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any advice for deciding on a country and putting things in motion?

(13 Posts)
bobsalong Mon 09-Nov-15 08:36:00

Just some info on us-
I'm 26, DP is 28. I'm a nursery supervisor with TA experience and he's in IT, he's worked for some very well known companies so in terms of career level neither of us have struggled when we've wanted to change jobs. Have DD who is 4 months old, plan to have next DC by the time she's 2 all being well.

Have just bought our first home but always discussed living abroad and there is the possibility that we will now look to do it before DD starts school or after her reception year. Neither of us speak any other language, which does worry me. We've considered US but not super keen. Other option is NZ, DPs family spend a lot of time there and he currently has a brother living out there, although he'll be back next year or 2017 if he stays to finish his visa. But it's a big family, they are always over there in fact half the family are going this Christmas (we would but not got the cash right now). I don't have contact with my family so no worries my side, in fact I'd like to get away as there have been a lot of problems with them.
I've not been to NZ but I've always moved about the UK and although I know it would be hard I am used to new jobs, new people etc and I'm aware of how different it would be there. We are planning a trip there summer 2016.

Does anyone have any advice for a complete newbie? People who have moved to NZ how did you find it? I'm so clueless to this which is embarrassing to admit, have done some research but only casually and spotting this forum thought it might be the best place to find out more.

specialsubject Mon 09-Nov-15 12:11:48

first question with NZ is 'can you get a visa/residency?'. You can't go on a WHV even though you are young enough because you have a kid.

go visit by all means - it is a fantastic place. Although if you mean mid-2016 it will of course be their winter.

also where do the family go? NZ is the size of the UK although with only 4 million people - a big plus in my opinion.

Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter Mon 09-Nov-15 13:11:02

We thought of trying to move to NZ pre kids. DH is German and I am English - we thought it would be fair to live in a 3rd country so neither of us would be on home turf grin

We went to NZ on holiday to check it out, and although we had a brilliant holiday it clarified that we did not want to live there, especially given that just going for a while to see is not as easy as doing that in the EU because the visa process involves so much hoop jumping, waiting and expense.

New zealand has beautiful scenery of course and Auckland is nice too - but we lived in London at the time (which beat Auckland) and DH is from near the German alps, which are every bit as stunning as the NZ mountains. NZ beaches beat UK ones grin but what we really didn't like at all were the small towns - most seemed to have no proper centre and to straggle along the side of roads... Also there was quite a lot of the negative side of "Americanism" - all the insincere "have a nice day" type stuff ... (that's a personal dislike grin)

People who actually live in NZ will have far more valid experiences of course, but definitely go and check it out for a holiday with eyes wide open to what it would be like to live there (would you live in a small town or city etc.) For us it wasn't quite what we'd thought it would be, despite all the amazing holiday experiences it offered, and we came back without the enthusiasm to hoop jump for a visa. We ended up moving to Germany instead several years later, with a toddler and a baby on the way.

specialsubject Mon 09-Nov-15 15:23:49

I spent a lot of time there on holiday so the experiences of those who live there will be much more valid. However I don't recall any of the 'have a nice day' stuff - there seemed to be a national culture of telling it how it is! (listen to their radio stations on the internet feeds...)

one of the main issues is family contact - but that isn't the case for you. You are not just 24 hours travel away from Europe, you are also on the other side of the clock so even a phone call takes pre-planning. No short haul holidays except east coast Oz, Cook Islands, Fiji. (problems, problems...)

small population so some stuff is more expensive. You eat seasonally - which I don't see as a problem. Lovely beaches but not always that good swimming. You'll see photos of beautiful empty beaches - that's because the sandflies don't show on the photos... Walkers and outdoors paradise for hunting, shooting, mountain biking, they are also big on their motorised watersports but despite the 'city of sails' thing it is not really the place for small boat sailors.

Wonderful empty roads on the south island - but shocking driving and hence a high accident rate. When I was there the driving age was a terrifying 15 although I understand it has now been raised.

if you into culture, history or rock bands think hard ; all these things are there but you won't get the arts scene you get in Europe. Not wrong, just different.

I loved it and miss it - but I'm glad to be home in the UK. I can entirely understand why people would live there though.

SweetAdeline Mon 09-Nov-15 15:27:15

Can your dh get a transfer through work? Or maybe try to find a job with a company who will? That's how we've done it and they've covered pretty much all the costs associated with the move.

Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter Mon 09-Nov-15 16:53:26

Sorry - the "have a nice day" stuff was in shops / service industry not "the man on the street" (or radio DJs grin ) Maybe people even do that in the UK now too...

GreenSand Mon 09-Nov-15 16:57:49

Agree, find a job, and see if your prepared to live in that country.

bobsalong Mon 09-Nov-15 20:38:23

thanks for the advice everyone!

specialsubject family are near Auckland, there are also other relatives living in Aus which would be quite nice. I don't know if we'd move to a town or the sticks though.

SweetAdeline I don't think there is a branch there, I don't want to broadcast where he works but it's very specific to the UK. Don't think he'd struggle to find somewhere over there, not boasting but he has a good CV.

everyone else, thank you for giving me your opinions. Having no idea at all what it's like it's nice to get food for thought that I wouldn't have considered before.

Also a note, brother that is there moved out there as a "this is it, I'm going there forever" plan, as he'd lived there before for a year and loved it. Is now coming back because he misses UK! So we are bearing that in mind too.

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 10-Nov-15 05:32:55

How about Asia?
You would also have a very goid shot at finding a well paying job. International schools and private kindergadens always looking for UK qualified staff.

PinkBallerina Tue 10-Nov-15 09:44:53

Moving abroad with DCs is hard. Not impossible but much harder than when it is just you or you and your DH. My dad had a heart attack and i couldn't rush back to UK to see him. The DCs were in school and with me gone there would be no one to take them to school and back, look after them etc. I hadn't banked on that. People say the world is a small place and you can always just jump on a flight home but it is not always that romantic or practical. NZ is a long way from UK. You will miss out on things back home. People will visit you but not that often. If someone comes once you will be lucky if they come again.

That said i have always loved living abroad. I do think that the best relocation situations are when you move abroad for a specific reason ie. to live near to close relatives or because you have been offered a great job for your career. That way when the shit hits the fan, you know why you are here. You have a purpose. Times will be hard sometimes and without a strong reason to live somewhere you will question why you are there and possibly want to move back. Hopefully you and your DH go through that together and not individually. Nothing worse than one partner being unhappy whilst the other partner is living the dream.

So, find a great job. And be prepared that NZ is an isolated country. Goodluck OP amd have fun

specialsubject Tue 10-Nov-15 14:42:37

I certainly don't hear 'have a nice day' in shops here - it comes up occasionally from call centres but more sincerely.

if it ever does become commonplace I am moving. To Mars.

MmeLindor Wed 11-Nov-15 00:16:39

This post might be helpful, re things to think about.

The distance would worry me with NZ. I've always been within a couple of flight hours of home, and I prefer that. Other than that, EU will be easier in terms of just going and starting work, with no visa hassles.

Moving with kids isn't the same as moving without, but it does mean that you'll make contact with other people faster, via nursery or school. Doing it now before you have to think about different school systems is a good idea - it's still doable later, but much more tricky.

Lillipuddlian Fri 13-Nov-15 12:00:44

I think nz is an excellent choice. Would recommend it over usa or Canada. Beware, Canada has freakishly good pr, although it is safe to live here, it's not as good as it sounds.

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