A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post asking for people to help me “road test” the Survival Guide. Having written it and put it out there, I am really keen to learn more about how helpful (or not) it is. It’s hard for me to have a perspective as a long-term expat, although to be fair I am certainly finding a lot of the information from my contributors incredibly useful as we plan our next move. However, it was fantastic when three lovely women replied to my plea, agreed to be a road tester and blog about their experiences as they move to a new country. Today I would like to introduce the first of the three: Lynsay.
Thank you so much for doing this Lynsay. First of all, can you tell me a bit about yourself and your family, your background etc.
We are a family of 5, myself, husband Mike and our 3 boys, Daniel (10), George (7), and Alfie (4). I am a physiotherapist by training but currently the one at home, Mike is a teacher and for the last 10 years we have lived in boarding schools.
Where do you live at the moment and where are you moving to? Why are you moving?
We are currently in Dubai, having moved here in August 2013. We are moving to Jeju, South Korea for Mike to take up an Assistant Head position at a school there.
So this isn’t your first expat experience?
We are currently expats in Dubai. We had always talked about living in France or Switzerland but never really thought about being further away from the UK than that!
And how prepared are you feeling for the move? As well as from the Survival Guide, where are you getting your information from?
Feeling more prepared than last time. The school we are going to have sent lots of information and I have made contact with someone who used to work at the school (randomly through a chat on Facebook) who now lives in Dubai. It definitely helps having someone to chat to before the move – someone who knows if you can buy Marmite there, if it is easy to get clothes for the children – generally the household things that are so important but not necessarily on the agenda for the one who is changing jobs!
Why do you think the Survival Guide will be useful? Are there any chapters you think you will find particularly useful?
The chapters on arrival and the early days and shopping etc, all of it! I wish I had seen some of it last time!
How did you find out about my book?
Someone posted a link on Facebook in a mums group that I use.
What are you most looking forward to about moving to your new country? What are you most worried about (if anything!)?
Moving to a country with seasons and without 50degree heat! Moving somewhere with a more outdoor lifestyle. I am nervous about the culture and language. Dubai was an easy first post in many ways as everyone speaks English, food is recognisable and all the road signs, shop signs etc are in English. South Korea will be quite different!
How are your children feeling about the move? How did they react when you told them?
The youngest is a little confused (he is only 4) and it doesn’t mean that much to him other than he finally gets to go to school there! George (7) is excited and keeps looking up things about the school or island. Daniel seems fine – happy to be leaving the Arabic he has to learn here but sad not to be going back to the UK.
They were all fine initially, then Daniel had a bit of a wobble and was upset with us for making him move again. He seems to have come round to the idea.
I have a wide range of expats reading my blog – do you have any questions for them? Either country-specific or just general questions about moving and living abroad?
What is the best plan with shipping or do you just accept a nomadic lifestyle or try to take personal things with you (which seems to equate to rather a lot!)? What is the best way to learn the language?
So can anyone answer Lynsay’s questions? You can find out more about Lynsay and follow her family’s move from Dubai to Korea on her blog – https://millsfamilytravels.wordpress.com/. This will (hopefully!) include updates related to each chapter in the Survival Guide, which I will link back to here on this blog. Look out for posts about my other two road testers!