Moving overseas is more complicated than you think

Well, at least it is when you have to rent out your house and have children who have to go to school.  We want our kids to get exposed to local life overseas so we’ll be enrolling them in school in Zakynthos and then again in Ireland.  Ireland, God bless it, just wants birth certificates. But when it comes to a country with an official language other than English, the paperwork required becomes a bit more complicated. So here are a few things to take into consideration when packing up your house and heading overseas with the kids. Renting out your house. Get a real estate agent to manage this.  For the 8% of rent that they charge it is worth it to not have to worry about things when you are away.  Also, if you are lucky enough to have somewhere else to stay (thank you Mum and Dad) then try to move out a few weeks before you fly out.  I think if I tried to move and then got straight on a plane I’d be a gibbering, stressed out wreck. Make sure you get your mail redirected to someone who can look after things for you while you’re away (thank you Ziki).  Any bills to do with your house can go straight to the real estate agents who can pay them for you. Don’t forget to change over your home insurance to landlord insurance and disconnect all the amenities.  That goes for magazine subscriptions and anything else you’ve subscribed to.  I’ve also been slowly unsubscribing all my email alerts that I won’t need overseas and don’t want clogging up my inbox. Get your gear

Had to buy the coats and shoes online ’cause there aren’t may to be found in Brisbane.

We’ve had to buy larger suitcases, a laptop and new camera for this trip.  We don’t own any winter shoes or coats, because we live in Brisbane, and you don’t tend to have those things here. This also explains the need for a larger suitcase! Give yourself enough time to figure out how to work the camera and get your laptop ready before you leave. Also, if you buy said laptop/camera within 60 days of departure you should be able to claim the tax back at the airport. Citizenship and passports Do not underestimate the complexities and time taken to get your foreign citizenship and passports.  I thought I’d been prudent giving myself about 16 months to get the Irish stuff organized, but, as it turns out, we’re not going to get the boys’ passports in time and we’ll have to get my brother to post them out to us in Greece when they arrive. Pack your filing cabinet

Ok, so this might be a slight exaggeration…

So, I’m playing this little game with myself called “What document could they possibly ask me for that I will have inconveniently left in my filing cabinet under a ton of boxes in the shed and will cause my life overseas to become unnecessarily complicated/stressful/not worth living”.  It’s a lot of fun and I invariably play it around 4am while tossing in bed.  Other than the obvious passports and tickets I’ve come up with the following list:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificates
  • Boys’ report cards
  • Boys’ baptism certificates
  • Boys’ vaccination records
  • Dental records
  • Boys’ Irish Citizenship record
  • International drivers license
  • Qld drivers license
  • Really old expired Irish drivers license (you never know…)
  • Greek tax papers
  • Warranty for new laptop
  • Scuba diving card and logbook

So – what have I forgotten?