We set a goal for ourselves to be in New Zealand by April 2016… and with my ‘project plan’ now well-developed, refined, tweaked & polished, the process was well underway.
The next few months would see a frenzy of documentation gathering! As most immigrants in the process will know, apart from the standard identity documents, passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates and police clearances, one also needs to prove their partnership / relationship status. Being married for 13 years with two children and a joint owned home isn’t enough to prove your commitment…and so thanks to my obsession with the camera, I was able to provide more photographs of our life together than immigration would probably care to see.
Every piece of information – documentation, correspondence and reference material -was filed and alphabetised and categorised and/or diarised.
Suddenly my husband had a job offer in hand and our leaving date was set for the end of March 2016. It was time now for visa submissions and medical exams and stress..so much stress! Even though the timing was spot on with our plan, it felt like our project had just been accelerated ten-fold – and the reality of our decision had just slapped us hard across the face!
From the date the job offer was accepted until the day we left was the most nerve-wracking experience of my life. I soon came to understand that:
– The limits of my resilience & patience were higher than I ever realised.
– There is almost no value in the piles of household goods (and other material objects) that we accumulate over the years.
– My children were more sensitive than I remember understanding at their same age.
– Strength in marriage is crucial in executing a decision as massive as this. ALWAYS stay on the same page!
– The benefits to enjoying good health (in mind and body) cannot be underestimated and should never be under appreciated.
– You CAN fit an entire household into a 20ft container…once you have donated 75% of it to appreciative friends and family.
At last, medicals are approved and our visa’s arrive. The container arrives. The air tickets arrive. The time to leave arrives…