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“Moving abroad with children” releases later this week, so here are some more details about what it covers!

The first part of the book is an introduction, which begins with our story. Here it is:

At eight months pregnant with our second child I came to the Netherlands for the first time. We visited the place that had offered my husband a permanent job, and explored areas where we might want to live if we were to take up the job offer. After we returned he accepted that job the same day I went into hospital to be induced for her birth.

Four months later the four of us came here on holiday to scope out places to live. We ended up finding a house which we would buy on that trip. Then we moved from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands when she was eight months old, and our son was nearly three years old. I am now writing the book I wished I’d had to help me organise our move, to help guide other families who are making an international move.

For us, because of the length of the notice period for my husband’s previous job, we had a long lead time for our move. That meant that we had time to organise everything, which was a blessing with a new baby and a toddler. We sold our house in the UK and agreed to buy one in the Netherlands. We sorted through all of our belongings and got rid of lots, before we packed it all up and had it shipped here. We had time to research different places to live and work out what was important to us. And we could do things to say goodbye to our old house and to create mementos of our move.

I know that for many that isn’t the case, and you’re expected to jump up and move with maybe only a few weeks’ notice. I hope that this book will help you with the things you need to consider when looking for a new place to live, and all the things you need to make your move successful.

I will try to make this book as relevant as possible to all countries, while including examples from our experience and from friends. While all countries have their own details and quirks, I hope that I can give some guidance on what to look for in your own situation.

Our situation was a move from the UK to the Netherlands, which isn’t all that far for an international move. But we still left all of our family and friends behind to start anew in a place with a different language; a language none of us spoke before we moved here. We are lucky to be close enough we can still go back to visit a few times a year, and that friends and family come frequently to visit. In fact, having space to put up visitors was one of the key things we looked for in our house.

We are just approaching the five-year anniversary of our move here. Both children are happy at the local Dutch school, operating mostly in Dutch with no problems. We are part of the community and celebrate the local events, as well as keeping up some British traditions too. I worked hard to learn Dutch and have got a Dutch as a second language qualification. My husband is also taking lessons and working to improve his Dutch. His workplace is mostly English-speaking, so that limits his ability to practise. We are pleased with the town we have moved to and (at the moment anyway) have no plans to return to the UK.

The table of contents for the rest of the book:

  • Part One: Intro
    • Our story
    • Who this book is for
    • What this book isn’t
  • Part Two: Before you move
    • Chapter 1: Opportunities
      • Within the EU
      • Beyond the EU
      • Employed v self-employed
      • Accompanying partner
    • Chapter 2: Planning where to live
      • First thoughts
      • Children
      • Work
      • Final choice
    • Chapter 3: Practicalities
      • Preparing to move
      •  Administration
      • Your belongings
      • Pets
      • Personal transport
  • Part Three: After you’ve moved
    • Chapter 4: Settling in
      • When you first arrive
      • Shops & amenities
      • Childcare & schools
      • Schedule
    • Chapter 5: Looking forward
      • Meeting people
      • Saying in touch
      • Travel
      • Cultural traditions
    • Chapter 6: Healthcare
      • Types of healthcare
      • Health services available
      • Mental health
      • Having a baby
      • Long-term sickness
    • Chapter 7: longer term questions
      • Languages
      • Permanent residency & nationality
      • Voting
      • Children leaving home
      • Retirement
  • Final thoughts

If this sounds like something that would be useful for you then pre-order it now! The price will go up after publication!

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