I am not an expert, lets be clear here. I have only done it once and it was a year ago this Sunday, but we upped and moved to a whole new Country. I have learnt a lot along the way about moving and about us as a family.
1. It's hard work!
I didn't think it would be a walk in the park but it's been hard work and anyone thinking of moving should be aware of this. It's easy to get frustrated with not knowing where things are and how things work. Systems you have grown up with no longer exist and registering with doctors, dentists and schools takes time and patience. All I can say is thank god for sat nav. Thinking back to when we arrived having to find places would have been impossible without the trusty sat nav. If you are moving, simply download the maps for where you are going.
2. It's expensive!
We have had to replace pretty much every piece of electrical equipment we owned- we didn't expect to have to do that all in one go but things didn't work on adaptors. Also everyone in the UK may occasionally have a grievance with the NHS (National Health Service- free for everyone in the UK), but thank your lucky stars! You may have to wait 55 minutes past your appointment time but it's free! Children get free eye tests, glasses and dental work- they don't in Canada! Be aware of things like this if your moving, it all adds up.
3. Friends don't come to you
You have to work at getting friends in a new place. Go to everything you are invited to, chat to Mums and Dads at school, get out and about and generally be prepared to go looking for new friends. Don't just sit there missing the friends you left behind, you have to get back on the wagon and get out there- they would not want you to mope, trust me!
4. Butter and Cream are different and they don't sell cordial
It may be something different where you are going but be aware food is not always going to taste and act the same. The butter here melts very differently from in the UK and it makes baking a little odd till you get used to it and adapt your recipes. Supermarkets are filled with stuff but not the stuff you are used to- be prepared for some trial and error!
5. Skype is the best thing ever (Just next to gin on my list) (Click here to download Skype)
It's free for an hour at a time and you get to chat and see the people you are talking too. I Skype my Mum all of the time and dread to think what living so far away would be like without it.
6. Moonpig is amazing (Moonpig Website)
Need to send cards to people in another Country but dread the cost and unreliable time frame of overseas post? - you need Moonpig! You go online, pick your card, edit it with your own names and messages and post them directly to people for the same cost as it would be if you are in that Country. You can set dates for posting and set reminders for up and coming birthdays so you don't forget any forthcoming events. They do every sort of card you can think of and uploading your own photos on the cards always goes down well- My Nan thought it was genius!
7. Your kids will talk differently
We knew it would happen but be aware it will happen quickly and everyone back from where you came will notice it far more than you will.
8. Going around roundabouts the wrong way is scary
We drive on the opposite side of the road in Canada to what I grew up with. This can be scary and a Sat Nav when you first arrive will help, as it takes the pressure off thinking where you are going so you can focus on what side of the road to drive on. Just take it slowly and relax- easier said than done! It is wise to read up on local traffic and road laws. Here you can turn right on a red light, thats a criminal offence in the UK, so it pays to get with the new rules before you hit the roads.
It's exciting, life changing and challenging all at the same time!