lifestyle, travel

What Moving Countries Has Taught Me

If you don’t know already, myself and my boyfriend Cree, are moving to New Zealand, after me living in Canada for the past 4 years. (You can read the full story here). So I thought I’d offer a little help to you, if you’re also planning on moving oversea’s for good. Obviously, everyone’s situations are different, so I hope that I’ve made this as broad as possible to help with everyone’s big move!

We aren’t shipping any furniture as everything we own is second hand so it doesn’t hold much value. So we are going to have a suitcase each for clothes and shoes, and a suitcase each for our belongings, plus obviously our carry on luggage as well. 

To do lists WILL be a game changer
You need to brain dump somehow. For me it was a matter of what do I need to organise? What do I need to try and sell? What do I need to donate or throw away? What are the things I need to get together for the permanent residency application? Literally all these things are written down in lists, either on my laptop or in my notebook. You will feel sooo much lighter when you have set lists for things. If I find a helpful website for permanent residency, I will save it to refer to later on. Just brain dump everything and anything!

Your to-do lists will be extremely loooong, so break it up.
Yes, to-do lists will be amazing and work in your favour, but if you have 1000 things to do all at once, break it up. What I had done was split the immigration papers up into groups – I had Cree’s application broken up into what needs to be filled out and what isn’t applicable to us, I had his medical stuff in another pile, and my paperwok in another pile. And each one of those piles had their own tiny to-do list.

As for selling stuff, I put everything in an excel spreadsheet with the price I posted it for and I’d change it when it sold it – this also keeps a tally of what you have/haven’t sold and how much money you’ve made. While I was sorting out our stuff, I put everything into their own piles – trash, donate and keep.  That way I knew where I was at and what-was-what at all times. This all may sound like a lot more work, but a tidy, organised mess is easier than a messy, disfunctional mess.

Everything you own in just “stuff”
Yes, of course some things have sentimental value, and unless you’re getting a shipping container for your belongings, you’re only going to have a number of suitcases to work with per person (depending on your plane). So my plan of attack was to gather everything I may want to keep and putting it straight into a suitcase. Once it’s time to actually pack my things properly, I will really knuckle down, be savage and figure out what needs to be left behind if there is no room for everything. Things like my high school yearbooks (which weigh a ton to begin with) I’ve had to throw away 5 out of 7 – I only kept my two final years. I’m keeping some soft toys that hold a dear place in my heart (and that I’ll want my future children to have). Of course photos and photo albums I absolutely have to keep. So things like that are coming with me. Things that don’t make my heart flutter when I hold them, are being donated.

Saying goodbye to your family and pets will be the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do.
Thankfully for me, I’m going back to my family, but that’s not to say I’m not going to be sad farewelling Cree’s family and our pet guinea pigs. When I left New Zealand two Christmas’s ago and had to leave my family at the airport, it was devastating. And I truly am dreading the day I have to do it again with Cree’s family.

You’re emotions will get the better of you.
We received an email about a month after the application had been successfully delivered to the immigration office in New Zealand. The email was a courier email saying that something was being sent to us. It didn’t say whether it was a letter or a parcel, so immediately both our minds went to the worst place – he had been denied. Few days later we received this mysterious letter, and it was just ——. So don’t feel ashamed if you cry over the little things – your emotions and stress levels will be through the roof for a little while (at least mine were!!)

Once you arrive at your oversea’s destination, then you’ll wanna think about opening bank accounts, finding jobs, finding a car and apartment. Which is another whole blog post! So don’t forget about that side of a big move too! But you can start doing all of that in your current destination, because most jobs, apartments and cars are all online these days anyway…. However, it can’t hurt to start looking before you jump on the plane. The more you do now, the less you’ll have to do later.

I really hope this post inspires you to get up and start living your dreams. It’s a lot of hard work but it all pays off in the end. I think I’m gonna start blogging a lot more about my moving experiences as a young adult, so stay tuned for more posts like this. I love sharing my ideas and actions with you all.

Happy and safe travels to all you travel bugs out there!

Love, Courtney

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