Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Since discovering we were jumping hemispheres I've been searching for a new name for the blog. Clearly I'm having little success in this department, although when I'm forced to rank this on the scale of life right now I'll confess it's buried well down the list. Somewhere between vacuuming and mopping. More on this shortly.  

For now I wanted to share some thoughts on moving countries, which is something I've been meaning to do for a while. I'll caveat this by saying the post is a mix of a few things. Tips, Thoughts and Learnings. I've tried to narrow these down to one or two otherwise I could go on all day - I've left out 'traveling with children'. That's a topic for a whole different post and when I have the band-width in my head I'll put fingers to keyboard and share thoughts on that too. 

Musings on Moving Countries

Step One - Get with the Program

Obviously a logical place to start. Getting on board the (air) bus that will quite shortly be transporting you around the world to your sparkly new life. After all, who would pass up the opportunity to live abroad for a year and get paid...right? 

When we finally made the family decision to accept the Cranfield posting I was desperate to feel something. Anything. Fear, Anxiousness, Trepidation, Excitement. Instead I felt numb. At the time I'm sure I said all the right things, in the absence of self auto-pilot is a rather remarkable backup, but it took a ridiculously long time for my brain to get with the program and understand what my heart already knew. 

Lesson Learned - Leaving your life, your home, your friends and your family is hard stuff. It's alright to be entirely overwhelmed and not okay about it. 

Even Especially if the opportunity is "once in a lifetime, not to be missed." 

Step Two - The best defense is a good offense

That little chestnut. I am eternally grateful to my fabulous husband who, in the absence of me...period, more or less orchestrated our move singlehandedly. The fruits of his upfront labour have been repaid time over since arriving and trust me when I say that anything you can do to reduce stress on arrival in a new country is worth its wait in gold. 

Lessons Learned

  1. Bank Accounts - If you're considering a move to the UK you can arrange a bank account prior to departure. We used Lloyds TSB International and prior to leaving NZ had established the account, received our Debit Cards and activation codes and transferred cash to be accessed on arrival. We've heard all sorts of battle stories from people who have tried to arrange things when they've arrived in England. As an aside you also require a UK bank account to set up any form of contracts (phones, TV licence, car insurance etc..) - like I said, if you're moving a family across borders anything you can do to reduce stress should be number one priority so I highly recommend this piece of advice
  2. Car Insurance - Is expensive. Period. Unless you're a UK citizen/permanent resident who has held vehicle insurance previously and can prove your no claims bonus prepare for this to be one of your larger expenses. We fell into the trap of using an online calculator, which produced extremely reasonable quotes until we read the fine print (as a guide our quote skyrocketed from 600 pound per annum to jokes). Do not despair, this story has a happy ending - there are a few companies out there that will recognize AU & NZ no claims bonus, Down Under Car Insurance is one, if you're in the military Forces Car Insurance have been great for us. Simply put  - be prepared

Step Three - You will be content when you want what you already have

I got this in a fortune chocolate they day before I left NZ. I carry it around in my wallet because it helps me to remember what is important. If I want to not only survive but to THRIVE in this crazy business called life I need to constantly remind myself to be present. Take deep breath of that life giving stuff called oxygen and be grateful. 

This morning I woke up to find two puzzle pieces and a book down my sons nappy. It was like a Christmas stocking. The moment wasn't blurry or surreal and it wasn't happening to someone else. It was perfectly clear...and hilariously funny...and filled with real life joy.

And I was reminded that life isn't about where you are, or what you are missing out on. Not to say that you can't feel overwhelmed and occasionally rotten, but life is about being content with what you already have and being grateful for every single crazy second of it. 

Which brings me back to this blog. 

Over the coming months I feel as though this blog will evolve into more than just photography. Before y'all start a riot there will still be plenty of purdy pictures but I think there's room for more. So the search for the perfect "name" continues. 

PS - I often use the names Captain Can't-Be-Told & Princess Perfect to describe Scott and I. If you think about it they're really one in the same (only obviously Princess Perfect is perfect and therefore right...always). I toyed around with the idea of using this name but I'm sure there's something better in store. 

Your thoughts are always appreciated! 


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