Julie and Jason Pratt decided that they wanted to leave the UK as they were after a less stressful lifestyle but just needed to decide which country to make their new home.
Jason has an uncle in South Africa so that was a consideration as was Spain – they even started having Spanish lessons. However, the call of New Zealand was too strong as it offered everything they were looking for by way of opportunities and lifestyle and so in June 2005 the decision was made to apply for residency to New Zealand.
They applied under the Skilled Migrant category and it was decided that Jason would be the main applicant as his profession (stainless steel fabricator) is on the skills shortage list. Jason began applying for jobs and was contacted by one of the companies almost straightaway who offered him a job after a successful phone interview. The fact that Jason had a job offer sped up the process and they were granted their visas within 3 months of applying.
Julie says, “We decided to sell our house rather than rent it out as we thought it best to cut these ties so we would not be tempted to give up at the first hurdle and come back home”. Their house went on the market early October and within 2 weeks was sold! This was great news for Julie and Jason but meant that they had to quickly finalise their plans to migrate to New Zealand. They stayed with their families until it was time to leave on January 2nd 2006.
Jason and Julie have settled very well in Christchurch and are loving the lifestyle that living in the area affords them. They had just started to learn snowboarding before they left for New Zealand and now with the nearest ski field just 90 minutes away, Jason in particular has become much more proficient. Julie admits that she needs just a bit more time on the slopes!
“We have no regrets and homesickness has not yet kicked in”, says Julie. Their parents are coming out for visits in the next two to three months as well as some friends so they will definitely be busy hosts.
Their dream is to travel New Zealand for a year in a campervan and it seems that their dream will come to fruition quite soon. They are building a house and once they have lived there for a year they will rent it out and then head off into the sunset in their combie!
Where else but New Zealand.