Monday, December 23, 2013

That Time We Almost Moved to France

from: http://weheartit.com/entry/83847768/via/HLily
"What would you think about moving to Australia?"
"Let's do it."
That's the conversation that started our journey to Australia a little over three years ago. And that was pretty much the extent of our discussion. Drew applied for the job and interviewed shortly after that. We found out his application had been successful a few days before Christmas, which left us to break the news to our family over the holiday.

Our announcement was met with varied reactions. Some of our family were naturally worried about us moving so far away, while others excitedly promised to come visit. (I'm still waiting on that visit, brother o' mine.)

When I think back on the people we were then, I feel a rush of love for those two wide-eyed idealists who leaped without looking. Oh sure, we researched the cost of living and determined that we could, in fact, live off of Drew's salary if I couldn't find a job. But for the most part, we saw a fantastic opportunity and let our enthusiasm propel us across the ocean.

We had a similar decision to make just recently, but our reaction to it was so very different.

A couple of months ago, Drew was offered a job in France. I could picture myself there...sitting in a French cafe, typing away on my great American novel—like Hemingway and Fitzgerald—un cafĂ© in one hand and un pain au chocolate in the other. (Never mind that I couldn't type if I had a coffee in one hand and a croissant in the other. Also, I suppose if I really wanted to be like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, I'd probably have a carafe of wine in front of me.)
Taken during our trip to France in April. Bienvenue means 'welcome.'
We spent weeks going back and forth, making lists of pros and cons, and crunching budgets. Reality kicked in. The salary wasn't enough to support both of us and there was no guarantee that I'd find a job easily.

Plus, to be honest, we now know just how hard it is to move to a new country. It's not just the physical moving of all your belongings. It's having to find a place to live, organizing health insurance and visas, and trying to make sure you don't commit any cultural faux pas once you arrive. It's the constantly feeling like you're out of sync with everyone around you, whether it be because of language barriers or because you walk on the wrong side of the sidewalk or because you didn't watch the same tv shows growing up.

We turned down the job. I waved goodbye to my dream of living in France. It was the right decision, I know that. It gives us more time in Australia, more time to spend with our friends here and to explore all of the places in Australia that we still want to see.

from http://www.etsy.com/listing/92922476/paris-fund-glass-jar-with-lid-lovely
In the meantime, we're starting a travel fund so that, one day, we can spend a month or two traveling around France. And we're not ruling out moving to a different country in the future. We're just checking out the ground below us before we leap these days.