T Minus 86
Moving abroad isn’t cheap!
It’s not just the actual moving – the tickets for myself and the kids are paid for so we only need Anita’s fare. The actual plane flight one way is manageable.
Similarly I get health insurance and a house (basically furnished) as part of the job.If Anita does not get a job this is free but if she does we pay half. Initially Anita has decided that she will not get a job and be there to support the rest of us and immerse herself in the culture. Having lived in Malaŵi for two years this will be a lot easier for her than us, she is already well on the way with learning Swahili.
I will be taking a big pay cut but in Tanzania the cost of living is such that we will be quite comfortable.
So what are the hidden costs?
There are lots of injections to have, although I had quite a few last summer for my trip to Vietnam / Cambodia, the same is not true of the kids or Anita. It’s also virtually impossible to get a BCG injection in the UK now – they don’t get one in school and don’t offer it in health clinics, it also cost a lot. Then there’s Cholera, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Yellow Fever and Tablets for Malaria which we’ll probably get in country after the initial dose.
Shipping is incredibly expensive – we have been quoted £2-3000 for a few square metres of space. We have resolved, at this stage, to avoid shipping and instead take more luggage on the plane and pay for the excess. Obviously we will be taking nowhere near as much as we’d ship so it makes for some tough decisions. Even so we have a reasonably generous flight allowance (46Kg each) from London to “Dar”. We will have to pay excess charges for the internal flight (23Kg each) but will be reimbursed up to our international allowance.
If we knew then what we know now we would not have bought our new car in November. So when we sell it we will be making a loss – can’t be helped.
In Tanzania we will be looking to get a car – apparently the older cars hold their value and although relatively expensive for their age will actually appreciate s little over time.
Like the car if only we had known we might not have set up contracts on phones in the Autumn – they are expensive to get out of. Luckily for me my contract finishes in December so it is a short time. For the others it’s longer.
We will make money on our house – phew! Though there are Estate Agent and Legal Fees to pay. We have also spent money sprucing the place up. Some of this will be going to pay for the above or offset the debts incurred in doing it. The rest we hope to invest.
We are also getting a small amount from the goods we are selling. Every little helps!
Beyond the financial cost there are emotional costs. These are harder to quantify but are real nonetheless – we are leaving comfortable, stable lives; family and friends; regimes and routines. We are exchanging familiarity for the unknown.
Some say we’re brave, others think we’re foolhardy.
Ultimately we believe we’re doing the right thing; following God’s plan.