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Fabulous Reads: Perfect guide to immigration

Book review - Moving to the UK by Sam Beckbessinger

Moving to the UK, Sam Beckbessinger, Jonathan Ball Publishers, ISBN: 9781776192823

MOVING to the UK is written for South Africans who are considering or who have decided to immigrate to the UK, or even temporarily move there for work purposes or other reasons. It is more geared towards those who want to start a new life in the UK though.

This isn’t Sam’s first book. She wrote a bestseller titled Manage Your Money like a F*cking Grownup: The Best Money Advice You Never Got which was published in 2018. She has also co-written several teen and children’s books. Moving to the UK is her newest publication, and it doesn’t disappoint.

If you have ever considered the weird and wonderful island as your possible new home and wanted to get away from the sometimes insurmountable problems of living in South Africa, like rising costs of living, devastating unemployment, load-shedding, potholes and sewage leaks, then Sam’s book is a must-read. It lays out, in plain language, spiced with laugh-out-loud humorous titbits, everything you need to know, from making the decision, sticking to it, planning the move, finding a job, selling your stuff and/or home, the immigration process, the financial side, finding a new place to live, the weather, the culture, leaving family behind and the emotional ups and downs you are likely to go through. And much more!

She doesn’t paint an unrealistic picture that living in the UK will be problem-free, but gives you a brilliant overview of how your life will most likely be and what problems you may encounter. Sam is like that best buddy you want to take in your hand luggage on the plane trip over to the ‘land of tabloid, tweed and terrible weather’ as she calls it. There is something deeply supportive yet practical and detailed about her writing – even though it’s called a concise guide, it does seem comprehensive enough without being bogged down with boring and unnecessary facts.

Once I put the book down, I felt I could do this – follow a dream I’ve had for years – the dream I’d stashed away because it seemed too daunting and unknown. With her book as my UK bible, I would know what to do every step of the way. She even goes into tax stuff – from the SA side and the UK side – something most people are deeply terrified of. And how to have a baby in the UK – not something I need to worry about but definitely something many young couples would be keen to know.

As someone who considers clothing a vital part of my enjoyment in life, she explained how to dress for the cold winters in a practical way – and even where to buy certain types of items. I know now how to arm myself to combat those icy or rainy days.

On top of providing useful information, Sam talks a bit about her own experiences which makes the book relatable for readers.

Because the book fills a much-needed void in the SA reading market and is written so well, it deserves 5/5 stars. – Kathy Bosman

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