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Spanish Life, Pick The Best Region For You

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For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

If you are considering a move to Spain the choice of regions in which to live is vast. Whether you’re looking for culture or sunshine or a large expat community or indeed a mixture of all three, Spain has plenty to offer in terms of options.

But where to start? Our list of options below should help you make that all important choice.

1.Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca which houses the popular resorts of Alicante and Benidorm, is still in great demand with expats, Brits in particular. Over 30,000 Brits already live in the area. This may, or may not, be your cup of tea. That said, whilst the population is thriving in the popular resorts you’ll certainly be able to find quieter areas with plenty of sunshine on offer (and a world class golf course, or two). The coastal town of Moraira is popular with retirees and Benissa allows expats to be incorporated into the Spanish community.

2. Costa Calida

Known as the ‘warm coast’ Costa Calida’s micro-climate offers warm weather for much of the year. It is also famed for its numerous golf courses and the La Manga coastline, which is where most of the tourism is based. The coastline is becoming increasingly in demand with expats, and small communities called “Voortrekker” communities are flourishing. The towns of Lorca, Caravaca and Mula are most popular.

3. Costa Almeria

Situated in Andalucia, the Costa Almeria is an area that attracts many expats due to its glorious climate which reaches 30 degrees in the summer, but only dips to 16-20 degrees in the winter. It also has the added attraction of being an unspoiled and traditional region of Spain. Almeria is the capital of Andalucia and with a growing tourist trade this is a good place to find employment, especially in the retail trade. If you want to avoid the crowds however there are plenty of small villages to find some tranquility.

4. Costa del Sol

What’s not to like about the sunshine coast? One of the most popular regions in Spain thanks to its all-year-round sunny climate. With thriving resorts such as Marbella, Malaga and Torremolinos this is not the area to head to for laid-back living. It’s busy. And busy most of the year. That said, if you’re looking for somewhere with good expat schools, medical services and golf courses it might just be the place for you.

5. Costa de la Luz

Situated facing the Atlantic Ocean, Costa de la Luz has a different feel to it with a huge array of natural reserves and natural attractions. Mostly popular with German and French expats, it is becoming increasingly occupied by Brits too. House prices are reasonable, although rising, and crime in cities such as Cadiz is minimal. Head to the larger areas such as Jerez de la Frontera for good schools and employment opportunities.

If you are thinking of moving to Spain PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image: Playa La Mata by Costa Insider: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Tips For Finding the Perfect Country To Relocate To

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

Kevin Stanchfield  Downtown LA skyline. Just after sunset.

Kevin Stanchfield
Downtown LA skyline. Just after sunset.

With advancements in travel the world has become a much smaller place. With over 5 million Brits living abroad, emigration is certainly an attractive proposition to many. But where to start? Many people will have a rough idea of the kind of job they want to pursue or even the climate they want to live in. But other key factors such as language, proximity to home and living standards can have a major influence on choosing a suitable destination.

With so much at stake, we’ve put together some tips to help you choose the right country:

1. Do your research. You may fancy life Down Under but if you don’t meet their strict immigration criteria you won’t get in. New Zealand too draws up a list of careers eligible for a visa, so make sure you read up on all the details. Those careers currently in demand are medicine, engineering and IT. The good news however is if you’re currently moving within the EU things are much easier.

2. Fancy learning a new language? There are plenty of places in the world where you can stick to speaking your native language. In fact, all countries have large expat communities so you’ll never be too far from a familiar conversation. However, you may want to be more adventurous. In countries such as Denmark learning the language is imperative. It’s easy to find courses through your local council who are obliged to offer courses to all foreign residents.

3. Read about the country in all its glory. You may have read A Year In Provence but does it really reflect what life is currently like in southeastern France? It’s unlikely. If you have a family, you’ll need to look into the school system and childcare facilities. Take some time to research housing and social welfare provision and different towns and cities within your chosen country. Expat Forums can give you interesting insights.

4. Look into the weather. Living in a warmer country is often a reason many people (especially Brits) choose to move to a new country. Sunny days may be great for a holiday but can you see yourself working and living in 40’ heat, which you might face if you move to UAE. Just like the UK the weather can be totally different around the country so when choosing a location, make sure you check thoroughly. Los Angeles may be gloriously sunny all year, but New York certainly isn’t.

5. Choose your lifestyle. What kind of life do you want in your new location? Beach barbecues? Balanced working hours? A busy social life? A large salary? Everyone will want something different but it’s important to be clear about what your priorities are. Working in Asian Pacific countries pays an expat on average $126,000 (£95,000) dollars, compared with the global average of $104,000 (£79,000).

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Packing your pet, the cost and quarantine

 

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

elizabeth tersigni, My Dog

elizabeth tersigni, My Dog

 

As important members of the family, when someone decides to relocate, the cat or dog have to come too. Depending upon where you are moving to this is either relatively easy – or quite complicated. In fact, getting an animal into some countries can be almost as tricky as applying for your own work permits or visas. The best families can do is be mindful that when they are thinking of relocation, they factor in time and consideration for what the pet’s needs are. For example, demand is high in some countries for quarantine accommodation, so if you don’t book your pet in early, they may get left behind. Others require blood tests and tape worm immunisations whilst others do not.

To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of checks you need to do, depending upon which country you are moving onto.

Moving from one EU country to another:

Thanks to the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) owners of cats, dogs and ferrets (!) can transport their animals within Europe, following a relatively easy and straightforward scheme which sees them being issued with their own passport. This is done once a series of other procedures have been completed. In the UK only Official Veterinarians (OVs) are able to produce a pet passport. Your local vet is most likely to be able to point you in the right direction.

This scheme allows for pet owners to move their dogs and cats to Europe (and a host of other countries, see list here) by following certain criteria set by the The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs:

1. a microchip

2. a rabies vaccination (make sure your pet is microchipped first or the vaccination won’t count)

3. a pet passport or official third country veterinary certificate.

4. tapeworm treatment (for dogs only)

You must wait 21 days from the date of the rabies vaccination before traveling.

The cost of the procedures including vaccinations and documents could be in the region of £200, but remember the cost of flying or shipping them to your new destination may be expensive, and include the price of a ticket and transportation. Costs will be dependent upon the size of the animal and whether it can travel with you or it has to go in the hold. Shipping or flying costs will also vary.

Moving from the UK to Australia

Moving your dog or cat or horse (hamsters, ferrets and rabbits need not apply!) is relatively complicated in Australia and it’s worth getting yourself fully versed in what’s required. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has step-by-step lists for both dog and cat owners about what they need to do before and during the moving process.

Certain dogs are not allowed into Australia and a full list can be found here

First up, all dogs must be microchipped and need to receive a rabies virus vaccine after which they are then scanned for the Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre (RNAT) test. There are strict rules around the test and dogs are not eligible to be allowed into Australia until at least 180 days from the date the blood test was drawn.

Once this is complete you will then need to apply and pay for an import permit, book tentative post entry quarantine accommodation, take out various other tests on your dog, including an external parasite treatment before obtaining a Completion of Veterinary Health Certificate.

Once your pet has arrived in Australia they will be subject to 10 days quarantine, but if there are any health issues, this time can be extended. Clear step-by-step information can be found here. Information about transporting cats can also be found at the same address.

It can cost anything from £1,900 to £3,000 to transport a dog or cat from the UK to Australia, so once again factor this all in when you are pulling together a budget. It actually may be more expensive to take your dog abroad than it is a young child.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

The high cost of childcare in Australia

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

Leoni Leßmann

Leoni Leßmann

                                                                                                                                                                                

For many working families, the cost of childcare can make or break a decision about who heads off to work each morning, and for how long. Full-time, part-time and flexi-time options may allow more participation in the workforce but in Australia but the rising cost of childcare is becoming an issue for many parents.

In March of this year, Australian Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development, Kate Ellis highlighted the rising cost of childcare under the Liberal government. Despite the Liberal promise that childcare would become more affordable she released figures proving otherwise.

They revealed that a ‘family on an income of $155,000 (£89,000) a year are, on average, paying an extra $7400 (£4,259) for child care under Turnbull’s Liberals’.

Politics aside, the rise in childcare can be attributed to many factors present in Australian society. There has been a real increase in female participation in the workforce, which has in turn increased demand. Figures from the beginning of 2016 show that 59.4% of women are now in the workforce, a figure that has risen from 43.4% in 1978. Statistics show that more women go back to work – and full-time work – at that if the childcare provision is good. With the increase in demand, there is very little incentive for childcare providers to reduce their costs.

A report compiled by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling found that the cost of child care had risen by 150% from $30 (£17) a day in 2003 to $75 (£43) 10 years later.

There are many options for Australian’s when it comes to childcare. The Australian government website MyChild lists them Long Day Care, Family Day Care, In Home Care, Outside School Hours Care and Occasional Care.

Some parents are eligible for Childcare Benefit, although this is income related, and limited to approved or registered childcare. It is, however, one way parents can afford to go back to work, for now.

There are obviously huge variations of costs dependant entirely on where you live.  In Sydney itself, parents in the outer suburbs can pay $60 (£34.50) a day, whilst families on the lower north shore, and eastern suburbs, can find fees topping $160 (£92).

There are plans afoot to change the childcare system, with the government attempting to decrease the cost by July 2017. They are hoping to cap an hourly limit of $11.50 and streamline subsidies for parents. The Childcare Subsidy plan will be means tested, and offer parents a subsidy of between 50% and 85% of the actual fee. There are other credentials to be met but it seems to be a step in the right direction. Although many argue that some childcare will still be too expensive.

The Australian government hope that: “The Childcare Subsidy will provide assistance to meet the cost of childcare for parents who are working, looking for work, training, studying or undertaking any other recognised activity such as volunteering. These changes will provide more generous assistance for hardworking Australian families.”

Whether it does this remains to be seen. Watch this space.

If you are considering a move to Australia PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Can you escape student debt by studying abroad more cheaply?

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Francisco Osorio, University Life 253

Francisco Osorio, University Life 253

 

For some UK youngsters, the idea of studying abroad is hugely appealing. There is the promise of a new cultural experience, and maybe the chance to learn a new language, or enjoy a touch more sunshine. For young people with a sense of adventure, this is a much more alluring package than staying put in the UK.

On the purely practical side, studying overseas is an effective tactic to help reduce the impact of student debt. Recent research has revealed the UK to be one of the most expensive countries in the world to study for a degree.

Travel money company FAIRFX compiled a list of the cheapest and most expensive countries in the world to be a student, based on average annual tuition fees and living costs. India was the cheapest, with a yearly cost of just £3,629.62. Russia came a close second with an amount of £4,449.90, followed by Mexico, Spain, and Belgium.

Britain was one of the most expensive places to get a university degree, with an annual cost of £21,000. Only the US, Singapore, South Korea and Australia were costlier. To put this in perspective, studying for a year in China or France would cost three times less – about £7,000. In Brazil, it would cost around £8,000, and in New Zealand about £13,000.

With the prospect of paying out £63,000 in tuition fees and living costs over the duration of a three-year university course, it’s no wonder that many students are unsure that a university degree is worth the investment. For those who wish to achieve this goal, studying abroad is one way to cut costs, with lower tuition fees and reduced cost of living.

One potential spanner in the works could be Brexit. However, while there is uncertainty over its impact on UK students in European universities, it’s safe to say that fees for British students will be the same as those paid by other EU students until the UK officially leaves. The severing of ties is expected to take a minimum of two years.

After that point, we don’t know what will happen for sure. Maastricht University in the Netherlands recently stated that, if Britain leaves, its tuition fees “might” rise, from the current rate of £1,600 to between £6,300 and £8,360.

Ultimately, EU countries will each adopt their own approach. A change to fees is unlikely in Germany, for example, since study there is free to students of all nationalities. In other EU countries, though, there may be some penalty.

The impact of Brexit on the economy may also be a factor for students to consider. It is possible that the pound will remain weak against other currencies, affecting outgoing and incoming international students who pay tuition fees in a currency other than their own.

There’s clearly a lot to weigh up – but, at this moment in time, studying abroad clearly pays dividends – both financially, and in experiential terms.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International Removals can help. We are a family run company, providing friendly, professional and stress-free overseas moves. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so we are experts in full or part household removals, sending excess baggage and shipping vehicles. Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

How long should you give yourself before deciding to come home from a move abroad?

A moment to reflect

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Any expat that tells you they never wanted to come home is probably not telling the whole truth. It is par for the course that the expat blues will set in at some point, as the adrenaline of a move to a new country wears off and the holiday vibe gives way to normality.

Many expats describe being hit by homesickness that’s almost like grief. They mourn the loss of family, friends and everything familiar. Grief is a good analogy, because the emotional stages an expat goes through are very similar: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance. But, for a small minority, the feeling of comfortable acceptance of their life in a new country, is elusive.

So, when is it ok to say: I’m not happy; I’m going home? If the feeling of being unsettled persists, how long should you wait before you throw in the towel and book a return ticket?

The answer is that it’s completely individual. The important thing is to do some honest soul searching before you make any rash decision. If you stopped beating yourself up about your understandable feelings of loneliness and displacement, could you take one day at a time?

If you decide you can manage the 24-hours-at-a-time approach, there are a few strategies you can try to immerse yourself in expat life and find a sense of belonging:

1. Stay connected

When you’re an expat, it’s OK to be a smartphone addict. Stay connected with people at home through email, Facebook, Instagram, and Skype. Your phone is also your best friend when it comes to researching and exploring your new area.

2. Read/write expat blogs

Reading about other people’s expat experiences will make you face the fact that you aren’t alone. Everything you’re feeling right now has been felt by thousands before you. The courageous act of moving to another country is fraught with anxieties and these are well documented in expat blogs, forums and Facebook communities.

If you feel brave enough to start your own blog, this can be a great way to share your new life with people back home. Many expats also find it therapeutic to use their blog to offload their feelings, both when expat life is rosy and when it feels less so.

3. Immerse yourself

Keep busy with work, volunteering, studying and social engagements – when you’re busy your mind has other things to focus on than anxieties. Getting out and meeting people is also crucial – once you have people to say “Hi” to, or even go out for a coffee with, you will start to see the potential for making new friends.

4. Indulge in some home comforts

Keep some of your favourite foods from home in the cupboard, stream your favourite TV shows or radio programmes from home. There’s no need to leave it all behind!

5. Plan a daily adventure

Try something new every day… A different route to the supermarket, a coffee shop that caught your eye, taking the train, or saying hello to someone you pass on your walk to work. You’ll feel good about taking small steps towards being at home.

6. Do what you love

Discover exercise classes, revive your hobbies, go for a walk, join a book club. One thing hasn’t changed – you are still YOU, so give yourself time and space to do the things that you enjoy. Exercise and hobbies are a great way of living in the moment, practising mindfulness, and escaping the stress of looking to the past, or future.

Taking a day at a time, and making an effort to integrate, helps overcome the hurdle of homesickness and allows expats to continue living abroad for as long as it suits them. Most adjust, although it’s common for it to take six months or longer to really feel ‘at home’.

Many expats do come home eventually, with the top five reasons being: financial difficulties, cultural differences, visa expiration and lack of social interaction. However, it is now thought that 1.2 million British people live abroad and that number is rising. In the year to September 2015, around 40,000 more British nationals left the UK to live abroad than came back.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image: ‘A Moment to reflect’ by Jonathan Combe https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding Australian Politics

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

The British Queen is Australia’s Head of State, which means the country’s makeup owes much to a political framework that Brits are familiar with. They too have a Prime Minister who is elected predominantly from within two major parties. As the UK has seen in recent years, a Coalition Party has successfully hauled most votes, and given Australia a sense of political certainty.

But where did it all begin?  Australia’s political framework has its early roots in the 1850s when the eastern and western states began to form their own political and parliamentary systems. That said it wasn’t until four decades later when the Labor Party was formed that a real sense of political governance began to take shape.

It wasn’t until the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia on January 1 1901 that the country became united as a whole. It saw the six independent British colonies agree to become one nation as a union of states under a central authority.

The Australian Constitution was created by a British Act called the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901. It held the rules of how the government was going to function. It decided to work within a federal system and a Federal Parliament was agreed. This meant that the powers were divided between central government and six state governments.

The national government consists of the Federal Parliament that includes the Queen (represented by a Governor-General), a Senate and House of Representatives. As in the UK, the government is lead by a Prime Minister who selects their cabinet from a pool of senior ministers all of whom report to parliament. An Australian PM leads the country for three years, after which they have to call an election.  All ministers attend Parliament House, which is situated in the capital city of Canberra.

Within the Australian Senate there are 76 members who can be voted in for terms up to six years. They are very powerful and able to block legislation sent through from the House of Representatives.

The 150 members of the House of Representatives belong to a certain area within the country, sometimes called a ‘seat’. Like the PM they face elections every three years.

Local government is also very powerful within Australia. The six states and two territories, each has its own Parliament. The states have their own Governor and a Premier. These roles are similar to those of Governor-General and Prime Minister at national level. The states also all have their own Supreme Court.

Where national and local governments crossover is within their voting systems. Each follows the rules of an instant run-off system, which sees voters ranking the candidates in order of their preference. The winner is the candidate who secures more than half the votes.

Australia has two main political parties. The Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Coalition Parties that include the Liberal Party of Australia and the Nationals.

The Labor Party are considered centre-left, the Liberals centre-right and the Nationals, conservative.

Currently the Coalition Party are in government. In September 2015 Malcolm Turnball was voted in as the Liberal leader of the Coalition, defeating Tony Abbott in a leadership election. In 2016 he won his own federal election and remains the country’s PM. He is Australia’s 29th Prime Minister.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image: Old & New Parliament House, Canberra, ACT by Brenden Ashton https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

Helping Your Children Settle Abroad

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile 

 

Kelsey_MG_4812  Kids playing in the Youth Rugby Exhibition match.

Kelsey_MG_4812
Kids playing in the Youth Rugby Exhibition match.

                                                                                                                                                                                

Along with huge excitement and opportunities, moving abroad with a family can also throw up issues, especially if there are children in tow.

The ease with which your child settles into their new life will be down in part to their age. Small babies and toddlers will certainly feel the change in terms of the practical aspects of moving house but they are unlikely to feel any emotional wrenches. In this respect they are the easiest to deal with.

 

The older the child gets however, the more complicated the move. Most school-age children will have made friends and formed relationships with relatives. Before they hit the teens though, you will probably find them to be adaptable. They are most likely to seek reassurance from parents that the move is going to be OK. Teenagers on the other hand will have strong feelings about the decision. With a strong network of friends the thought of moving miles away, may not go down well.

The key to coping with the situation is preparation, preparation, preparation. Regardless of the age of the child, if they have a clear idea of what is happening and where they are going to be living, the transition should be easier.

Before you leave talk to your child about the country you are moving to. Show them the house you are going to be living in and the school will be attending. The more involved they are in the process the less scary it will be for them to understand. Give them a chance to talk through their concerns and if you don’t know the answer to something, promise to help sort it out. Allowing them to say goodbye to their friends and family is also a great thing to do. Throw a party, or give them a chance to make a photographic record of their life at home. This will help them, not only move on, but feel that they have been listened to.

Some experts recommend that you read stories to your children so that they can understand what is happening.

Some particular favourites include:

For babies and toddlers: The Bernstain Bears’ Moving Day, Stan and Jan Bernstain

For 9+ Allie Finkle’s Rules For Girls: Moving Day, Meg Cabot

For 13 + Club Expat: A Teenager’s Guide To Moving Overseas, Aniker & Akash Shah

Once in you new overseas home much of what you initially need to do practically will be similar to moving house in the UK. Making sure the children’s rooms are set up and ready quickly will help them settle in more easily. If you have older children getting WiFi installed will be essential as they will be keen to keep talking to their friends.

Over the following weeks and months, as the children start to establish new routines, especially if they are going to school, more challenges will arise for parents. Take charge of younger children’s social lives and invite the neighbour and her kids around for a play date. Find a local nursery school or playgroup so both you and your child can meet new people.

Keep to routines that were firmly established at home. If Sunday, was ‘dog walk and lunch day’ make sure you continue this once in your new country. More family time may be the key to success in settling expat children as they are bound to need more of your guidance. Teenagers in particular may find the initial settlement period very difficult so it’s important to talk to them about how they are feeling and be respectful that they may not have wanted this move as much as you. Encourage them to join clubs, such as sporting activities, if that is what they were into before, and to keep in touch with old friends. Expat communities are all over the world and talking to someone who’s been in the same position as them will help them offload their woes.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

German Entertainment – A PSS Guide

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile 

 

Pedro Ribeiro Simões, Girl reading at the beach Cascais, Portugal

Pedro Ribeiro Simões,
Girl reading at the beach Cascais, Portugal

 

Like much of Europe, German entertainment is based upon a mixture of homegrown talent and actors, novelists and singers from around the globe. Here’s our guide to what you might expect to watch, read or listen to should you move to Germany.

TV – what Germans are watching

Sporting fixtures are very popular in Germany with a staggering 13.84 million viewers tuning in to watch the Germany vs. Georgia European Championshipqualifying match in 2015. Another knockout programme saw Wladimir Klitschko’s fight with British boxer Tyson Fury. 8.91 million viewers tuned in. The start of the new I’m A Celebrity .. Get Me Out of Here! bagged 6.82 million viewers. Other popular series included drama/comedy Red Band Society (Club der Roten Bander) and Sing My Song (Sing Meinen Song). Berlin – Day & Night (Berlin – Tag & Nacht) is one of the country’s top ranking soaps.

Music – what Germans are listening to

Germans also like music that is very familiar across much of Europe. The latest billboard chart in Germany features familiar artists such as Drake, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez and Sia all in the top ten. Other German acts such as Helene Fischer win many of the national music awards.

The top ten selling singles for 2015 in Germany were:

1. OMI, Cheerleader

2. Lost Frequencies, Are You With Me

3. Felix Jaehn, featuring Jasmine Thompson, Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)

4. Ellie Goulding, Love Me Like You Do

5. Major Lazer & DJ Snake, Lean On

6. Sido featuring Andreas Bourani, Astronaut

7. Adele, Hello

8. Robin Schultz, featuring Francesco Yates, Sugar

9. Wiz Khafila featuring Charlie Puth, See You Again

10. Kygo featuring Conrad Sewell, Firestone

Books – what Germans are reading

The most popular book for Germans in 2015 was a Diary of a Wimpy Kid, book 10. This is according to the Boersenblatt trade magazine. They also noted that only one of the top five was written in Germany and 13 of the 25 bestsellers were translations.

The top ten books of 2015 are:

1. Jeff Kinney: Gregs Tagebuch 10 – So ein Mist! (Greg’s Diary 10 – What a bummer!)

2. Jojo Moyes: Ein ganz neues Leben  (A Whole New Life)

3. Paula Hawkins: Girl on the Train

4. Michel Houellebecq: Unterwerfung  (Submission)

5. Dörte Hansen: Altes Land (Old Land)

6. Jean-Luc Bannalec: Bretonischer Stolz (Breton Pride)

7. Lori Nelson Spielman: Nur einen Horizont entfernt (Only A Horizon Away)

8. Rita Falk: Zwetschgendatschikomplott (A Provincial Crime )

9. Lori Nelson Spielman: Morgen kommt ein neuer Himmel (Morning Comes A New Heaven)

10. Jussi Adler-Olsen: Der Grenzenlose (Promise)

 

If you are considering a move to Germany PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

 

Follow The New Zealand Wine Trail

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Maurits Verbiest, Upside down

Maurits Verbiest, Upside down

There are many incredible activities to try out in New Zealand but one of the most enjoyable and most refined has to be exploring the wine trails that are dotted around the North and South Islands.

Renowned for its syrah, pinot noir, merlot and sauvignon grapes, New Zealand is something of a hot-spot for the wine connoisseur. It’s also a great place for those who just like a chilled glass of cabernet sauvignon after a busy day touring the region.

There are three main wine producing areas in New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay, Wairapara and  Marlborough. They account for about 80% of the wine production in New Zealand and house an astonishing 230 wineries and vineyards.

The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail covers 380 kms from Hawke’s Bay in the North to Marlborough in the South. Fully signposted, if you choose to drive this tour they suggest you give yourself four to five days to complete it.  But for those wishing to take it a little easier, there are many cycle tours offered around the vineyards.

Whatever your mode of transport, a trip to the vineyards will be an enjoyable way to sample one of New Zealand’s greatest exports.

Here’s our guide to what the different regions have to offer:

Hawke’s Bay:

As a producer of classic reds such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah, Hawke’s Bay is a great place to sample some of the best wines New Zealand has to offer. In fact, visit the Mission Estate Winery and you’ll find yourself not only in the country’s oldest wineries but also in the birthplace of wine in New Zealand. If you fancy coupling your drinking with some exercise, take one of the many bike tours offered around the region. Coastal Wine Cycles take their clients on the bike pathways around the Tukituki River and the coastal wineries of Te Awanga. Not a bad way to spend a day.

Wairapara:

Just north of New Zealand’s capital city Wellington, the Wairapara region is home to the vineyards of Martinborough. This is the spot to visit if you like pinot noir which is produced by some of the 20 wineries, most of which are family run. Make a visit to the Ata Rangi vineyard which is considered one of the best pinot noir producers in the country. If you choose to take the Martinborough Gourmet Wine Tour you can visit the vineyards, accompanied by an expert guide, who’ll talk about the wines and also take you to great places to eat. What’s not to like?

Marlborough:

Marlborough is often called the sauvignon blanc capital of New Zealand. Unsurprising since it has 90% of the countries sauvignon blanc plantings as well as being home to 76% of its wine production. You’ll find over 150 wineries with many offering open doors and tasting sessions. Plenty of the wineries offer gourmet food too. Big favourites are lunch at Allan Scott Wines which has Marlborough seafood chowder and miso maple Marlborough salmon on the menu or Wairau River Wines for a WR burger served with a glass of reserve pinot noir.

If you are considering a move to abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.