Ticking off the major ‘to dos’

So we had our visa granted and our flights booked. The next task was to find short term accommodation, which would suit our family for the first month or so. Last time we flew to Australia was pretty straightforward, just the two of us, a private double room in a Sydney hostel for the first three nights then we’d go from there. Simple. The introduction of two little ones inevitably made this task a little bit more complex.

We ideally needed a family friendly fully furnished unit with car parking, internet, two bedrooms including a cot, bills included, a garden and in a location which was safe and within walking distance to local amenities aswell as commutable for Matt attending interviews in the CBD. As I trawled through hundreds of short term rentals, I felt as though we were never going to find something that would suit all of our needs. I felt overwhelmed at times as it seemed that demand outweighed supply. So many people like us were emigrating and were in need of a short term base. There seemed to be a plenty 1-2 bedroom apartments in the city but we longed to be closer to the beach and away from the hustle and bustle of Perth. We felt that this would suit the girls better and it was very important to find somewhere they would feel comfortable and at home in. There were also many larger family homes with 4-5 bedrooms but these seemed expensive for what our little family needed and so the hunt continued to find a 2 bedroom place in the suburbs.

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Searching for rentals became my daily routine when the girls napped. And just when I was starting to feel like I was getting nowhere, I finally came across a self contained unit attached to its owners’ home in Kingsley, which seemed to tick every box on our list of desirables. The unit looked clean, came fully furnished with car parking, a garden, a pool and had plenty of space for the girls to run around in. Within a few minutes I’d spoken to Matt and emailed the owner to book ourselves in for 4 weeks arriving on 7th October. It was a huge relief to have our first months accommodation booked.

With another task completed, our next job was to choose a shipping company and figure out the logistics of moving all of our belongings to the other side of the world in a way which would in particular cause minimal disruption to the little world of our toddler. It was important for us to surround the girls with all of their belongings at a time where there would be a lot of changes in their lives. We chose two companies to receive quotes from and chose the company which offered us 8 weeks free storage in Perth. This seemed ideal for our situation as it took the pressure off us finding the perfect long term rental immediately. We booked in the shipping company for mid august and decided to spend our last 7 weeks living between Newcastle and York with our parents and living out of our suitcases. This would allow us a bit of breathing space between packing up our belongings and saying our goodbyes…

The next item on our agenda was to decide how and when to transfer the bulk of our savings from the UK to Australia. As the ‘financial controller’ of our household πŸ™‚ my husband took responsibility of this task. Having researched the most cost effective way to to do this and discussing the options with me, we decided to go through an international money transfer specialist. They offered a higher rate, around 3-4%, above the high street exchange rates with their commission built in to this. We just needed to choose the right time to make the transfer and so with this decision made, the obsession of Matt constantly checking exchange rates began.

With the major ‘to dos’ completed, our move was starting to feel very real. This was it….our dream….our future….the next chapter in our lives as a family of four. Xxxx

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8 responses to “Ticking off the major ‘to dos’

  1. Emma, if you contact any of the Big Four banks here – Commonwealth, Westpac, NAB, ANZ, they can arrange to open your accounts and transfer your funds. In fact most banks have Migrant Banking. Ask about transferring your pension over too, unless you intend to move back to the UK upon retirement?

    Check out BankWest if you are looking at longterm investment for the girls’ education. Their Children’s Savings account is linked to a Kids Bonus account which offers the highest interest rate amongst all the banks.

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      • I lived in the UK for 7 years, then in Spain for 4 years and Ireland for 4 years…Australia is my 6th country and 21st move in 42 years. Home is where I hang my coat up. Over time, I’ve learnt (the hard way) to travel light.

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      • Australia will be our 6th country too πŸ™‚ As we see Australia as our final destination and the first place we’ll be buying a home together, we want to be surrounded by our belongings which we’ve accumulated together over the past 10 years.

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  2. I hope all goes well for you and your family Emma – I’ll look forward to hearing about your journey! Kingsley is a nice suburb to be staying in. Nice and close to the lovely Hillary’s Boat Harbour. I live NOR (north of the river) too. Everything in Perth is referred to as NOR or SOR!! There is a very big ex-pat community NOR – especially in and around Joondalup. All the best πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you! We can’t wait to get out there and explore. My husband works in hospitality too (all 4/5 star hotels and is currently Director of Food and Beverage with Hilton) so we are both foodies and will enjoy reading your recommendations!

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