Change Your Life: Move Overseas


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Do you dream of living a more exciting life? Would you like to wake up each day knowing that you can have new experiences and create new memories every day? I bet you have – we all have. Moving overseas can give you a new lease on life. So, where do you start?

Here is our story of when, why and how we ended up leaving Australia and moving to Scotland…

Our desire to escape the ordinary

About two years ago, our life had come to a crossroads. We desperately wanted to start living our best possible lives instead of just plodding along. I felt like I was starting to lose my identity. Routines and familiarity were starting to overwhelm my sense of wonderment. I was starting to lose sight of the horizon and of what could be.  Time and days flew by as I lived on auto-pilot for nearly six out of seven days a week. I often caught myself taking things and people for granted instead of being present in the moment.

We both believed our happiness depended on earning an income by doing something we enjoyed. We also knew that who we shared our lives with and where we lived made one of the biggest impacts of all. For more than 20 years, we shared the dream of selling everything, moving overseas and starting over.

Our New year’s resolution

So, with those thoughts, on 1 January 2016, we made a New Year’s resolution to move to the UK with our two teenage sons. Within weeks of agreeing to move overseas, we researched our options and crafted a plan. We created a website (now called Have Swag Will Travel) to capture our research and share our journey with family, friends and other kindred spirits who may also wish to walk the expat path.

Applying for a UK Ancestry Visa

We applied for our UK Ancestry Visas on the eve of the Brexit vote, in June 2016. Two weeks later, after the majority of Brits had voted to leave the European Union, our visas were approved. We went public with our news that we were moving to the other side of the world, to live, sight unseen.

Settling into UK life

In September 2016, nine months after our New Year’s resolution to relocate, we flew into the UK to begin our expat adventure. Within three months, we were living like locals. The boys were at school; we were in full-time employment, and we explored like tourists on days off. More than a year later, we are about to celebrate our second Christmas in Scotland. We have better full-time jobs, and we are contributing to our local community uniquely.

Expat life

Moving from Australia to Scotland is one of my life’s peak experiences. It’s up there with falling in love and having children. From the moment we decided to close the chapter on our old lives in Australia and start over again in Scotland, we started to feel happier, younger and more fulfilled.

We miss our family and friends back in Australia, and with the help of the Internet, we can communicate in words and pictures on a daily basis. Most importantly, we all understand that life goes on no matter where we live. Our love grows, and at the end of the day, we all look up at (nearly) the same stars at night.

How about you?

Get yourself to the point of being ready to apply for the visa, and then decide if you want to relocate. If you do decide to relocate, you’re nearly ready. You will feel confident to move overseas, knowing that you took a calculated risk rather than simply throwing care to the wind. Alternatively, if you decide to stay, you will feel like you fully considered the idea and can live life without regrets. Stay with me now…

What are you waiting for?

Don’t allow other people’s fears to restrict your freedom of movement or prevent you from making brave decisions to change your life for the better. Remember, that sometimes you have to experience pain and discomfort and break things to move forward towards a better life. You can make gradual changes and risk never reaching your destination, or you can take great leaps of faith and start your journey now.

You’re smart. You know that obstacles will appear on your path, testing your resolve and forcing you to catch your breath. You’re also brave. So take action, deal with those challenges head on and live the life of your dreams.

We are more than just children who love our parents. We are more than just parents who love our children. We are individuals who love life, with a beautiful life to live. Choose to live your best possible life, where you want, now.

Where do you want to live?

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