Abu Dhabi – How many pairs of shoes do you need?

My colleague has just accepted a post in Abu Dhabi. A fantastic opportunity for her, yet a daunting prospect at leaving her family and friends here in the UK. The countdown began two weeks ago when following a lengthy telephone interview, an email confirmed the details which made her current salary in the UK appear derisory. Add to the fact that it is tax-free and she cannot stop herself from smiling.

Normally a fantastically organised person, there is now a slight chaos as the leaving date looms. With some many things to think of it is surprising that she can do her day job as she prepares to up sticks and travel to the other side of the world. Perhaps as a man I don’t appreciate these matters but many of the discussions in the office have involved shoes! How many pairs will she need, in my view 4 maybe 5 at most but no, currently 30 pairs will occupy one of the two suitcases that she is permitted to take aboard her flight. The picture represents only half the collection.

Of all the worldly goods that may be needed, these are her priority.  Fortunately her new employers are paying for an extra suitcase to be flown out, a shipping container may be more appropriate from the amount of clothes purchased recently, I have pointed out that there will be shops there!

I can only imagine the difficulties that face the many thousands of UK people who relocate overseas to pursue their careers. There are many major companies who specialise in relocation and attend to all the last-minute details but my colleague is organising herself and I think she prefers it that way.

To date I have not experienced a move overseas although packing for a holiday in Australia with an 18 month old felt like one, but I have considerable professional experience advising couples or individuals who relocate back to the UK.

It will be sad to see my colleague go, but know what a fantastic opportunity awaits her so for now all I have to do is wish her bon voyage!

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