Reviewed by Magdalena Ball
The Greatest Moving Abroad Tips in the world
By Lorraine Mace
The Greatest in the World Ltd
ISBN 978-1905151-47-9, £8.99, hardback, Oct 2008
It has been a long time since I’ve moved abroad. I’m not even sure if migrating from the US to the UK and then from the UK to Australia counts as moving ‘abroad’. But there was a time when my husband and I nearly bought our first house in France – a beautiful old ramshackled (and very cheap!) stone house with grapevines hanging from the windows and multiple barns to ‘do up’. I think that’s generally the kind of moving abroad that Lorraine Mace talks about in her new book The Greatest Moving Abroad Tips in the World, but the advice is applicable to any kind of move from one country to another. Mace knows what she’s talking about. An Englishwoman by birth, Mace has lived in five countries, including France, where she now lives, Africa, and the Mediterranean. The book contains information about many aspects of moving abroad that I had to learn the hard way – through trial and error. The book is small, concise, and easy to follow, with colourful images and a very simple point format. Mace is humorous and uses a lighthearted, relaxed writing style that gives the reader the sense that a sage friend is providing advice you can trust. You won’t want to sit down and read it like you’d read a novel, but using it for an overseas move can prevent costly mistakes, and smooth what might otherwise be a pretty tricky transition.
The book is divided into 11 chapters, each of which looks at a specific aspect of the move. Each chapter is lightened with a piece of trivia, a quote, and a neat one page summary. The first chapter covers where to go in the first place. If you’re considering a move, but haven’t decided where, this chapter takes you through a series of questions that you need to consider when making your choice. Other chapters cover things like managing the removal process, dealing with pets, buying a house, dealing with communications from post to Internet, working, playing, driving, staying healthy, and handling money. Although brief, it’s reasonably comprehensive, with lots of checklists, contacts, and a number of questions.
This is a critical guide for anyone considering a move abroad, but it will be of particular value to those in the UK moving to one of the top British destinations, particularly European ones. It’s small enough to fit in your handbag, and a good solid construction that should take the reader through the early stage trips, to the final move, and beyond to settling in. This is a fun, easy to use, and inexpensive guide which could save you lots of costly and painful errors and mistakes. If you’re planning a trip abroad, it would certainly pay to take advantage of the considerable knowledge of the ‘moving abroad queen’ Lorraine Mace.
About the reviewer: Magdalena Ball is the author of Sleep Before Evening, The Art of Assessment, and Quark Soup.