Our furniture has arrived at last…not that 2 months is a long time to travel 12,000 miles by sea. And here is another coincidence for you…the ship it came in on has the same name as my wife! It feels a bit like Christmas getting our home delivered to us.
Anyway (advert alert) I wanted to say the following…I should work in marketing perhaps…although the strap line is theirs…
Fed up of the UK?
Feeling like a new start overseas?
Let them do the donkey work for you!
John Mason International Movers – I’d Move the World for You.
It has to be said, using John Mason to pack us up and their associate The Moving Company over here in New Zealand (and Maersk shipping in between) has been top drawer. I really can’t fault them.
Our furniture was in the condition it left in, and the advice we were given on cleaning and disinfecting certain items (and on what you absolutely could not take) before packing, and which items customs would most likely want to see was first class. It has made the whole process peaceful. Once delivered, customs came the day after to see those reserved packages which were not allowed to be opened until they had signed them off.
It is perhaps worth saying (advice wise) that anything which has been in contact with outdoors needs disinfecting and scrubbing. You cannot bring cane furniture or wickerwork. No flammable items in the container. No alcohol. You get the picture. Listen to your removal company – they are experts…ask them loads of questions and if you don’t feel like they are experts then don’t use them!
For anyone thinking of emigrating, I thought I would try to publish a list of things to consider/people you would have to contact. It is worth noting that this is from someone living in the UK so anyone wondering what on earth a TV licence is can read up on the BBC. Anyway, here goes…not in any order…and not exhaustive…
1. TV licence
2. Utilities (gas, phone/broadband, electricity, water)
3. House to sell or rent out (if you own one)
4. Bank accounts – sort out your existing ones and open one over there – opening a foreign exchange account could be sensible
6. Car Insurance
7. House Insurance
9. Premium Bonds
10. Sell Cars (although you can look to export)
11. Re-Home Pets – see earlier blogs
12. Removal Firm – it may be prudent to transport rather than buy when you get there
13. Find a Job
14. Find somewhere to Live
15. Disinfect and scrub any bikes, vacuums, outdoor shoes, camping gear…
16. Changes of Address
17. See friends and family (if you want to remain popular!)
18. HMRC – or other such government departments
19. Life Insurance
20. Critical Illness Insurance
21. Charities you donate to
22. Council Tax
23. Sort out all of your Possessions – do you really need those payslips from 6 years ago?
24. Book flights and ensure you have capacity for more Suitcases – excess baggage is expensive
25. Get an Immigration Visa – refer to official websites for guidance – suffice to say this is much easier if you have a job on a Skills-Shortage List
There are undoubtedly more…but I hope this helps!
I had my leaving do last night from my job ahead of our moving away. It was almost a week before I actually leave my role but people came for a good night out.
We went to a bar called The Pit in Leeds – nothing to do with the Yorkshire stereotype of mining…instead an American-themed barbecue joint selling American craft beers.
Anyway, I digress.
I am lucky in that over the years I have formed some firm friendships from my workplace and some of my closest friends have been people I have been fortunate to work with. I have met some genuinely wonderful people, many of whom were able to come out last night. Some travelled from London to be there, some from slightly closer by. It made me feel quite humbled and also touched. Yet another feeling that really brings home the magnitude of the change and the importance of building new friendships – not to replace the old but to compliment them.
I sincerely hope that in the years to come I can keep in touch with these friends – either through this blog or other methods and hopefully some of them will be able to visit New Zealand which would be a genuine pleasure for me.
Here is an unacknowledged aspect of emigrating…the need to whittle down your food and drink supplies. In some ways it ought to seem like an enjoyable activity…and in many ways it is as you start to see the (hopefully) excellent departure date drawing nearer…BUT…
What about almost having to force yourself to eat and drink things which you love?
I don’t like to waste anything and I realised a few months ago that I had 4 bottles of whiskey in the house (something I enjoy on an occasional basis) and, having acquired an additional one at Christmas, I am pleased (and at times inebriated) to report that I am down to my last half bottle but it has really dampened my enjoyment somewhat. I have finally got through my last jar of Haywards mixed pickle which again was forced. The beer stocks are dwindling too. Crisps (chips for the American readers) are going. I don’t think the Marmite will be eaten. Tea is looking like we may fall short. My diet doesn’t just consist of these things in case you are alarmed.
I suppose at the end of the day that I can give away anything which remains but it then becomes something else to have to transport…it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for the enjoyment of those small luxuries to resurface after an enforced break.
I told my colleagues at work today about my leaving the UK for New Zealand. I am lucky because I work with some genuinely nice people and I found it difficult to pass on this news. Everyone has been delighted for me though and for my managers who have known of my move previously, they have been really helpful which is a fabulous outcome in what is a daunting but exciting time.
It got me thinking about the hardest part of leaving your home country. For me, it is not, however, friends or even family which sounds really antisocial…it is a small blue Quaker parrot. We have lived with him for 10 years now and I have thankfully found him a place in a parrot zoo, where he will be able to live out his life as a bird with other birds like him. He has bonded with me and it is so hard to part…but having seen how he takes to my Mum when we are on holidays, I have no doubt he will move on to his new environment easily.
Anyone who has bonded with a bird will understand the difficulty of ending such a relationship…but at least we can offer him a modicum of freedom. For a small bird he has a big personality and will rule the roost no doubt.