Got a dilemma? Ask Mum

A common dilemma for families considering emigration is “Should we go on a reconnaissance trip?” also called a reccy and spelt in a number of different ways (recci, reccie, recce). If you’re South African you will be wondering whether to take an L.S.D trip…Look See and Discover before you start getting ideas about those crazy South Africans!

To recci or not? What did we do?

When we applied for Australian Permanent Residency we hadn’t set foot in Australia. We simply felt like a change from London. However it took a while to get our visas and in the meantime we did have time to visit, briefly.

Whilst waiting for our visas to be approved, we spent three weeks on holiday in Oz. We planned to spend longer here as part of a round the world trip but things didn’t work out and we ended up being in a rush to get back to the UK.

As you will read in our Australian Life Readiness Test, we didn’t know much about Australia before moving here.

Whilst planning our family relocation (two years ago) we wondered whether a family reccie was required but once we’d worked through our relocation budget we realised we couldn’t afford it, and the thought of travelling long haul twice with the kids wasn’t appealing.

We doubted that several weeks in Sydney would enable us to draw many real conclusions about where to live and work. We also considered the fact that moving anywhere can be a process of trial and error. You might live in a suburb for a few months or years before realising you’d rather be somewhere else.

Part of our relocation planning was to give Sydney at least a two year trial. We decided to keep our property in London in case we wanted to move back and felt two years was long enough to know whether we were in the right place and make plans for the next chapter.

You’ll know from reading this blog that things have worked out. There were occasions during the initial stressful months in Australia when we realised that had we known more about Sydney and Australia things would have been easier, although we still don’t think, for us, that an easier transition would have justified spending thousands of £s on a reccy.

Of course, we already had our visa by the time we planned our move. The application process didn’t seem costly at the time and applying for residency was a quick decision that didn’t require a reccy.

These days the application costs are higher and global insecurities regarding work and other financial matters may mean families are more measured about the decision to migrate, prior to lodging visa applications.

The comfort factor

Psychologically it helped that we had a holiday in Oz before coming. We spent a few days in Sydney and were blown away by iconic sights like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. This doesn’t help in practical terms when you’re relocating but the fact that you already know something about the destination you’re moving to is a comfort.

If you can readily afford it visiting prior to relocating, or applying for a visa, is the best thing to do but in our experience if you decide not to come on a reccy things will work out. You may feel a little more overwhelmed during your first months here but the outcome can still be good.

What do you think? What did you do?

What do you think? Did you come on a reconnaissance or look see and discover trip to Australia before moving as a family? Did you come on holiday before deciding to apply for visas to live and work in Australia? All the experiences you can share will help others making these important decisions, thank you.

Are you facing a dilemma regarding your family relocation to Australia? Ask Mum! We’ll share our response on the blog and help everyone. Thank you.

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