Closer to the dream
Six or so weeks on from my last post, there now appears to be very little that stands in the way of us moving to New Zealand…other than the fact that I have not been able to secure a job that will allow us to secure right of residency visas there. Whilst this is often the single most important factor in any planned immigration, it is also the hardest to achieve remotely unless one’s professional skills are deemed to be in short supply and qualify for Skilled Migrant status.
After much consultation with friends, advisors and recruitment folks in New Zealand, we have decided to relocate regardless. The deciding factor in this is that I am to made redundant from my position in the UK at the end of August. Rather than focus on trying to secure a short-term position here whilst I continue to hunt for a position 12,000 miles away, we have decided to sell our flat and car, pack all our belongings into a 40ft container bound for the southern hemisphere, buy 6 return tickets and head for London’s Heathrow Airport. Although we have yet to book our flights, we are currently thinking of flying with Air New Zealand as they have generous baggage allowances for emigrees – essential for families that are 5/6ths female and fashion-conscious. Given we haven’t had a family break this year, we are also considering breaking up the journey with a couple of stopovers, perhaps a couple of days in California (Los Angeles is an Air NZ hub) followed by another four or five days in the Cook Islands. The additional costs appear to be small and I feel we’d benefit both physically and mentally from the break.
Once there, I’ll concentrate on getting a work-to-residency or skilled migrant position whilst the family find their feet. Rae and Peter, the parents of one of our Kiwi friends here in London, have kindly offered their bach (beach house) for us to use as our initial base. Located an hour or so north of Wellington, it will provide us with a ‘sponsored’ abode for our visitor and student visas as well as a base for house and job hunting. Furthermore, as I am not restricting my job hunting to just Wellington, the airport at Palmerston North 40 kms away may prove to be handy if I need to fly to Auckland, Christchurch or Dunedin.
Despite all this activity and planning, we are still in a state in bemused denial. Other people emigrate, we say, not us. It is always us seeing folks off on their travels, not the other way around. Yet, all being well, it will soon be us climbing on board a plane, ready to swap years of dreaming and planning for new beginnings in a new country.