TinyExpats moving to UK!

The wait is over, documents received, notice given – we are moving to UK!

If you’ve been following my blog, you probably know that after moving around pretty much every one or two years, we’ve been looking for a place, where our older daughter would start school and where we would settle down at least for little longer than a couple of years. After some job search and a lot of wondering what to do, my husband finally received a job offer and we’re starting to plan our move to Warwickshire. I’ll need some more time to provide you with a more exact geographical point of reference.

During the 7 years I lived in UK, I spent majority of my time in London, so I’m a bit unfamiliar with life in smaller towns. My husband, on another hand, spent his childhood in a boarding school in a tiny village in Dorset, so he’s pretty excited to move somewhere closer to nature. So far, it looks like Warwick and Leamington Spa are the most suitable towns, in terms of commute, amount of schools and availability of places to rent. In any case, I’m sure you’ll get to read quite a lot about Warwickshire in the future as well as our experiences with the following:

Finding a school for our older daughter – I’ve already started getting acquainted with the British education system and enrolment procedures, will be writing about that later;

Finding a place to live – it doesn’t look like there’s a great wide choice of properties to rent, but we will know more about that after my husband goes on a house hunting trip;

Shipment – oh yes, the all times favourite; the only thing that makes me not so annoyed with it is that it will be paid by the company; plus, EU to UK seems so much easier than China to Russia, which we had to do once before;

Visa – unlike my husband and our daughters, who are British and can just stroll through passport control, I’m Ukrainian and would have to apply for a family visa, once my husband sorts out all the papers in UK, which means he will go first and we will be joining him later, as soon as my visa’s done;

Pets – a big deal; a hamster, a fish and a giant snail; all pets’ arrangements will be discussed here as well; and as I was asked earlier for a photo of my snail (Xena, the Warrior Princess), I’m posting a photo of Xena and a photo of a fully grown achatina snail:

These snails grow up to 20cm or more and I’m thinking that at that size I will be able to teach her how to bark and bring me slippers, full of hopes for this little lady (snails are hermaphrodites, but Xena is, obviously, a female).

The plan for summer – lots of planning and lots of blogging about it.

Looks like our expat journey has gone full circle: we met each other in UK and left it 8 years ago as a newlywed couple. After 8 years, 4 countries and 2 kids we find ourselves on a way back.


  1. The absolute best of luck in your preparations for the move. Must be kind of a relief and exciting to return to common and well-known turf. i have to say I have never seen a pet quite like your’s.So unique and interesting looking. Where do you keep her in your house? How does she get transported? She could probably fit in a purse!

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  2. How very exciting!! Good luck with the move to UK! We have been to Warwickshire a few times, was the last place we travelled to before moving to New Zealand, posted on our visit to Warwick Castle :-) Look forward to following your journey there, we always liked it better outside London, closer to nature. Am sure the kids will love it!

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  3. Exciting times! It’s great to be able to settle down somewhere longer, especially for the kids and going full circle! Are the kids excited?

    You have such a unique pet – I’ve never known anyone who has snail for a pet before! Cool!! Xena looks quite big. I’m curious how the transportation for the pets go. Busy times for you! X.

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  4. Very cool snail!! We are moving to China very soon and I hope to find many cool pets there for my two young boys!

    We relocated in 2002 from the U.S. to Warwickshire UK and we were there for two and a half years. I honestly have not stopped missing it since the day we had to say goodbye. You will absolutely love it. We lived in a small town called Kenilworth, but the school that my daughters attended there has now closed. Of course if it is a state school you are looking into, then I would still very much recommend Kenilworth as a place to raise a family. The “icing” for me of living in Warwickshire was the ability to visit The Cotswolds on any given day, just choosing a town and exploring the absolute beauty of it all. I also loved picnics at Stratford-on-Avon, just on a whim.

    Good luck on this next part of your adventure! I am green with envy!!!

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  5. We are going to Chonqing. The start date is August 1st, though we have not yet set the date of our one week “look-see” trip yet to go over and find housing, see the school, etc. My husband works for Ford Mo. Co. and will be an exterior design mentor at Chang’an Ford. In the UK, he worked for Jaguar Cars in Coventry. I obviously found your blog due to the massive research I am doing trying to find out all I can about living in China! I’ve never learned to speak a second language before in all my life, and at my age, it will be quite a challenge. But, I am both excited and determined to try my best at being bilingual by the time I return to…well, wherever life may take us. Best wishes to you! I left my heart in Warwickshire, and so I look forward to following your adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! My husband will be starting his job in Jaguar now :) I can’t say anything about Chonqing, we lived in Beijing and Shanghai before. I’m sure you’re in for a culture shock, but there’re lots of positive sides to living in China as well. Wish you all the best there!

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  6. I can’t believe you are moving just up the road (Warwickshire is less than an hour from us) just when we are moving away!!! I have friends in Leamington Spa (their children are all grown up and have left home though, well, they have grandchildren now!) so let me know if you need any info. It’s a lovely part of the country, and you will love it here :) So pleased you’re coming to England, even if we won’t be here.

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    • Yes we will almost certainly be back in June/July next year. You’re in a good position as you can easily go north or south, as well as get to Wales relatively easily, which is a great spot for a holiday. I also thoroughly recommend Bluestone in south Wales with children your age if you haven’t been there or heard of it (it’s a bit like Centreparcs but smaller and I think nicer)

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  7. congratulations for your new adventure!!! We’re also planning our next move back to Europe in December and moving our stuff is a bit more complicated from Australia but we’re very excited too. it’s looks like everyone is moving, WOW! good luck with everything!

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  8. All the very best in the new location. Sounds very much like a fairy tale coming true. Loved the snail, I wish they were available her in Australia. Much better than the giant cockroaches being flogged here in our local pet shop.

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