Here, Caren, one of Working In’s migration consultants, recounts a real-life story as experienced by a colleague in the office as they planned their journey from the UK to New Zealand. See if you can use any of their helpful hints in planning your own move:
“We knew we wanted to move from the UK, but where to was the big question! So we decided to buy a round-the-world ticket and took ourselves off to Australia and New Zealand on a six-week ‘look-see’ holiday. This ticket allowed us to fly to several cities in both countries. We very quickly came to decide on New Zealand as we loved both the lifestyle it could offer us and the culture of the people. In fact, it felt very similar to what we were used to.
The first sign that we were really serious about this was when I walked into WH Smith and bought a book on New Zealand. After reading it cover to cover, we targeted a few areas that looked interesting.
Having done extensive homework prior to getting on the plane, we knew exactly what we wanted to see and check out for ourselves. We had shortlisted a few cities in New Zealand, and even done our homework with regards to the best schools and suburbs in those cities. This allowed us to drive past these schools and drive around these suburbs during our fleeting visit. We picked up as many real estate magazines as we could and soon the Property Press became the most read magazine in our house! We even went through a few open homes to get an understanding of what we could and couldn’t afford. When we visited a town/city on our shortlist, we made sure that we stayed for a few days, interacted with the locals and spent many hours picnicking at the local parks and beaches. This gave us a small taste of the culture and types of people in the town.
We were lucky enough to have friends in New Zealand who were able to give us their feelings and experiences about life in New Zealand. They also gave us an up to date household budget so that we could effectively compare it to how we lived at home. This gave us a good indication that our quality of life would significantly improve in New Zealand, as we would be in a position to afford a bigger home, live near good schools and have the means to enjoy life.
When we got back home, we had a renewed desire and determination to get our relocation underway. We put our house on the market, told our friends and family and started our immigration application process. We were lucky enough to have an occupation on the Long Term Skills Shortage List and could apply for residence without a job offer. Many friends thought that moving to a strange country on the other side of the world without a job offer was completely mad! But we never waivered from our plans and pushed on regardless.
We also spent a day in London at an expo called Opportunities New Zealand [what our early Opportunities Overseas Expos were called]. We were surprised by how many other people (like us) were on the same mission! This was an amazing experience as we managed to find a lot of information all under one roof.
I bought a book called ‘Where to Live in Auckland’ at the expo, which turned out to be one of the best buys regarding New Zealand. It became like my ‘New Zealand bible’ as it describes everything there is to know about each suburb, including who lives there, what schools are in the suburb, what the median price is for houses, what streets you want to avoid, etc. – invaluable if you are thinking of living in Auckland! If anything, the most we got out of our trip to London was that we were not alone on this quest to find a better life.”