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Thread: Moving Countries

  1. #1
    bibliophibian volcaniclastic's Avatar
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    Moving Countries

    So, bit of an oddball question, but I know there are a few people on the board who have moved to a different country (or moved a long distance)

    How hard is it? (I'm looking at you, Danie :P )

    I want to move to the UK, but I haven't the foggiest where to start. I mean, I figured out what I have to do with my cat, and I know about Visas, but what about the rest of it?
    “The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” – John Muir

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    Re: Moving Countries

    [quote author=volcaniclastic link=topic=463.msg6227#msg6227 date=1287892154]
    So, bit of an oddball question, but I know there are a few people on the board who have moved to a different country (or moved a long distance)

    How hard is it? (I'm looking at you, Danie :P )

    I want to move to the UK, but I haven't the foggiest where to start. I mean, I figured out what I have to do with my cat, and I know about Visas, but what about the rest of it?
    [/quote]

    I've done this twice. 2004 I moved with my american wife to the USA, I managed to secure a greencard. So the "visa" part was not hard. But getting from New Zealand to the USA was expensive. Now again in July this year I moved back to New Zealand (thanks to the US economy really tanking in the Pharma industry... sigh). It was expensive, and I left a thousand or so Pagan books, and another thousand books behind plus lots of other stuff.

    My cats are coming in December (a month in quarantine to follow to really piss them off... I'm dead).

    So to answer, it's hard, but not impossible. The UK has very strict visa requirements (so does New Zealand, but my wife was a permanent resident before we married so...).

    Save, and work out what you can not live with out (for me the cats, over the books). Also work out how to explain to folks you are moving. My friends in Milwaukee were ok, but some acquaintances did not get WHY I would leave the USA (after moving there to begin with).

    That help?

  3. #3
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Moving Countries

    It's not terrible. You just have to make sure you have enough money to get by while you get yourself set up, and that either you have a job or you'd be able to get one (though I think for the UK, it's not terribly hard for Canadians to get visas there), both for visas and income purposes. And I didn't find the UK as expensive as everyone thinks (granted I wasn't paying rent in London and that's the worst expense there), but I was also coming from the Euro and the exchange rate is favourable as most pricing is based on an old exchange rate. I think it probably sucks with Canadian dollars though because even though the pound isn't great compared to that either, it's still a lot higher. So make sure you save!

    Moving across the Atlantic is a lot of bloody work, and if you take a lot of stuff, make sure you're going to be staying a while. Otherwise, really limit what you take. I'm good with the mass of stuff I've bothered shipping over here (and continue to ship....I still have a load of records in Canada cuz they're heavy) and acquired, but I'm planning on staying on this side of the Atlantic. I've seen people bring loads of stuff and buy lots for like a year (or even less) and then freak out about how they're going to get rid of it or take it home when they leave. If in doubt, start small and build up.

    You've got visas and the cat figured out, so that's the worst of it really. You just really have to give yourself a time-line, because otherwise you wont do it. save up, and then pack up, and go.

    As I hinted at earlier, the packing is the worst part. It's soooo much work. You have to really go through things and decide what you're going to keep, and then if you're going to actually bring it or just keep it for later (and then figure out where to store that stuff).

    On the upside, you don't have to learn a language

  4. #4
    bibliophibian volcaniclastic's Avatar
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    Re: Moving Countries

    [quote author=DanieMarie link=topic=463.msg7109#msg7109 date=1288137035]
    It's not terrible. You just have to make sure you have enough money to get by while you get yourself set up, and that either you have a job or you'd be able to get one (though I think for the UK, it's not terribly hard for Canadians to get visas there), both for visas and income purposes. And I didn't find the UK as expensive as everyone thinks (granted I wasn't paying rent in London and that's the worst expense there), but I was also coming from the Euro and the exchange rate is favourable as most pricing is based on an old exchange rate. I think it probably sucks with Canadian dollars though because even though the pound isn't great compared to that either, it's still a lot higher. So make sure you save!
    [/quote]

    Yeah, I figured I would need to save money. I'm considering finishing my degree there (which I know is a very big price tag) but even if I don't, I'm starting to feel ready to leave Canada. I've visited twice, and so I know how the dollar exchange rate figures out.

    [quote author=DanieMarie link=topic=463.msg7109#msg7109 date=1288137035]
    Moving across the Atlantic is a lot of bloody work, and if you take a lot of stuff, make sure you're going to be staying a while. Otherwise, really limit what you take. I'm good with the mass of stuff I've bothered shipping over here (and continue to ship....I still have a load of records in Canada cuz they're heavy) and acquired, but I'm planning on staying on this side of the Atlantic. I've seen people bring loads of stuff and buy lots for like a year (or even less) and then freak out about how they're going to get rid of it or take it home when they leave. If in doubt, start small and build up.

    You've got visas and the cat figured out, so that's the worst of it really. You just really have to give yourself a time-line, because otherwise you wont do it. save up, and then pack up, and go.

    As I hinted at earlier, the packing is the worst part. It's soooo much work. You have to really go through things and decide what you're going to keep, and then if you're going to actually bring it or just keep it for later (and then figure out where to store that stuff).

    On the upside, you don't have to learn a language
    [/quote]

    The packing and moving of things was one of my biggest concerns (minus actually getting accepted to uni part) and while I do want to stay for more than a year, I don't think I want to stay forever (But you never know.) I think I would be happy parting with most of my furniture - I do have some handmade tables from my mother that I will have trouble leaving behind. Other than that, clothes, books - lots of books, some trinkets, and the cat, really.

    I was thinking of maybe moving the end of next year, if I can - I'm not sure. I really want to do this, but then when I remember I'm leaving all my friends and family behind, it gets harder to do.
    “The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” – John Muir

    Mostly art.

  5. #5

    Re: Moving Countries

    I'm moving to Germany... uh... tomorrow actually (holy moly.) My flight leaves at 8:20 pm tomorrow.

    I'm getting married, so the visa issues will hopefully work themselves out reasonably efficiently. I totally agree that the biggest issue was packing. The move has been so expensive I can only take two suitcases with me. I am lucky in that my Grandmother is happy to hold on to some of my treasures that can't be taken right away, but before I moved I had whittled down my material belongings to a pile that would fit comfortably on top of a double bed. It's kind of enlightening/bittersweet/beautiful/awful/emotional to see your whole life laid out like that right in front of you.

    However, giving away and recycling my belongings was kind of a spiritual experience in its own right.

    Pets are also difficult. My dog, Digory, is coming with me. Marley, my 11 year old Italian Greyhound, is too frail to make the trip and is staying here with family (whom he adores.) My cat, Nigel, was an FeLV positive rescue whom I frankly didn't expect to live this long. He has to hang out with Marley because obviously one can't import a cat with FeLV. I don't worry about them because I know they'll all be cherished and well taken care of in the places they'll be (and, selfishly, that I'll see them again whenever I am visiting the states,) but letting them out of my sight is a LOT harder than giving up my stuff.

    The last one is the language. I speak German, but you kind of miss English when it's been a long time since you've been around a bunch of English speakers.

    Oh, also I'll miss things like Meetup websites and stuff. I had the NICEST Goddess group back in NC. Germans don't really seem to use web resources like that as much as we do. I have combed the internet looking for Pagan groups (or a jogging group) local to me, and I'm coming up with nothing.

  6. #6
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Moving Countries

    [quote author=volcaniclastic link=topic=463.msg7159#msg7159 date=1288152728]
    Yeah, I figured I would need to save money. I'm considering finishing my degree there (which I know is a very big price tag) but even if I don't, I'm starting to feel ready to leave Canada. I've visited twice, and so I know how the dollar exchange rate figures out.

    The packing and moving of things was one of my biggest concerns (minus actually getting accepted to uni part) and while I do want to stay for more than a year, I don't think I want to stay forever (But you never know.) I think I would be happy parting with most of my furniture - I do have some handmade tables from my mother that I will have trouble leaving behind. Other than that, clothes, books - lots of books, some trinkets, and the cat, really.

    I was thinking of maybe moving the end of next year, if I can - I'm not sure. I really want to do this, but then when I remember I'm leaving all my friends and family behind, it gets harder to do.
    [/quote]

    That last part -is- rough, especially at the beginning when you don't really know anyone (or few people if you happen to know one or two people there). But you make friends and being foreign makes you automatically interesting to everyone, even in English speaking countries (because you have an accent). There are also usually meetups for expats in cities, or for people interested in a specific subject...meetup.com is your friend! When I came here I met lots of people but it took me a while to meet actual friends....but at least I got invited out a lot and it was interesting! Also Berlin is a very transient city by nature so it took me a while to find long-term friends that are actually staying here long-term (even Germans tend to be a bit transient here). But you'll likely not have that issue in the UK. As for family, I'm close to mine, but we talk on the phone ALL the time. I have this thing called a MagicJack and I hooked it up to my Windows computer, and it cost like $10 a year for a Victoria number and I can call anywhere in Canada for free with it. I just plug it into the computer and a phone plugs into it. So that saves money. And anyway skype is free and even international rates are not too bad (ESPECIALLY in the UK! I got a prepaid SIM card for my spare mobile because I was visiting a few people and it was otherwise hard to get ahold of me, and it let me call Canada for 5 p a minute! In Germany it costs 1.99, though billed per second, to call Canada on a mobile). I think we probably talk more than when I lived in Canada actually because the distance gives us a reason to call. I think I see them as much as my friends from back home see their families as well, it's just that it's condensed into like 2 weeks once a year, whereas they go for a couple of days over holidays a few times a year. Holidays get rough the first time round, but to be honest I actually really enjoy spending holidays with friends (as long as it's close friends). One of my favorite Christmases ever was 2008, when my cousin came over (she used to live here too) and stayed with her boyfriend (also a friend) and a few friends came over and we roasted a turkey and had a really late dinner and played card games. It may be trumped by this year though, because my two really good friends are staying in town (they actually are from the UK and always go back, but they also enjoy Christmas with friends). I do a BIG Thanksgiving dinner every year, and all my good friends come over. These are really some of my favorite memories and honestly I've enjoyed Thanksgiving more than I ever did at home.

  7. #7
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Moving Countries

    [quote author=WaldWesen link=topic=463.msg7161#msg7161 date=1288153570]
    I'm moving to Germany... uh... tomorrow actually (holy moly.) My flight leaves at 8:20 pm tomorrow.

    I'm getting married, so the visa issues will hopefully work themselves out reasonably efficiently. I totally agree that the biggest issue was packing. The move has been so expensive I can only take two suitcases with me. I am lucky in that my Grandmother is happy to hold on to some of my treasures that can't be taken right away, but before I moved I had whittled down my material belongings to a pile that would fit comfortably on top of a double bed. It's kind of enlightening/bittersweet/beautiful/awful/emotional to see your whole life laid out like that right in front of you.

    However, giving away and recycling my belongings was kind of a spiritual experience in its own right.

    Pets are also difficult. My dog, Digory, is coming with me. Marley, my 11 year old Italian Greyhound, is too frail to make the trip and is staying here with family (whom he adores.) My cat, Nigel, was an FeLV positive rescue whom I frankly didn't expect to live this long. He has to hang out with Marley because obviously one can't import a cat with FeLV. I don't worry about them because I know they'll all be cherished and well taken care of in the places they'll be (and, selfishly, that I'll see them again whenever I am visiting the states,) but letting them out of my sight is a LOT harder than giving up my stuff.

    The last one is the language. I speak German, but you kind of miss English when it's been a long time since you've been around a bunch of English speakers.

    Oh, also I'll miss things like Meetup websites and stuff. I had the NICEST Goddess group back in NC. Germans don't really seem to use web resources like that as much as we do. I have combed the internet looking for Pagan groups (or a jogging group) local to me, and I'm coming up with nothing.
    [/quote]

    I'm not sure where you're moving exactly, but some cities do still have Meetup groups for things. I go to a Canadian one sometimes here in Berlin (for when I'm feeling homesick), and there's one for actors and quite a few others actually. Also www.toytowngermany.com is a forum for expats and has a lot of local stuff going on (in Berlin the weekly drinks night gets pretty full of transients, but it used to be good and I met some of my closer expat friends there, or through people I knew from there). And toytown usually has an activities board for each area so even if no one is looking for activities partners for what you want to do, you could start one.
    I wish I could help you with pagan resources, but alas I've been looking for a while too and just don't know where to find people on the net. I have met a couple of pagans offline here in Berlin though, so there are a few of us here at least! It might be a bit tougher in the conservative south, but I'm sure you'll find people
    Also find your local city magazine (here it's Tip and Zitty, but that's very regional) and figure out events you'd like to go to...maybe they'll have a pagan thing listed in there...you never know! At least you're getting married too so you'll automatically have somewhat of a social circle.

    and LOL your packing experience sounds EXACTLY like mine did.

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