What’s wrong with the UK?

Newspaper headline: No shirt, no pants, no worries.

The relaxed Australian lifestyle is a big attraction.

After 10 years in Denmark, our decision to move to Australia has some of its roots in wanting to feel closer to the place where we live – culturally, linguistically, socially and professionally. So the obvious question is: why not move back to the UK? After all, it still offers many of the things that are on our list of ‘things to look forward to’.

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A buyers’ market: Selling unwanted stuff

The big dilemma when moving house is: how much should I take, and how much should I get rid of? When moving continents, the question is magnified.

That 15-year old toaster, for example. Is it really worth cleaning it of every breadcrumb in order to meet Australian customs regulations, and then paying £10-15 to ship it all the way to the other side of the world? Probably not.

And you can repeat that weighing-up process for every one of our possessions (except the kids and the dog), and believe me, there’s a lot of them. Continue reading

So, what’s wrong with Denmark?

Nyhavn harbour in Copenhagen.

Denmark is rightly ranked as one of the world’s best places to live.

For someone to contemplate moving their family to the other side of the world, there has to be something seriously wrong with their current situation, right?

Wrong. At least, in our case, it’s wrong, anyway. Denmark has been very kind to us. We arrived, nearly 10 years ago, with little idea of what living abroad would mean, fully intending to ‘try it’ for two years and then perhaps think about moving back home. Continue reading

Telling the kids: “We’re moving to Australia”

There are basically two ways to handle the kids when it comes to big family news. The first is to do ‘the big reveal’ – to keep everything under wraps until the last minute, when things have been finalised, so that they don’t have to deal with any uncertainty or risk of disappointment. The second is to take them along with you every step of the way, telling them your plans, keeping them updated, and sharing any major developments as and when they happen.
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Why move to Canberra?

To understand why we chose Canberra as our future home, you will need to understand a little bit about how much we wanted to go to Australia, and a little about how the Australian migrant visa programme works.

The idea of living in Australia has been a distant dream for more than a decade, but it was only really when we began to think seriously about moving from Denmark – about three or four years ago – that the dream began to take shape. Continue reading

When life gets in the way

I’m a pretty meticulous person when it comes to planning, and this week we were making good progress with the tasks on our checklist when something we hadn’t planned for blew us completely off course — a dearly loved family member was admitted to hospital and diagnosed as having a tumour on one of his lungs.

Needless to say, all our thoughts about opening Australian bank accounts, checking out quarantine regulations and scouting possible places to live have been pushed aside as we rally to offer support and play our part as members of the family. Continue reading

Moving down under: The ultimate planning checklist

Think of the most complex domestic project you’ve ever been involved with – moving house, planning a wedding, organising a round-the-world trip of a lifetime. Whatever it is, migrating to Australia will make any one of them seem simple by comparison.

To give you some idea of what’s involved, and a taster of what I’ll be writing about over the coming months, I thought I’d share with you the task list that I’ve put together to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. If you’re planning a move yourself, it might prove a useful starting point for you too. Continue reading