Many people have asked me about my experiences of relocating from Britain to the United States to start a job at Microsoft in September 2003, so I have written down some advice and guidance based on how it worked for my move -- in the hope that this may help others. Part 1 - A New Beginning
While living in London, England I was offered a job at Microsoft in Redmond, WA in September 2003. Part of the job offer included international relocation assistance. The short version of the story is that Microsoft Relocation Services were absolutely great, and made it as easy as it possibly could have been to move me and my family over here and get everyone settled. The Relocation Services helped with arranging a Realtor, finding and purchasing a house, getting the kids registered in the local school, etc. Even with all that assistance though, there was still a lot more involved in relocating to the USA then we ever anticipated, so here is some of my relocation experiences recorded for any other people about to make a similar move.
Some of my experiences may well be specific to my move, to a high-tech job or the Pacific North West where I settled, but I hope I have extracted the points that will be generally applicable.
Genesis 12:1, 4-5 [New Living Translation]
1 The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family, and go to the land that I will show you."
4 So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth -- his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran -- and headed for the land of Canaan.
Whatever your reason for relocating, moving to a new country does represent a whole new phase of anyone's life, and a chance to start over again with a new beginning and a clean slate.
If you have not thought about what is really important to you in your life or what your aspirations are, then this is a great time to consider those questions and to reshape your life in the direction you really want it to go. Making a fresh start in a new country will at times really challenge you to know what your values and purpose in life are. If you have not already done so, then I recommend you check out a video or book of Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" which should put a lot of things into perspective.
There will still be some significant challenges involved with the practicalities of relocating to the USA though, so let's explore some of the most significant differences and hurdles that we encountered when moving from London to Redmond.
Experiences Relocating to the USA from the UK
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