer ready.

Who knows? Perhaps you just couldn’t face turning the fairy lights off.

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photo by David Pentek 

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37 thoughts on “So you want to emigrate? 3 tips to consider.​”

  1. No matter how many times I moan about stupid little things like what I “can’t get here ” or “how much cheaper it is in the U.K.”Or when I lie awake at night desperately missing my family i left behind,or remember when i wore Chanel and had weekends in exciting places instead of wearing “red liners” and spending all your spare time pulling up bloody weeds! BUT.. the most important thing is that warm glow I get when I look around and think… we did it. we live here !!! Hurrah 😁

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  2. Love this! Our plan is to return to Italy where my Husband is from. It takes time though as you can’t just leave without an income or anything at all. We’re planning and furiously applying, it’ll happen when it happens. But we’re under no illusions it will be flipping hard for a good couple of years first. Italy isn’t all wine and weather, the people are crazy as are my in-laws! 🙂 #coolmumclub xx

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  3. An interesting read – from someone who would never emigrate that is. I have many friends who have done so and seem happy, but I’m the one at home wondering why on earth anyone would want to leave their friends and family behind…it’s a really interesting topic and I’ll have to have a scour around your blog for that post! I can’t imagine it comes easy so good for you for making it work, I’m sure there are countless advantages but it’s also nice to read someone being honest about the hard parts too.

    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub! x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Did it almost a month ago now and feel we are living the dream. So pleased we did it. I do feel a different person now although I can still moan about the weather. Definitely better of money wise too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We moved abroad three times (to three different places), each time for a different reason, and each time we didn’t know how long we would stay, maybe forever. You’re right to say: ‘please, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Only you and your family will know what they are.’

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  6. Well we move wherever my husbands contract is, it has positives and negatives like everything but I embrace it and love it. Setting up home every couple of years in a new country and then leaving comes with a lot of admin, we have very little stuff and we learn no submerge ourselves in the community quickly. We are currently in Ethiopia. I love travelling so it’s a win. #FridayFrolics

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  7. This is an interesting read. I’ve never known anyone who has wanted to emigrate or has even done it. This is valuable advice for anyone considering doing it that’s for sure. If we were to move out of US I’m pretty sure my husband would want to go to the UK.

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    1. We have met quite a few Americans out here in New Zealand. It’s funny how some people never have the desire to move while others can’t stop their feet from itching! Thanks so much for reading! Liz

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  8. Ahhh, I love this! We moved countries and now live in Jersey. At the start of this year we were seriously researching New Zealand. I hoped that we would be rich too! Nope, houses are soooooooo eye-wateringly expensive here that we now have a mahoosive mortgage. I don’t regret it though as we do have more family time 🙂 #FridayFrolics

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    1. That’s it isn’t it? I never would have been able to afford to homeschool in the the UK as I had to work flat out. Now, I get to see the kids 24 hours a day and am poor..! 😉 Jersey looks beautiful too x

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  9. After literally just returning from vacation bliss, the idea has crossed my mind. Bravo to you and your family! Carry on and keep telling us about it! Who knows? Maybe, just maybe we can take the plunge! I’d love to leave the states! Especially now! #FridayFrolics

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  10. Great post! My husband often talks about moving to America, where he mainly works. Our two grown kids would come with us, but then what if one of them wants to return and the other stay? It’s too much of a risk for me. So, I’m happy just dreaming about that giant house we could have… #TheListLinky

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    1. Does it have a white picket fence and a swing on a huge tree in the garden?! Yes that’s the dilemma with the older kids, I fear mine will do the same one day (if they can find the key to the padlock that is!) 😉 Thanks so much for reading!x

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  11. There is so much to consider before taking that leap and I think you are spot on when you say living somewhere else won’t change who you are! Moving to Holland was a big leap for me and I still find the language and cultural differences hard to cope with sometimes but I don’t regret it! #BigPinkLink

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  12. Oh from time to time I fantasize about moving away and going off the grid. Sometimes I really consider it but then I remind myself of all the things I love about where I currently live and I change my mind. I always weigh the pros and cons. Usually there are more pros to staying where I am than pros to leaving. At least for now anyway. #anythinggoes

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  13. My husband would move to Australia in a heartbeat but I just couldn’t do it. My brother and his family moved to Canada a few years back but they were home again within the year as they weren’t able to build the life they imagined. Yes everything was cheaper, but my brother couldn’t get the type of work he has in London and as such they ended up worse off and being able to do even less. My sister on the other hand has a great life there with her family. Also, although the move there and then back was stressful and expensive they say they’re happy they gave it a go otherwise they would always be wondering what if. They came back appreciating their life here so much more.
    #TheListLinky

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  14. It’s such a big step and I think if you go into it expecting it be easy, you’ll be in for a disappointment.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh I loved reading this hun! I constantly have a couple of tabs open on my laptop, one on Rightmove with properties in Scotland on and another where I am looking at jobs that are pinging up in that area. It’s a pipe dream but both me and my husband would go in a heartbeat if it wasn’t for having to leave my parents behind. If they came too it would be a no brainer for me…
    Constantly asking ourselves what all this is for. There must be more to life.
    Well done to you for taking the plunge and making it work. Thanks for joining #bigpinklink
    x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, that’s a lovely comment. Yes, I feel you, that was me too spending hours pouring over properties and jobs ect. I’m glad I gave it a go but I didn’t have parents to worry about (my mum came to NZ too!) I love Scotland too, it’s beautiful. Good luck! Liz x

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