Silly place names across the world

While the UK has a lot of silly place names (seriously), as an international moving company, we’ve discovered that there are places across the world with strange and funny names. Here’s a few of our favourites:

Accident

A town in Maryland, US. Residents are called Accidentals.

Banana

A settlement on Kiritimati Island, Kiribati.

 

Batman

A Turkish city, whose mayor threatened to sue Warner Bros. for the use of its name in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films.

 

Chicken

A former mining village in Alaska. Prospectors wanted to name the town after ptarmigan, a local game bird, but Chicken was easier to spell.

Cow Head

A town in the equally oddly-named Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dinosaur

A town in Colorado, named for the nearby Dinosaur National Monument, home of over 8000 paleontological sites.

Egg

This Austrian town does not farm chickens.

Fishkill

A town along New York’s Hudson River. The name derives from the Dutch “vis kill”, meaning “fish creek”.

Good Grief

A municipality in Idaho.

Happy Adventure

A village of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. There are several theories about the origin of the name; some suggest it’s a reflection of the joyful experience of the first settlers finding such a welcoming environment.

Inexpressible Island

A small island in Antarctica, so named for the inexpressible misery experienced by explorers stranded there in a snow drift in 1912.

Jam

A city in Iran, capital of Jam County; also known as Jām-e Jam.

Kissing

A municipality in Bavaria, Germany. The surname Kissinger (as in Henry Kissinger) means inhabitant of Kissing.

Lizard Lick

An municipality in North Carolina. In 1998, Nintendo held a prelaunch event in Lizard Lick for Yoshi’s Story, an N64 game featuring a reptile named Yoshi who can extend his tongue over long distances.

Mango

An Italian municipality in which no mangoes are grown.

Nameless

This region of Jackson, Tennessee, does in fact have a name.

Ogre

The principle town of Ogre District, Latvia. The town’s name means ‘eel’ in Russian; named for the nearby Ogre River in which many eels used to reside.

Poo

A small town in India, also known as Pooh.

Santa Claus

This city in Georgia includes the street names Candy Cane Road, December Drive, Rudolph Way, Dancer Street, Prancer Street, and Sleigh Street.

Satans Kingdom

A region of Franklin, Massachusetts and Addison, Vermont.

Taylors Mistake

A locality in New Zealand, thought to be named after an incompetent sailor who mistook the bay for nearby Lyttleton Harbour, his captain having thrown himself overboard in an alcoholic fit.

Useless Loop

A small town in Australia, named by a French explorer who found its harbour entirely blocked by a sandbar.

Wagga Wagga

A city in New South Wales, Australia. In the Wiradjuri aboriginal language, the name is thought to mean ‘the place of many crows’.


Pickfords moves customers from the UK to Banana, Kissing, Ogre, and everywhere else on this list. Click here to contact us or get a quote online.

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How to prevent the expat blues

There are many great reasons to move abroad. But like any major life decision, there are also potential downsides. Get ahead of these possible drawbacks by following our top tips to avoid the expat blues and make your overseas experience a positive one:

Video chat regularly

You will inevitably miss friends and family when moving abroad, especially in your first few months. Be sure to regularly catch up with loved ones on Skype or FaceTime, even if it means occasionally waking up early or staying up late to beat the time zones.

Take a few home comforts

It’s good to immerse yourself in the local culture, but make sure you have access to a some home comforts to prevent homesickness. These could be your favourite snacks from back home, some classic British box sets, or your entire iTunes library.

👉 If you’re already abroad, Pickfords unaccompanied personal effects service can bring a piece of home to you, whenever you need it.

Journal your experience

It can be easy to loose sight of why you’re abroad. Make a daily habit of documenting your time there, whether by video diary, a personal blog or paper journal. Read or watch back old entries every now and then to see how far you’ve come.

Practice, practice, practice the local language 

Learning the local dialect is the best way to feel at home in your host country, and constant practice is the best way to learn. Start with a tutor or a quality language app before your leave the UK. Keep up the lessons when abroad if possible, but more importantly, immerse yourself in the language every day by talking with the locals.

Budget

Handling a foreign currency and experiencing different living costs can become overwhelming. Make sure you understand the exchange rate, and keep a strict budget that covers everything you need, as well as the occasional treat.

👉 Whether you’re about to move or are already settled in, manage your money safely with Pickfords’ foreign exchange service.

Get involved

To meet new people with shared interests, join as many clubs and activities as you can. Hanging out with other expats is OK, but get to know plenty of locals to really help you feel at home.


Ready for your move overseas? Contact Pickfords for expert international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

10 reasons to work abroad

Working abroad is a big decision. It means being far away from friends and family, completely removing yourself from home comforts, and turning your day-to-day life upside down. But big changes mean big opportunities. As a working expat, little else will open so many doors, personally or professionally. Here are 10 great reasons to take a job overseas:

1. Improving your CV

Overseas work experience will help your CV stand out from the crowd. Companies will recognise the that you take initiative and are willing to step outside your comfort zone.

2. Learning another language

The best way to learn a foreign language is to live abroad, and doing so will open new doors in your personal and professional life.

3. Discovering another culture

Much like learning the language, the best way to understand another culture is to live in it. Each day will be a new opportunity to learn something about your host country.

4. New skills

Chances are your new employer has a different way of working than their UK equivalent. A new company culture means news skills to be learned, which in turn will open up more opportunities for your career.

5. A global perspective on your industry

Your host country will likely have a distinct of working in your chosen industry; learn from their approach. When you return to the UK, your newfound international wisdom will help you stand out in the local job market.

6. Motivation

Such a big change will give you a new lease on life, at work and at home. Channelling this enthusiasm into your work will lead to a happier, more rewarding experience.

7. Prioritisation

Changing your environment helps you re-evaluate what’s important. What belongings, places, experiences or people will you miss, and what will you be glad to leave behind? Will you use your earnings to take trips back home, or take the opportunity to travel?

8. Personal growth

Similarly, navigating your host country’s culture, both in and outside work,  will challenge your way of thinking. This new perspective on life will encouraging you to grow as a person.

9. New friends

Whether you connect with other expats or befriend the locals, working abroad provides ample opportunity to meet new people and establish lifelong friendships.

10. Travel opportunities

Working abroad means you can make like a tourist during your time off. You can stay local and explore the inner city landmarks, or journey to your host country’s far flung natural sites.


Found your dream job abroad? Contact Pickfords for expert international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

The most visa-friendly careers in New Zealand

One of the most popular destinations for UK expats, New Zealand offers a spectacular scenery, a high quality of living and a wealth of employment opportunities in key industries. We’ve listed New Zealand’s biggest job sectors to help you decide whether this beautiful island nation holds the key to your next career move.

Construction

Auckland’s population surge and the ongoing recovery and rebuilding of Christchurch and Canterbury after the 2010-2012 earthquakes have led to enormous growth for New Zealand’s construction industry.

Roles in demand:

  • Quantity surveyors
  • Designers
  • Foremen
  • Site managers

Engineering

New Zealand’s government has invested heavily in infrastructure, creating great employment opportunities for the engineering industry. This includes a long-term national plan covering transport, telecommunications, energy and water.

Engineers are sought in the following areas: civil, construction, electrical, electronics, environmental, geotechnical, industrial, instrument and electrical, materials, mechanical, mining, petroleum, production, structural and transport specialities.

Health and social services

Population growth and an ageing population has increased the need for trained healthcare professionals. Among the targets are 380 extra specialists every year through to 2021 and an additional 25,000 nurses by 2030.

Virtually every discipline in health and social services requires offshore talent in both the public and private sector.

IT, electronics and telecommunications

ICT is one of New Zealand’s largest industries with over 10,000 businesses in the sector. Increased digitisation, particularly in business, means the industry is now growing at over 9% a year.

This has led to employment growth across the sector, in particular for the following roles:

  • Software engineering
  • Software development
  • Project management
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Administration
  • Business analysis

Science

Home to several research institutions of international renown, New Zealand competes globally in agricultural biotechnology, genomics, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics and nutraceuticals.

Scientists are needed to support New Zealand’s primary industries, such as agriculture and forestry, particularly in research and development. Growth in oil exploration has also created demand for geologists studying oil and gas.


With partner offices in 12 key cities, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expats to New Zealand every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expat dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.

Top tips for buying property abroad

 

Looking for a new home overseas? While navigating foreign real estate can be a daunting prospect, the best advice for buying a home can be applied to most international property markets. Read on to discover how to secure the best overseas property, whatever your destination.

Investigate building your home from scratch

Surprisingly, it can be more cost effective to purchase and build a home on empty land rather than buying an existing property. It’s normal to agree a price with a contractor upfront, sometimes as part of a land and property purchase deal. This way, even if the land price increases during construction, your costs stay the same.

Consider the location of the land

Another benefit of building your overseas property yourself is the potential for increasing its value. Look for land near water or in developing residential areas; you should get a good deal with either. Then, once built, your home will likely increase in value due to its great location.

Research neighbourhood property prices

If you do opt for buying an existing property abroad, investigate house prices in the surrounding area. If the local market has reached its high point, steer clear to avoid losing money on the property over time.

Know your property inside out

Estate agents won’t tell you about the dodgy plumbing or leaky roof. For any prospective overseas property, make sure the appropriate surveys are undertaken so you are aware of any building work required before or after purchase. Survey results will also help in price negotiations if any issues are identified.

Learn about the local area

Decide what you need out of your new neighbourhood and check your list against each prospective property or area of land. This could include:

  • Local amenities
  • Good international schools
  • Low crime rates
  • Access to public transport
  • No planned developments that could impact house prices

Discover property hotspots

Research  in property magazines or online to discover where house prices are predicted or starting to rise in your destination country. As developed cities expand outwards, many suburbs are undergoing rapid development. Invest now, and, market permitting, expect to sell at a profit when you repatriate.


Found your dream property abroad? Contact Pickfords for expert international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

What are the biggest job sectors in Australia?

Boasting good wages and a high standard of living, Australia offers a wide range of employment opportunities for millions of expats. We’ve listed the country’s biggest job sectors to help you decide whether the UK’s most popular expat destination holds the key to your next career move.

Manufacturing

While not the mammoth industry it used to be, manufacturing is still Australia’s leading source of employment. The biggest Australian industries within manufacturing are:

  • Food, beverages and tobacco
  • Metal products
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Petroleum, coal and chemical products

The food and beverage manufacturing industry is the largest in Australia, with meat, beverage and malt manufacturing providing the most opportunities, followed by dairy, sugar and confectionery.

Mining

While mining is another industry in decline, Australia nonetheless remains the world’s leading exporter of coal, mined primarily in Queensland, News South Wales and Victoria. It is also one of the world’s largest producers of aluminium, copper, gold, iron, mineral sands and zinc. Australia’s mining industry employs over 187,000 people directly and nearly 600,000 in support industries.

Agriculture

Farmers and graziers own nearly 135,000 farms covering over 60% of Australia’s landmass. Farming contributes 93% of the domestic food supply, including meat, vegetables, fruit and grains. Including related sectors – manufacturing and processing, distribution and retail – agriculture provides employment for over 1.6 million people.

Finance

Australia’s four major banks – Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ – are among the world’s largest and most profitable. The financial services sector employs 450,000 people, primarily in Sydney and Melbourne.

Tourism

It should come as no surprise that the country’s seven million annual visitors, and enormous domestic tourism market, create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Australia. Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in particular provide a wide range of tourism-related job opportunities.


With partner offices in 39 Australian cities, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Pickfords relocates thousands of expats to Australia every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expat dream, request a callback or contact us on 0800 019 8557.

Moving to the USA: what you need to know

The US is a land of opportunity for many British expats, with commercial centres such as New York and San Francisco offering careers in a diverse range of industries, while sunny states like Florida draw in thousands of retirees in search of the quiet life. So whatever your reason for emigrating, what do you need to get to the US, and what can you expect on arrival?

Entry requirements

British citizens can apply for the Visa Waiver Programme for stays of up to 90 days, otherwise you will need a visa from the US Embassy. Your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. For more information on US entry requirements, visit GOV.UK.

Population

The US has a resident population of over 324 million, making it the third highest populated country in the world. Over 73% of the population is White American, 13% African American, 5% Asian and 1% American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

Language

There is no official language of the US, although 80% of the population speak only (American) English at home. Spanish is the second most spoken dialect, with 45 million speaking it as a first or second language.

The differences between British and American English can occasionally cause confusion; some examples of British words and their American equivalents can be found here.

Climate

Differences in latitude and geographic features mean that climate varies considerably among (and within) major expat destinations; for example:

  • New York City and Austin, Texas undergo large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters
  • Seattle’s climate is oceanic, with cool, wet winters and mild, fairly dry summers
  • North and central Florida have hot-to-humid summers and mild-to-cool winters, while South Florida enjoys a tropical climate
  • San Francisco has a moderate climate: moist, mild winters and dry summers

Quality of life

According to InterNations, expats feel warmly welcomed in the US, and report high satisfaction with their careers and leisure opportunities. While many believe childcare, education and healthcare are expensive, most agree that the quality of these services is high.


With partner offices in 10 key US cities, including New York, LA and Chicago, Pickfords relocates thousands of expats the the US every year; to find out how we can help you fulfil your expat dream, request a callback or contact us on 0800 019 8557.