Why? What? When? Are we there yet?
I can't believe how long I have taken to publish this ... This and many other entries were written in the early days ... and I'm glad. My viewpoint is the genuine first thoughts ... I would struggle to write some of the things below now 3 months later!!! haha ... it's time to publish though ... so I will just refine and publish in order of time .... then I will update to the now.
Sadly it’s now November … the above is still true but what’s changed is more than just viewpoints. I am changed, this experience has been huge. Bigger and deeper than I knew was possible. I hope to release a post each week in order of time … Photos have been part of the hold up … so I will find photos and fill in some gaps but they will be genuine real time thoughts I wrote back then until now ….
Disclaimer: This is raw and these are my opinions and feelings. I'd like to think I am not writing anything offensive but you can't please everyone so read at your own risk! I would also really love that you comment .... from simple questions to complicated ones or any questions! I've never blogged before and well it would be nice to know who's reading and your thoughts. Thanks.
It was the start of 2017 that we had this idea, this dream that whilst my job was on hold and the children were not at school we could move countries and experience a different culture. That Ivan who is a guru Business Analyst using SAP could find a job and then we could move. It seemed like a big idea, one that was just a day dream. We said it out loud a few times to family and friends and everyone thought it sounded amazing/crazy but it always made me go home thinking ..... now I feel a bit silly because it seems impossible to make that actually happen. Every once and a while the frustrations of what was not working(eg. too many things and no time to sort it) in our current life would suffocate us and it would come up again. In some ways it was the escape, the change is as good as a holiday but in the end I believe it wasn't either of those but a very calculated and thought out choice. A choice to get out of our comfort zone, to be forced to reduce our belongings, to give a bilingual gift to our children, to expand our horizons, to feel fear and overcome the unknowns and uncertainties and to excite ourselves and feel alive. Barcelona was one of our favourite cities during our 3+mth honeymoon. The food, the culture and Gaudi! Not to mention I can speak Spanish and hold dual Citizenship. So Ivan looked for work. He saw something in the early days of this idea but it was a Spanish company (Ivan was not comfortable to go to a job that was yes English speaking for business but at Spanish company). So the idea died and didn’t return until one day a job fit the bill on LinkedIn. He simply pressed Apply Now. We were called at dinner the following day from the recruitment agency in Spain. From there it was 3 interviews and he had the job, negotiated a higher salary and relocation covered. This time a Swiss company that was creating a completely new team of international mix and offering Ivan a team lead role. Wow .... the ball was in our court for following through on this dream. We are still with a 1 year old and a 3 year old making a huge decision (any mum reading this knows you can barely make small decisions some days let alone life ones .... the head is generally busy doing a 'restoration' restart by the arvo, helped by gin somedays. So we wrote a pros and cons list. We looked at it together and talked about the stand out points .... the ones which actually really mattered. It came down to "we will regret this forever if we don't give it a go". So we did and what an adventure we are on.
I leave with no expectations for this to be peachy. This is not a holiday. This is meant to be hard and be a major personal development with some hurdles along the way with some obvious perks (food!!! And some impressive things to see whenever we want). It's a base camp to travel easily to amazing places on our holidays. Our attitude is open to the good and bad shaping our life experiences. We are fortunate to have a lot of options open to us.
Once this decision was made it was a tough 4 months. Really tough. A big part of this dream was to declutter ... and this is what made this process seriously complicated. Making decisions to the smallest level of detail on whether it was:
Take to Spain
Try to sell if not donate
Give to family
We spent way too long on every little item argh.
Luckily I had support. Although I am not great on making things easy for myself and could have asked for more help it was there when I needed it. Mostly from my parents and sister …. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
The flights. It seems a trivial part of the big picture move but in true Ivan and Alicia style we prioritised this during the booking phase. We studied the hours and converted 'their time' so that they could be eating, sleeping at normal hours and when change over of plane it was 'day time' to them. Well this planning did pay off. The children on the planes were amazing. We followed our routines and Sienna slept like clockwork in the cot and Oliver stayed up a little longer as expected but no craziness. The flight as horribly long as it was went as smoothly as possible with kids.
However, this did mean HELL for the next 5 days .... because we focused so much on keeping their hours of Hobart all the way the adjustment to Barcelona took forever. It was crazy and hard all day and all night for 5 days. I suppose I have no regrets .... surely tough times with kids is better off a plane compared to whilst confined with hundreds of people round you?
So here it begins….