At Working In, we like to practise what we preach – so a lot of our team have made the move overseas themselves. Like our Web & Marketing Writer Sarah who moved from the UK to New Zealand back in 2010. This is her story.
“I got the job”. Nothing too remarkable about those four words. Until you consider that “the job” is 12,500 miles from where you’ve lived for 26 years of your life. And you’re expected there in five weeks.
That’s exactly what happened to my husband and I back in April 2010. Almost four great years had passed in Leeds (Yorkshire, England) but we were yearning for more. More adventure, more challenges, more opportunities and maybe even more sunshine.
For a few weeks, my husband had been keeping an eye on his professional publications (he’s a civil engineer) for job opportunities. There it was – a bridge engineer vacancy based in Auckland, New Zealand. A country we’d never visited, had no friends or family in and somewhere I’d struggle to pick out on a map.
Yet we knew people that had been there and had absolutely fallen in love with it. We wanted a new adventure – well, here it was. He applied for the job and enjoyed a late night Skype interview while I slept. That very night I was woken up by a shell-shocked husband telling me he’d got the job and we were moving to New Zealand.
The morning after, the countdown began. Five weeks to go until we’d land in our new home in a brand new country – and start our brand new life.
Suddenly, life was a whirlwind of lists and endless phone calls as we tried to pack up our UK lives and prepare for a New Zealand one.
There was our flat that needed to be rented out. Banks and utility companies to inform. Tax arrangements and student loans to discuss. Jobs to resign from. Flights to book, visas to sort and shipping to organise. Then the hardest bit: friends and family to say goodbye to.
At no point during these five weeks did our feet touch the ground. There was no time for tears, doubts or wobbles – just endless lists and admin.
Standing in our now empty hallway, our possessions in a few meagre cardboard boxes that we’d next see in three months’ time on the other side of a world, and the rest packed off to storage for the foreseeable future, we knew we weren’t saying goodbye.
We were just saying hello to the adventure of a lifetime.
That’s exactly what I felt as we flew into Auckland for the first time and our first glimpses of Aotearoa filled the airplane windows. Three years on, we have no regrets about our life-changing five weeks – it was the best decision we’ve ever made and we haven’t looked back since.
Have you packed up your life and moved to a new country? Share your story!