The Practicalities Of Emigrating.

The Practicalities Of Emigrating.

You’ve probably noticed me bang on about our love of the warmer weather and our desire to emigrate. Mr T and I have always said we were born in the wrong country.  Jumping ship for bluer skies is on the agenda.  Life in the U.K isn’t all bad but it isn’t all great either. Brexit, isn’t really helping. I still harbour bitter feelings toward the decision made. For me, I feel as much European as I do British. I was born in an E.U member state and enjoyed all the benefits that has to offer. Including the biggy – free movement of people. Thus far leaving the E.U isn’t shaping up so nicely. Quelle Surprise.

The decision to leave the E.U is a huge practicality when considering emigrating. Nobody really know what it means. Nobody really knows how it will affect the U.K. It certainly makes for uncertain times. especially if you are considering a move during this limbo period. Let’s face it, no one likes uncertainty, especially when it involves hefty sums of money. Is sinking goodness knows much into a new continental home  such a brilliant idea?

Of parallel importance is the way in which it may affect your family…your children in particular. I have little doubt that a life that offers greater time outdoors and all that comes with it, without the need for a plastic raincoat or wellie boats will be a great improvement for them and us. My children are outdoorsy children, they love it but they also love the fair weather. Yet, my children are just two and three. They are just learning English let alone a second language. My daughter is due to start school next September, do you send them to a state school where the language won’t be their own? Starting school is big enough when you know what is going on, let alone when you don’t. Or do you pay the high, like €5000 a year high, per child and send them to an international school? A school I have no doubt will be amazing. Where they will learn both languages (and then some), complete the English education system and be offered all the opportunity. An opportunity that comes with a hefty price tag. I mean, I know what I’d like to do, but €10,000.00?!

zara playing on beach

What about the simple things we take for granted? Our home comforts, the things we know and love about our home. Some things you just cannot replace or buy in another country. What about a car and driving? Chances are you’ll need a left hand drive, driving on the left hand side of the road. In some continental countries they’re not cheap, as much as three times the price. I mean as problems go this one can be solved, there are companies out there that transport your goods, even your car from door to door. Websites such as Shiply allow for businesses to compete for your courier/transportation jobs. So you and your crew don’t have to drive it all across the continent yourself. Thank gawd.

What about your U.K house, presuming you own it? Do you need the equity from it? If so there is very little choice but to sell. If not, well would you rent it out? Keep an interest in the U.K incase it all goes wrong and you need to return home. Not a bad shout after all. Especially an interest that could end up earning you money. With this however comes the question of storage, for all those things you don’t want shipped out. That isn’t free. Then of course renting involves tenants and don’t forget they have rights too.

Another biggy, that really does require some consideration and research is health care. I certainly take the NHS for granted. It is one of the very best things about the U.K (when it works) and something the U.K should be proud of. It is however not something every country enjoys. Attention must certainly be paid to your new countries health care system. Is it free? Do you need insurance? Do you need residence? Registration papers. It is a massive question  and often administration exercise that cannot go unanswered or overlooked.

These are just some of the practicalities of emigrating that are swirling around my brain circa 3am, along with some of life’s other quandaries. Have you ever emigrated? Have you faced the practicalities of emigrating? Any tips? I’d love to hear from you.

The practicalities of emigrating. Some top things to consider when moving you and your family abroad.



  1. November 20, 2017 / 7:21 am

    We were lucky because we emigrated from Italy to Finland when we didn’t have kids yet. That is so much easier! Anyway, we know many families who joined us here from other countries. It’s doable, but never easy.
    You listed many potential issues. I think it’s a big step and people need clear goals. As a general advice, contact expats living in the country of choice and ask direct advice. Small bureaucracy things can be total stoppers and you cannot find in difficult situations with kids.
    If you are moving with kids, take into account the language barrier. Do your research about the local offer in other languages, but take into account the social aspect. Read about bilingualism and how you can support your child in this transition.

  2. The Mummy Bubble
    November 20, 2017 / 8:24 am

    I too am so very disappointed by the Brexit decision. If another vote were held tomorrow I think the result would be different. If we were to emigrate I would to move to Paris or a pretty French town. However I also like the thought of America (very different obviously!). I would miss our families so very much though which puts me off. #familyfunlinky

  3. November 20, 2017 / 9:26 am

    I would love to emigrate but I would probably go somewhere like new Zealand. #familyfunlinky

  4. November 20, 2017 / 9:30 am

    I often think about up-ing sticks and moving our family elsewhere but then when I sit and ponder on it for any time I end up listing all I love about the UK. I’ve lived in the far east for a while and even though I emersed myself in the culture and lifestyle I really struggled. It’s strange what you end up missing about your lifestyle in your home country. That was pre-children, so fundamentally a great deal easier too. As Paola said, speak to expats and discuss any issues they came up against. Holiday there. Go through the logistics with a fine toothcomb to ensure you would be able to do it. It’s definitely got to be a mind over heart decision as the grass isn’t always greener on the other side! #FamilyFunLinky

  5. November 20, 2017 / 9:35 am

    Follow your dream. All those practicalities will work themselves out one day at a time. Life’s too short to have regrets.

  6. November 20, 2017 / 9:42 am

    We did this time last year to Sweden (and haven’t looked back). I’ve even managed to learn to drive on the wrong side of the road with everything being back to front in the car, on snow and ice too!! Our children our in the local school (9,6,&6)and are learning the language fast. There is loads on my blog about it :-) If you want to do it, just go for it…I tried not to think too deep or else I wouldn’t have reached for my dreams, but just tackle each issue one at a time or else it all gets very overwhelming #familyfunlinky

  7. November 20, 2017 / 10:35 am

    There a definitely lots to consider and weigh up but I’m sure it’ll be well worth it and I’m extremely envious! #familyfun

  8. November 20, 2017 / 11:19 am

    My Inlaws sorta half emigrated once they had retired. They live in France half of the year, and here half of the year. It works really well for them, they miss the grandkids, but they find the weather here quite depressing and love their life there.

    I must say though as they get older, health care is a worry. My mother in law had a stroke last year, fortunately, they were back in England and she recovered very well. But, we couldn’t help wondering what would have happened if they were still in France.

    Certainly a lot to think about! #familyfun

  9. We have emigrated twice, sort of. My husband is Northern Irish, I’m French, and we left London with our 1 yo son to go to Denmark. Three years later, we moved to Ireland. We learnt so much through both experiences, and thoroughly tested our capacity for adaptation. But our lives have got so much richer for it!
    Now emigrating is always hard, but it’s also hugely rewarding. Think about the fact that, unlike most migrants on this planet, you have a CHOICE. And wherever you go, especially within the EU, you can always go home if you don’t like it. I, for one, would find it very difficult now to move back to France permanently.

  10. November 20, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    I lived abroad for two years and it was great but yes, lots of practicalities, particularly if its a long term plan!

    #anything goes

  11. Laura: Adventures with J
    November 20, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    I think if you over think a decision such as this barriers and fear can easily stop you going. Yes practicalities do need to be considered especially financial ones (consider pension restrictions and making NI voluntary contributions) but not all the points you mentioned I would see as a barrier. Children pick up languages far more easily than adults and driving on the other side of the road is easy once you’ve done it for a day or two. I don’t know about quality of state education though. I know of 2 western EU countries which are slated by people who live there or have worked in the system so lots of investigation about that I guess.

  12. November 20, 2017 / 10:18 pm

    I moved abroad in my 20’s for three years. I would have stayed forever but wanted to raise children in the UK. I do think there is something wonderful about moving abroad and I would highly recommend finding a way to make it work if it’s what you want to do. #FamilyFun

  13. November 20, 2017 / 10:32 pm

    So much to consider, like you say the childrens schooing alone is a major issue. I always thought that if you have a burning desire the question would be ‘when’ will we do it not ‘if’ but when Children are involved there’s so much more at stake … for good and bad though! I share your concern regarding Brexit and it just keeps getting worse :( #familyfun

  14. November 21, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    I think travelling is a good in-between. Take the school holidays and rent out a place and live like a local or as close to one as you can. #FamilyFunLinky

  15. November 22, 2017 / 10:54 pm

    Eeeks sarah you’re pondering / taking on something I couldn’t ever imagine doing!! X

  16. November 25, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    My husband would emigrate tomorrow but it’s not something I could ever imagine doing, not with kids anyway, I rely on having family close by far too much 😬. It’s certainly a lot to consider and take on but if it’s something you really want I’d definitely say go for it and I’m sure there are plenty of ex-pats who would be happy to point you in the right direction x

  17. November 25, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    What a big decision to make !! I feel for you too at such an uncertain time , although like you the whole Brexit thing may have been the thing to cement my decision!!! I’m sure there are lots of people who can give you some guiding advice so as you can make the right decision for your family #FamilyFunLinky

  18. November 26, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    I’m dying to know where you’re considering relocating to! I’ve lived in Germany, Spain and Japan and I’d say healthcare is a big issue – it’s not free at the point of need as it is in the UK. Schools weren’t an issue for me at the time but would be a big issue now… #familyfunlinky

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