Research is all good and I agree research is a big thing to do before you make such a big move. Everyone is different though and until you move you wont know how you're going to settle and no amount of research can prepare you for it. We never did a reccie, one reason was the cost but also just having had twins it wasnt very practical. I wasnt to bothered though as living here and coming for a reccie (or holiday as MY eyes would have seen it) are two different things. We are all different at the end of the day and what I find fun and exciting someone else may find very boring and vice versa. At the moment we are happy here and dont find it boring but whose to say in 10 years time when our kids are teenagers if we still feel the same.