When Adam and I decided to move to the UK, one of the first things we did is brainstorm everything we could think of that would need to be done before we left. I’ve always been a list maker, and Adam is too. We went out and bought a notepad and a big folder – which became known as the England folder.
I’ve moved plenty of times over the last decade or so for work, but moving internationally is a bit different. I must admit, at times it was a little overwhelming, but thankfully Adam had done the whole ‘move from one hemisphere to the other’ thing a few years earlier, so was pretty handy to have around!
If you’re thinking about a big move like ours, I’d highly recommend the ‘list and folder’ method – both were kept in the same place in the house, and everything relating to the relocation went in either the book or folder. That way we knew exactly where to find everything, and when our time came to leave Wagga Wagga, all we had to do was pick up the folder and we knew we had all the paperwork we needed. Initially we’d re-look at the list every month, then as our departure became closer it was every fortnight, every week and then every day.
One of the first jobs we had to do was sort out a visa for me. Although I met all the selection criteria, and had documentation to back-up my application, it was still nerve-wracking. I had to lodge the application within a set time frame to coincide with our intended departure date from Australia, take a trip to Canberra to submit biometrics, and then send off my passport to an overseas processing centre. Getting the letter of approval was a huge relief.
I also started the process to apply for leave from work almost immediately after we decided to move. I’m really glad I did, as it took almost four months to get approved.
We also had to sort out the rental of our house, the storage and selling of furniture, the sale of two vehicles and save money along the way to help fund our adventure.
We tried to be as organised as we could, and although our last few days in Wagga Wagga were pretty mad, because we’d been knocking over our list as the year progressed, we knew exactly what we needed to do and when.
It also meant, that when we did arrive in Mackay to see my parents, we could spend our last few weeks relaxing in Queensland and spending time with family and friends. We’ve even been giving mum and dad a few lessons in video calling!
It’s been such a welcome break after such a busy few months, and it means we’ll arrive in the UK (hopefully) refreshed and ready to tackle the next challenge – setting up a life in a new country!