Friday, November 4, 2011

The downside of emigrating to New Zealand

Some of my most visited blog posts are the posts I have written about emigrating to New Zealand, such as "Emigrating to New Zealand" and "Emigrating to New Zealand as a midwife". I have also talked about my personal struggles with coming to terms with my new identity and what I miss about England, but at the same time, feeling that moving to New Zealand was the right decision for us as a family: "Emigrating to New Zealand: 12 years later". However, as our parents become older and more frail back in England we have become aware that there is a downside to emigrating to New Zealand.

When we first emigrated we didn't think too much about the future. At the time, we did what we felt was the best thing for our immediate family ie my hubby, myself and our children. But now, years later, the reality of leaving elderly parents and family behind in England is starting to dawn. What we are finding is it is well nigh impossible to support elderly family as they become frail and sick at a distance, and the reality is that close family members will die without us having a chance to say goodbye to them.

If you're thinking about emigrating, you must factor these considerations into your decision making. You may not be able to afford to drop everything and fly to your home country or get time off work, and in times of crises, you may not make it there in time. This may not be an issue for you now, but it may well be in the future.

My biggest fear has been that we would regret our move because we cannot be in England when our family needs us, as parents, uncles and aunties get older. But the bottom line for us has always been that we did what we thought was best for our immediate family at the time. And looking at what our children have achieved because of our move to New Zealand, and where they are now, I do not regret that decision for a moment.


Wayne Mackintosh said...

Sarah, this part of immigration is not easy. Both my parents passed after we immigrated to NZ. One consultation -- is that you parents will understand that you are far away. Nonetheless - -its not easy.

Sarah Stewart said...

How did you manage, Wayne? Any particular advice for people like us?

Frank Jackson said...

Anyone considering emigrating to NZ should first read our tragic experience: