I guess my second post about us deciding to move to the UK should be about the things we considered in making that big decision.
If you have been following my blog, you are well aware of us wanting to move to Europe (specifically Switzerland) for a number of years now (going on four!). We have sacrificed a lot to get to this point and have done extensive research. When we first decided to move overseas, we gave up our house in NB, sold most of our furniture, packed the rest in storage and moved to ON and rented out half of my mom's house while Justin went back to school to get his teaching degree. Ever since he graduated, he has been applying to international schools in Switzerland....and later we included Germany as well. The full time teaching jobs in ON are very hard to come by if you don't speak French...and you are lucky to get on the supply list at this moment in time. We were even up for moving to the Yukon. England entered our world a couple of years ago when Justin got an offer for supply work in London (that we turned down). That offer though, made us research the UK and be open to it if the right opportunity came along....which it did! :)
Hey, at least now we are in easier (and cheaper!) travel distance to Switzerland ;)
Once we were given the details of where exactly we would be living, I went on an internet research binge....thank you internet...you are a handy dandy machine!
I researched the area extensively...even found a blog from a fellow Canadian that recently moved to the area we would be living! I emailed her and she was ever so kind and helpful...answered all my questions and more! It was really helpful to get an actual insiders perspective on the area.
So here is my list, in no particular order, of what we researched before deciding to take the plunge and move to the UK that you might find useful in your plans:
* Research the area extensively....Find the city online newspaper, try to find blogs about it, instagram users...anyone that might be able to give you an insiders perspective about living there. Use common sense, you will come across the tourist page which will paint the area in nothing but a positive light, and you will come across the jaded people as well. Find the balance of what is important to you in an area and take everything with a grain of salt!
* We already knew about the school, so we didn't overly have to research that part for the kids, something to keep in mind though! We also looked at the daycare available in the area.
* What amenities are in the area? Swimming pools, grocery stores etc....
* Transportation....Is everything easily accessible without a car (since we will not have one over there).
* Are there houses/apartments for rent regularly in the area (and the average cost of those)? I LOVE Rightmove UK ! It has come in so handy!
* Will groceries and things in general be affordable? Check what grocery stores are around your area and look them up online....check their flyers and maybe do an online grocery shop to find out what your weekly grocery bill might be.
* We checked online about basic costs of utilities, phones, taxes, etc... The UK GOV website was beyond helpful with tax information and all that other fun stuff adults have to know.
Basically we wanted to know if we could live on the income that Justin will be bringing home until I am able to find some part time work. It was really important to us to not dip into our savings at all with the move, and with all our planning, we wont have to. The sale of our car and the relocation money that the school is providing us with, should cover all our costs: (which is another thing to consider when moving overseas).
-Flights & train tickets
-Shipping over a few things (12 boxes to be exact)
-Up front rent (rental fees and first and last month and any extra costs)
-Start up utility costs
-First large grocery trip to restock all the essentials
-Felix's school uniform (we need one for him right away...and note, in England even public schools have uniforms!)
-Basic furniture (we checked if the Ikea delivers to our area (it doesn't :( ) but there is an awesome second hand furniture store right in town and also Asda)
-Stocking up again on all the electronic basics (iron, computer cord, toaster, coffeee maker, vacuum etc)
It can all add up very quickly!!! It is crazy when you start to write it all down.
I hope this has helped you a bit if you are planning a big move overseas, or was at least a bit interesting even if you are not! :)
In the next post, I plan on writing about how we have been preparing for the move over the last little while, steps you can take to prepare for a big overseas move to make it go smoother.