The 1st item has to be live abroad! Roughly two years ago I was sweeping my kitchen floor when my husband came home from work and changed our lives forever. The kids were asleep and he was antsy to talk to me about something. “What would you think about moving to New Zealand?” I think he half expected me to shut down the idea for him. My heart stopped for a few seconds.
We had briefly talked about an opportunity a couple years earlier but I was pregnant with my 2nd child. The thought of moving halfway around the World seemed a bit overwhelming at the time. Shortly after he was promoted at his current job and did not mention a move again until this day in the kitchen.
He had gone to lunch with his current boss and the company had a couple possibilities on the table for him but both included a move abroad. My mind was restless that evening as I tried to fall asleep. It felt like perfect timing. It felt like a way to start fresh. Almost an escape but what was I escaping from? My life in Dallas was great! My daughter loved her school, I had excellent friends that I had spent years building, and we had just completed our house renovation. There were stresses like money being tight and Andrew’s commute was terrible. I always imagined we would sell our house and move closer to his work though.
The next several weeks I spent hours researching every detail of New Zealand. I could not get enough! The beauty, the people and culture. So many questions racing through my head. What would it be like to drive on the other side of the road? Would the kids fit in? Could we afford to live in this expensive country?
After what seemed like years (although only a month), he began interviewing. He was almost immediately offered the job and they wanted to bring me out for a visit too. My visit a month later was incredible and a week was not long enough. Could we just send for the kids?
We spent 7 years building a home in Lewisville and only had a matter of a few weeks to sell a house, 2 cars, etc. Luckily, we picked the right time to sell our house and was off the market only 11 days after listing. Next up we had to ship our furniture and move into a hotel for 6 weeks while we waited for Visa’s to be approved and our stuff to clear customs. Andrew found us a house in what felt like the perfect neighborhood. Then both cars had to be sold and one way plane tickets purchased. I will skip all the little details as honestly there were about 500 things that took place in those 3 months leading up to the one way plane ride. The Visa process alone could add a few extra wrinkles and gray hairs.
Our Visa’s were approved, our stuff was shipped and we arrived in New Zealand on May 20, 2015. I don’t have a picture of me so a picture of my kids and luggage will have to do for this one!
Welcome to New Zealand! The bucket list begins here…