The last weeks have been a bit mental. To illustrate, this is roughly how I feel right now:
Let me go back in time a little and tell you just how it got this far.
Expat life in Sydney
Nick and I had been living in Sydney for almost 2 years and it was great. Sydney is big… bold… buzzing… just brilliant. It’s a great place to live, work and we had a pretty good life with friends, parties, gym classes, weekends away, cooking together, feeding kangaroos and watching Master Chef (as you do).
But then we looked on the map and realized that Sydney actually is the other side of the planet.
With some of our family members getting ill and even passing away, missed weddings, new babies & lots of birthdays we didn’t attend and some additional work issues that I won’t get into any further, we knew we had a big decision to make.
We decided it was time to return to Europe.
If you’ve travelled for a long time yourself, please let me know if this is normal, or if it’s just us.
Before you leave, everyone asks you:
And then you return. And they ask you:
So we sat down and asked ourselves: Why do we return?
Besides the -very important- family part of it all, it is also because we felt the strong need to keep moving forward in our lives. To accept new challenges and don’t stick with an old situation, even if that means having (a little bit) more security.
Finding work in The Netherlands
So all good, we moved back to The Netherlands, even though we knew that finding work in Amsterdam, especially for Nick as an architect, would be challenging.
We didn’t realize it was going to be near impossible.
After sending in the 80th job application, Nick developed a twitch in his eye and started gnawing on the furniture.
We obviously needed to change something. Again.
So we did.
Nick started looking for work in Rotterdam. And then in Germany. And then in China, but our mothers lost it a little there, so he started looking in the UK instead.
And finally, after 7 months of making me breakfast and giving me back rubs (I *wish!*), he got an e-mail.
And then another one.
Manchester VS London
With two job offers, things didn’t get easier at all. Being totally opposite of each other (staff/projects/vision, etc.), and one being in a city we both never visited before, it was so hard to choose!
I actually Googled Manchester and read it was called the ‘Rainy City’. I might have slipped out a ‘I’m not going to spend four years in the f*-ing rain!’. My friend suggested it would make a good blog title.
But then we agreed that London has rain all the time too, so this really wasn’t a deciding factor.
Long story short, the Manchester guys pulled out at the last minute and so Nick accepted the London job and I was happy.
Just to paint the picture right for you: at this moment his parents were on a holiday, my boss wasn’t in for another week, we didn’t really have a place to store our belongings, I already planned my 10-day trip to Ireland and his new boss wanted him to start… well the next Monday.
Where we should be feeling like this:
We felt more like this:
After hearing the news on a Tuesday, we packed up our whole house on Wednesday, moved everything into my parents house on Thursday (*surprise mom!*) and said goodbye to Nicks parents over the weekend.
Nick was on a plane the next Monday and I stayed behind as I still had work to finish.
Moving countries is not glamorous.
It really isn’t. I feel bad for Nick having to sort out our house, bank account, tax number and phone connection all on his own.
He told me the UK isn’t as easy to get settled in as it was in Sydney, but he’s making slow progress… and learning his first local swear words, so I believe we will be alright.
But when I make the move across the pond (which by the way will be on Sunday the 27th of October), I know that I will have a bed to sleep in and plate to eat from.
This last one I actually know for sure, because I will be driving the car bringing those plates to the new place!
All that’s left for us to do now is to keep calm, carry on and do 2 last things:
1. Practice our funny walks
2. Get rid of our ridiculous Australian accents.
Especially Nick, of course.