Moving abroad is nothing new, although the whole process is far easier as a whole than centuries ago: from getting to your new country, to keeping in touch with friends and family. Maybe the difference between now and a few hundred years ago is that it can be for a single job duration, a few years; it isn't such a final decision it appears to have been for those hardy travellers a couple of hundreds years ago.
Our journeys out to our chosen new lands, however, could not have been more different.
I thought our seven-hour flight, complete with plenty of food and drink including a glass of champagne; a large catalogue of films to watch, sitting in reclining chairs, in an air conditioned environment was long and, including the part of our day when I feared we would miss the flight, a pretty eventful journey. My ancestors however, were on a ship for six months and four days. Shortness of food and water, mutiny, manned by a crew made up from desperate men willing to take any chance, in a leaky ship deemed unseaworthy and which was heavily insured with the strong belief it would never reach its destination.
The captain - who had a serious a drink problem and therefore always smelt of rum - had spent over two weeks of the journey in irons as he had been suffering delirious tantrums and threatening to stab someone with a knife. A lot of the time he walked about onboard brandishing a sword, terrifying the passengers.
The ship took so much longer than other vessels at that time to travel from England to New Zealand, the port in New Zealand where they were due to dock presumed the ship had sunk and sent out another vessel in search of them.
It was only by a stroke of very good luck they reached land.
The Hirsts had five children to look after, as well as the frame and timbers for a wooden octagonal house, called The Round House, and which was a prominent landmark of the town in which they settled, until it burnt down many years later. And I thought we were taking everything but the kitchen sink...
She obviously made it back there OK, because she died many many years later aged 93!