Flights booked. Check.
Hotels reserved. Check.
Since having flights confirmed, I’ve spent most of the last 2 days talking to 2 relocation companies who specialise in relocating employees overseas. It is quite a daunting experience. Having never been to Canada before in my life, just researching the different areas of Edmonton and viewing property websites with rentals online, it’s difficult to know what direction to go in and where to focus most of our efforts during the orientation visit next week. Link this to where the best schools are for the ‘kids’ and you have a double nightmare.
If you had to do this yourself, from scratch, it’s a hard job to manage from such a long distance away. That’s where these specialists in relocating come in. They take the nightmare out of it and use local expertise to target exactly what you need in the shortest space of time.
Next week’s orientation visit is a good example. I’ve already outlined my wish list and our requirements for both the property to live in and schools for the ‘kids’ to attend. With this in mind, the proposal is to spend 1 day obtaining an overview of the area we’ll be moving to, and an outline of the properties available aswell as the quality of the schools nearby. They’ll also provide ‘everyday living advice’ which I’m assuming means nearest supermarket, doctor’s surgery, how to sort out basic utilities, etc.
The next step during our week will concentrate on schools. Education professionals will provide us with a steer on where to focus, set up interviews with schools, provide comparisons and assist with registration. Alongside this, we’ll get an itinerary of the properties available and accompanied visits to those houses we wish to visit. They’ll also guide us on negotiating the appropriate leases and terms. Let’s hope there’s a sweet spot somewhere where the ideal location meets a lovely rental property all of which are near a good school.
If all goes to plan and it’s a successful trip, we’ll be able to ‘tick the boxes’ on getting the essentials in place ready for our physical move over there.
If not, well, I guess I’ll jump that hurdle when and if it arises.
I’m now experiencing first hand what it feels like as we move to becoming ex-patriots overseas. It’s interesting when I reflect back to what I was doing 15 years ago. My job during that period of time was about managing the ex-patriots of a UK-based company in their many locations overseas. I would agree their relocation packages and arrange such relocations for them with firms like the ones I’m now dealing with. The only difference now is that I’m experiencing it first hand, from the other side of the fence – and it’s a completely different experience, let me tell you! Whilst I know I was extremely competent in the role I did 15 years ago, upon reflection, it’s probably one of those things you can only empathise with when you’ve actually undertaken a relocation yourself.
Well I guess the time has come.
Excited about the next week? Absolutely.
Nervous about what we’ll find and whether we get everything done? Possibly.
Want to change our minds? Not in the slightest.
See you in Canada 🙂