Making the Move to Another Country

Its not a concrete set-in-stone idea yet (as you'll soon pick up on) but my partner and I have been toying with moving to another country. We're currently in the UK, England to be precise and generally just getting a little fed up and bored with the UK for numerous little reasons that mount up.

To that end, the idea of just upping and moving somewhere else is gaining a lot of appeal with ideas like America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand being discussed. My question is are there any Escapists who've made a similar leap and can share experiences? Or people in these target countries who could care to promote or advise against going there?

I appreciate that, as with most things in life, the term "The grass always looks greener on the other side" is appropriate but I think we're both in a stage in our life where we could make a proper go of it.

Any advise or experiences to share would be very much appreciated!

EDIT: Gah, posted in the wrong section - can a mod please move to Advice?

Having lived for quite a while in both the UK and Australia, I would heartily recommend Australia as the better country to move to.

New Zealand is just a pathetic version of Australia (Just kidding Kiwis) , and I have no knowledge of America or Canada.

I have some friends who emigrated from the Netherlands to Australia, they seem to have found their place there pretty well. Both however travelled around that country for quite a while before deciding to move. So my advice would be to check some of the countries you're considering out for a bit, if only a short holiday to get atleast some ideas of what they're like.

Sorry, I'm a limited powers mod, so I can't move your thread

Supertegwyn:
Having lived for quite a while in both the UK and Australia, I would heartily recommend Australia as the better country to move to.

New Zealand is just a pathetic version of Australia (Just kidding Kiwis) , and I have no knowledge of America or Canada.

Do you mind if I ask what you do in Australia? Also, how hard did you find it to get a visa?

Eleuthera:
So my advice would be to check some of the countries you're considering out for a bit, if only a short holiday to get atleast some ideas of what they're like.

Aye, so far I've only been to Vancouver and the quality of life seemed considerably better. We're looking to arrange holidays though once we've narrowed our choices down a bit and can start considering more what we both actually want to be doing.

Fasckira:
snip

Well, I moved from Wales to England and then to The Czech Republic.... Make sure you are really dead set on the move before you go, I was talking about moving to Japan with my ex, turned out I was serious and she wasn't. So make sure it is definitely what you both want.

Visiting the target country is always a good idea. THough I didn't do this.

One thing to really do, though is check all your legal requirements and make sure you've done everything before you get on the plane. You maybe in a simpler situation than me, because of no language change, so maybe moving to one of these English speaking places wouldn't be a bad thing. I know a lot of people who've either moved here or moved to an English speaking country from here, and I know a lot of people that have been heavily fucked over from ignoring seemingly small legal details, so make sure you know all of that stuff.

Make sure you know why you want to leave England and if these countries can give you what you want as well. Most of the advice I normally give doesn't really effect you as you're planning to move to somewhere with a similar culture, so if it's what you want, go for it, and good luck.

Fasckira:

Supertegwyn:
Having lived for quite a while in both the UK and Australia, I would heartily recommend Australia as the better country to move to.

New Zealand is just a pathetic version of Australia (Just kidding Kiwis) , and I have no knowledge of America or Canada.

Do you mind if I ask what you do in Australia? Also, how hard did you find it to get a visa?

Eleuthera:
So my advice would be to check some of the countries you're considering out for a bit, if only a short holiday to get atleast some ideas of what they're like.

Aye, so far I've only been to Vancouver and the quality of life seemed considerably better. We're looking to arrange holidays though once we've narrowed our choices down a bit and can start considering more what we both actually want to be doing.

I am a student right now.

I never did get a visa for Australia, as I was born here. I have spent around 6 months total in the UK, but all of that was staying with relatives. I never did get a Visa, as I was never in the country for long enough.

I moved to Japan from the USA. Pretty much changed my life (maybe even saved my life, though I mean saved it from dull monotony.)

Some things I think, that may not work for everyone:

1. Get your livelihood secured before you go. Either have a job lined up or have a study program or something. Don't just show up and hope you find a way to pay the bills through moxie. Maybe you can, but... maybe you can't.

2. Don't bring a relationship with you unless you actually bring the person, and they want to be there. I've seen a lot of international long-distance relationships ruin an otherwise great international experience. I have known people who made it work (I even went to the wedding of one of them), but they basically spent every waking moment keeping up their affection for each other by emails and Skype. And it helped that they were in the same time zone. Also, I've seen a lot of expats who are miserable because they love the country, but they brought along family members who can't stop complaining about it. But in most cases one of the members of the couple spends months in loneliness missing human contact because they're trying to stay true to their love in another country, and the other person is shagging anything with a pulse.

3. Don't come in with expectations. The number one thing that seems to ruin expats' opinion of a country seems to be it not living up to their expectations. I see folks constantly coming into Japan expecting Japan to be like the way many Americans think Japan is. When they discover that the streets are not lined with mecha or geisha, when they discover that while yes foreign guys do get some kudos Japanese women aren't likely to jump into bed with any given foreigner, when they discover that the country has been economically stagnant for about two decades now and the golden times in the 80s where you could make loads of money by being white are gone, they kind of go off the rails a bit.

4. Don't be afraid to adapt, but don't forget who you are. International life doesn't work if you can't be flexible. After all, if you wanted everything to be the way you're used to, you should have stayed home. That said, sometimes people go a bit overboard. Maybe this won't be such a big deal to you because you're talking about countries with similar cultures, but sometimes expats get it in their head they need to prove something to the locals when they are immersed in an exotic culture. I've met a few expats in Japan who get it in their heads that they must become Japanese, that they have to out-Japanese Japanese people. And this leads to unhappiness. I'm not someone who believes that your nation determines your culture, but we've got to face we come with baggage from where we grew up. Don't be like the guy who bought a traditional house in rural Japan so he could walk around in his kimono and watch the mists rise out of the valley every day, only to wake up one day and realize that deep down inside, he hated Japan.

5. When you have a bad experience, try not to blame the country. Blame individuals. The less you get into an "us-vs.-them" mentality, the happier you'll be. Also, it's inevitable if you find yourself in the company of expats, you'll get into a bit of a host nation-bashing/whinging/bitching session. In moderation, it's healthy because it gets frustrations off your chest. Do it too much however, and you'll end up tainting your experience with constant negativity.

If you can avoid these 5 things, I firmly believe that international travel is one of the healthiest things a person can do. Good luck!

Katatori-kun:
SNIP

I totally agree with all the points mentioned.
I went from Japan to Australia to Japan.
Many people around me did stuff like Japan to Saudi to US to Japan to Uk to US. ( I lost track)

You need to have a job, you need to be prepared to be disillusioned, and not take things personally.
I also think that you need to be aware that when you go back home after living abroad you may find it difficult to fit in because you have changed from the experience.
I have a lot of American friends who went back to the US after living in Japan and find it difficult to adapt because they are so used to life in Tokyo.(transportation, food, service, politness etc)

Depending on Visa's, your work experience etc, I wouldn't recommend Australia. the only reason is at the moment, the work force is completely screwed up (which the government wont admit) and the weather also lately has been ballistic (Im typing this in a bloody cyclone).

I know I'd personally like to move to UK for educational reasons in film, but the cost going from AUD to ...Euro? is just WAAAAAAAAAY too expensive for the average Australian.

From America, I have no problems with my country except the healthcare which obviously presents some issues if your not used to an insurance system. One plus is that our housing market is still shit at the moment meaning cheap buying prices for homes, but I imagine most countries have a cheap housing market now.

If I where deciding on a country to move to my first priority would be job opportunities so i'd figure out which country had the highest average wave and rate of employment for my career.

P.S. I think Australia would be an awesome country to live in(could visit yahtzee's bar) but goddamn there are so many weird dangerous fucking creatures there. In Northern eastern coast US there isn't much of that.

Trust me, in 22 years very rarely have I seen a dangerous creature, and I lived in scrub towns. It's just a superstition to scare tourists. I've yet to visit the Mana Bar, but due to cyclones here in Brisbane (where it's situated), the place is general is a total clusterfuck of trees, buildings and rubbish everywhere.

Katatori-kun:
1. Get your livelihood secured before you go.

That should be bolded, underlined and possibly written in the sky with fire for anyone even thinking of moving to Australia because it's almost impossible to get a work visa here without having a job lined up beforehand... and as for actually emigrating... not very easy at all unless you're already qualified in a 'required skill' (basically any trade or profession there's a current shortfall of) or you already have a job lined up and sponsorship from a citizen 'of good reputation' (basically means someone who hasn't been arrested in the past 10 years).

If you don't have either of those the quickest way to get to move to Australia is to emigrate to New Zealand and when you obtain full NZ citizenship, take advantage of the agreements between the Oz and NZ governments and just move over the Tasman.

Ziadaine:
Trust me, in 22 years very rarely have I seen a dangerous creature, and I lived in scrub towns.

In my 39 years I've seen a fair number of dangerous critters but that's mostly because I went looking for them... otherwise they're fairly easy to avoid.

RhombusHatesYou:

If you don't have either of those the quickest way to get to move to Australia is to emigrate to New Zealand and when you obtain full NZ citizenship, take advantage of the agreements between the Oz and NZ governments and just move over the Tasman.

In fairness this may no longer be as easy avenue from both the OZ/NZ agreements potentially being tightened and the NZ citizenship being harder to obtain in recent years. It might be worth going straight to OZ if that's where you want to go.

Personally I enjoy where I live (which is NZ) and would only consider leaving for career reasons (with the intent to come back after 2 to 3 years). One advantage to NZ is that the alcohol is cheaper than OZ - even Australian beers tend to be cheaper here due to high taxation of alcohol in Australia. So if that is important to you in any way... But the differences between the places are trivial in terms of standard of living and come down to other factors (climate, having a job lined up, recreational activities).

I was born in England, and I moved to New Zealand when I was about 12 (I'm 18 now). My parents were pretty much in the same boat as you, fed up with the UK.

One thing that did help was having quite a bit of my extended family over here, so when we were looking for a house to buy we lived with my aunt and uncle. And having people you know in an unfamiliar country really, really helps...especially if they're immigrants too. Maybe you could try and find a community group along those lines if you know nobody in the country.

Echoing what other posters above me have said, make sure you have a job or something secured before you take the plunge. My family had a holiday in NZ for a month before we moved here, and I remember on the last few days of the vacation my dad looking into working in the police force over here. He got a job and a year later we moved here.

This is just me personally, but having grown up in the north of England I am really bad at coping with the climate here. Summer gets really hot and humid compared to England, and I HAAAAAATE it. I imagine it would be worse in Oz. So yeah...make sure you're ok with living it up on beaches all summer...I most certainly am not.

Also, there will be a point after you move where you wish you hadn't. The excitement and newness has worn off, it wasn't quite what you expected, whatever the reasons, it will happen. You need to work through that, and look at things objectively, and just stick it out.

That post probably wasn't all that helpful, but there's my 10c. If you go for it, I wish you the best of luck!

 

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