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My husband and I had been talking about moving to Australia for several years but never got past the reading books stage. It was 2010 when we started making concrete plans. Our main concern was our son, who at 16 was in the middle of his GCSE exams and finding work.
After doing an immense amount of research we opted for New Zealand rather than Australia. The cost of city living seemed to be more affordable and as a keen outdoor family, the opportunities for hiking, mountain climbing and biking seemed endless in NZ. Luckily, my husband is a civil engineer, an occupation on the desired skills list for immigrants to New Zealand.
For other wannabe expat families thinking about taking the plunge, I would recommend research, research, research, and talking to expat families who have already done it. We thought we were set on life in Oz, but after talking to some other Brits in New Zealand we changed our plans. You might stumble on an idea you would have never considered by just talking to people who’ve done it before.
Two years after our move we are, on the whole, very happy. My son has settled into his school, found work experience and is thinking about university. My husband has a full-time job now and I have part-time office work. We get out in the countryside most weekends and have even planned a bungee jump to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary next year – well, when in New Zealand…!