I was sitting on the couch, trying my best to tune into the book I was reading and tune out the conversation going on in our guest bedroom. But our home was constructed in 1926, and the paper thin walls meant I could hear each question and answer, the accents bouncing back and forth from American to Australian. Jared was in the middle of a two-hour interview for a job in Melbourne, and I could tell it was going well. Finally, the interview wrapped up and Jared walked out into the living room. “I think that went really well,” he said. I immediately burst into tears.
I wasn’t surprised that it went well, but I was surprised at my reaction. Jared and I had been talking about moving abroad for over a year. Just a few months prior (at the beginning of 2018), we spent a morning at our favorite coffee shop writing down our personal and professional goals.
One of Jared’s big ambitions was to receive an international job offer.
I’ve always had faith that the Universe listens to our desires, more like waiting for us to give it some direction. The timing of all this only fuels my belief. A few months after writing down our intentions at the coffee shop, a job opening presented itself in Australia. In my early twenties, I spent 2.5 months backpacking around the country, so I immediately had warm feelings about the job location.
We discussed it, started to daydream about what our life would look like, and agreed that Jared should go for it. To be honest, I didn’t invest too much energy into the “what ifs”. I had no idea how far along in the process we would get, so I just continued business as usual. But the meetings and interviews went much faster than I imagined. Every other day it seemed Jared was on the phone talking with a recruiter, his potential new manager, and would be colleagues about the job. Before we knew it he was prepping for the final interview with the big boss.
After weeks of not allowing myself to think too deeply about our potential future, my suppressed emotions erupted post-final interview. Maybe deep down I didn’t think we would need to choose between our dream of living abroad and the wonderful life we’ve created in the Northwest.
I cried because in my heart, I knew that we would choose to leave.
I cried because I already felt the ache of saying goodbye to family and friends.
I cried because I had just hit a stride in my business, and didn’t want to give up what I worked so hard for (turns out I don’t have too.)
I cried because life as I knew it was going to change completely, and even though I was really excited, I mourned the loss of our current lifestyle.
And still, we debated about it EVERYDAY. It was agonizing the amount of times we went back and forth. We felt so torn. We found countless reasons to go, and the same amount of reasons to stay. We spent weeks untangling our emotions and talking through the options. At the end of the day, we knew that choosing to stay in Seattle was a fear-based decision. So we chose the unknown, the new opportunity, the adventure.
Which leads me to here and now, visas in hand and packing up parts of our life to move across the world. It still feels surreal, even though time is ticking seriously fast. Our departure is at the end of November, meaning we have less than 4 weeks to say goodbyes, try and get in a few more outdoor adventures, and sell or donate a lot of our belongings. Technically our work visas are for two years, with the opportunity to extend. A lot of people have asked how long we plan to be over there and it’s hard to say. While I’m confident we’ll love living in Australia (Melbourne was voted the most livable city in the world 7 times in a row), it’s hard to think about being away from our families and community for too long.
I hope we’ll stay in touch while I’m away! I’ll be sharing our Australian adventures and how we’re adjusting to expat life here on the blog as well as through my newsletter. So if you haven’t signed up to receive that, head on over to the sign up page.
Lastly, if you know anyone in Melbourne, please let me know! Right after finding a place to live I need to find some good people to befriend! Also, I will be looking for individuals, organizations, and companies in the travel, outdoor and health and wellness space to work with and would be so appreciative of any introductions or connections. Thanks for following along on this journey and for your support.
All photos by the very talented and kind human Chad Cassidy.