Thursday, September 22, 2016

Limbo land - here we are again

Random fact: I always thought I'd be a homebody. When we'd go on holidays as a kid I'd just be missing my house and my horses and just wanting to be home. I'd never even been on a plane until I was almost 20. I thought after finishing our degrees we'd just settle down; buy a house; get a dog; have some kids. I never would have thought we'd ever do this travel/expat thing, let alone for so long. I never thought we'd start our family while living in foreign countries. I still remember vividly the conversation Mitch and I had that started it all, back when we lived in Wooloowin. We were out walking around the neighbourhood after work and he casually mentioned that he had options to intern in foreign countries during his PhD and how did I like the sound of southern France? And I mean - who says no to France?!?! So, in 2007 we moved to France for a 6 month internship on a whim, having never been to Europe and speaking very little French. In 2008 we moved back to Australia. In 2010 we moved to the Netherlands. In 2011 we (kinda moved - short 2 month stint) to Switzerland and back to the Netherlands. In 2012 we moved to the USA. And now, in 2016 we are finally moving home.

And, as it happens with international moves, I find myself once more in this strange kind of limbo land. All of our most precious earthly belongings have been carefully packed into boxes by the movers, taken in a truck and (I assume) are on, if not on their way to being loaded in a shipping container and on a boat to cross the Pacific ocean and hopefully find us again in Brisbane. We still have a houseful of stuff - too much stuff in fact, (anyone want things?! Because we've got them and they're going cheap!) so it's not like we're living in an empty box, but still.

Life feels on hold.

I know change is coming, but we're not there yet. But at the same time, we're also not living our 'normal' lives here. I'm simply trying to pass the remaining days with 3 tiny humans underfoot 24/7 and somehow stay sane while avoiding the fact that I'm going to have to say goodbye to some people that mean an awful lot to me just next month. Denial, anyone? I remember feeling like this in the weeks before we left Holland. Deja vu. Just in a much warmer climate and with a whole new level of exhaustion that only mothering three tiny humans while organizing an international move can bring on.

The boys are ready to go. Instead of playing house, they play 'lets move to Australia!' and pack their little bags full of toys which, I hate to break it to them - are going to go to Goodwill next month. Ollie asks me daily if we can get on the big plane tonight, thanks very much. I know the transition is probably going to be challenging for them as for all intents and purposes, my children are American but we've talked this move up so much - they are also ready to be out of this limbo land. And as much as I am sad to say goodbye to this chapter of our lives, I'm so ready to start living again. I spend any spare moments I have - usually while breastfeeding - looking at real estate and cars and picking out furniture for my imaginary home.

It's a strange phase we're in right now. I'm so ready to move on and start this next chapter of our lives, but also struggling with the fact that there are some really, really hard goodbyes I'm going to have to say next month. Good thing we are going to be back (well Mitch - and I plan to tag along with the kids on school holidays!) for visits, as that eases the sadness a little. And hey - anyone wanna meet us in Hawaii? It's practically halfway, and I'm already plotting another trip!

Change is hard people. Some days are easier than others, but even good, exciting changes - changes that you hoped and prayed for for so long, they're still hard.

Moving is bittersweet, that's the understatement of the year.

31 sleeps and counting.

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1 comment:

  1. I understand the limbo of moving, though we haven't done international. The waiting is definitely the hardest part.


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