Monday, 30 March 2015

Thinking about the future... So many options!

So recently Dan has been getting some job offers from overseas.
While we are not really in a position to be leaving New Zealand right now, it is obvious to us that we're considering it in future. After all I'm studying towards becoming an ESOL / ESL Teacher. I've already got a fair bit under my belt for it. Which is why I'm pushing myself so hard to get the final 6 papers needed for me to graduate under my belt and under way.

I have plenty of worries on my mind about how moving overseas will work, there's so much to consider -

 Location - will we be in an Anglophonic region? Will we need to learn another language to do every day things? (Shopping etc.) If we do need to learn another language will we pick it up easily? I already speak, read and write some French - it's schoolgirl French and I'm rusty!

Where is Dan's job located? Will it be easy to find a job for me for when I join him?

How long will it take to get back to NZ if we need to say in an emergency? How much will this cost us? Or if a family member or friend is getting married... Or for a funeral... So many family emergencies that could happen. Can't deal with any of them until faced with them properly. The "what if's" don't help, but being prepared for travel if we did need to isn't a bad idea!

How easy would it be for our family and friends to visit and stay with us etc?

What is the income level versus expenses of living in that location?

Accommodation costs, including expenses for the bills. What is typically included in rent there? Would we pay extra for water, power, internet? How good are these services?

Every day living costs - food, travel to / from work (both there and for me in NZ while I'm studying)...

Is there good public transport? Would we need to buy a vehicle? Would I need to drive there? How would Dan get around without me? How would I get around without him?

Health Insurance & other Medical expenses - I have Asthma so need 6 monthly/ yearly appointments as well as regular prescriptions, and then there is also our contraception costs and prescription. (I currently use an IUD, which is good for 5 years, so I could have a new one placed before I left NZ.) The question of how their medical system relates and compares to what we're used to in NZ. I also have (rare) occasions of depression and anxiety so sometimes I need help for those. Dan and I are both aware of a few other health things we keep an eye on, such as our eyes!
We both wear glasses - so there's the cost of replacement for those when needed, as well as the yearly eye exams. If these are covered by insurance, or get done out of pocket.

Setting up the new accommodation as well as everyday things like a bank account, drivers licence and other ID transfers. I also drive (Dan doesn't) so there's a question of if I have my NZ drivers licence transferred and exactly how this implicates things (like if I end up back in NZ within the 5-10 years after doing so) and the financial implications related to doing so.

What is the climate there? Cold, temperate or warm? Would we be forced to buy lots of Warm clothing (and snow chains for the car?) or is it bikini weather year round? NZ is pretty temperate year round, and we both get grumpy if it's too hot (over 26'c)...

Job security - Can both of us can find jobs in that place. I have the downside of potentially being the person left in NZ until I've graduated with my BA. (Within the next 3 years). With the question over doing my post graduate study for my Teaching Diploma / Master's Degree in TESOL. (Or just travelling over as soon as I've graduated with my BA).

What options we have available to up skill in the jobs we find. Or will we be stuck at that position for a long period of time? Is there a chance of job improvement based on income changes (increases) or what other bonus' are there?

In my questions I have found some good stuff come out of it though - there are LOTS of websites for those questioning all of these changes like I am.

I'm also looking into the locations of the job offer given by the recruitment agency to Dan, to look into the expenses and general guidelines around that city / country. So far I only have one place I've semi-crossed off, but I'm willing to give anything a go to make it work. I just do not want to see us end up in debt over our choices of where to live and work. If it's not financially viable it isn't a good idea.
 Plenty of advice is to be found: Here's just 5 that I found quickly.

Tips for arrival

19 tips from expert Expats

Best cities to live as an expat - Best places to be an expat: the USA...
Worst (3rd most expensive city): London.

The 20 best countries to be an expat - Australia, Germany, and Switzerland.

Then there are LOTS and LOTS of Blogs from all over the world from Expats and where they share their experiences and stories from the road.
I already follow a number of these. I love that their stories show so much emotion from anger and disgust at being robbed, to happiness and joy of getting there 'just in time' for a special family event. To sharing dodgy accommodation and dodgier street food and sanity questioning taxi drivers...

Either way no matter what happens - one thing is for sure I'll keep blogging and sharing our journey as it goes. The next 2-3 years for me will be in NZ anyway to ensure I've graduated and got my BA.
There's so much to weigh up as individuals as well as a couple.