If presented the opportunity to move abroad, you have to think long and hard about what it means to you and your family. It is not a decision to make lightly and there is no right or wrong answer. It is a personal choice and sometimes you just have to hope you made the right one.
As expat assignments go I have to say we have been very fortunate. We have had two assignments in Sydney, Australia, one in Auckland, New Zealand and one in Surrey, England. I often think we should use the expat term loosely as we have never truly experienced an 'expat community' where we have had to live in a foreign speaking country. It has been easy for us to assimilate and carry on. The differences are marked but there have been very few hardships.
We are not done with this wanderlust lifestyle. Travelling is the easy part, raising children in the midst of it all is the more challenging aspect of an expat life. I say this with my #1 living in Australia, #2 living in New Zealand, #3 planning to go to college in America and #4 being the greatest challenge of all. He is 11 years old and we have to make plans. We will not be in England forever, in fact the winds of change, which I wrote about here, are blowing thru our life again. Timing is always the question, one year, 2-3 years..who knows. Life in the corporate world is like a game of Dominoes. Everything stands in perfect order until one falls over. You have to be ready to slide back in whenever and wherever is needed. There are three words that are spoken with regularity in our home 'wait and see'. As frustrating as that sounds, it's all you can do.
I knew what I was in for from the get go. When Mr. H. and I met, he was in graduate school studying International Affairs and I was putting a few notches on my belt whilst climbing the corporate ladder. We were both 27 years old. He had lived in various countries in Africa by then and I had managed a few short breaks overseas travelling the Club Med circuit. Our perspectives of the world were markedly different. He had recently returned from the Peace Corp in Africa having taught English and mastering the art of building chicken coops and I was strategising my next move within the arena of corporate politics. More on how we met here.
Love has it's way of working magic and within two years we married. On the day we married, we departed for a life in Sydney and so the story began. During the past 25 years we had a 10 year break back in America..the rest have been spent overseas. We have now spent more time overseas than in our home country which puts us in a very tricky situation. Where is home?
We have two homes, one in Sydney and one in Auckland...we wait. We obtained Australian citizenship along the way with intentions of retiring in Sydney. Funny thing about that word 'retire'...it seems to be elusive. I remember when it was 40, than 50, than 55 and now 60. We have regular conversations, Mr. H. and I, about the future, but they seem to end with those three little words 'wait and see'.
So hear I sit, that breeze is blowing thru our lives again and I have to wonder... when?....where?....how long? and then what?
It's an expat life...I just have to wait and see.
|a few stamps in my passport|
Thank you for reading along. Sometimes writing
helps to see what lays ahead more clearly.
It is part of the journey:)