Remember the apartment that fell through a couple of weeks ago and the new cards that we had thrown up into the air? Well, they are slowly beginning to fall into place and a completely different path is emerging.
We are moving back to the Pacific Northwest in December this year.
All of this was triggered by two fateful words that I texted to my husband on the day the landlord pulled out at the last minute:
“Maybe we need to have a RADICAL RETHINK on everything … “
My husband took those words literally. And we started talking about what we really wanted and we were both in agreement: we want to live and settle down in Bellingham, WA, and rather sooner than later. The caveat in all of this was my husband’s contract with his employer that mandated him to repay 50% of the previous relocation costs if we were to leave now. We are talking about $35-40K and we knew that we could never afford that and pay for the move back to the US. We were pretty much stuck here until 2016 and to be honest, that has been a major contributor to our unhappiness this last year. There is much we like about England but it’s not home and we have reached a point in our lives where all we want is to put down our roots and stay.
Here is the thing about radical rethinks: you put ALL cards on the table. Including the one where you have to pay your way out of here knowing that you don’t have that kind of money. And suddenly there is movement and what happened next still blows my mind: without going into all the details surrounding this decision my husband’s employer agreed to waive the reimbursement clause. We were free to go. And so …
… we both quit our jobs.
Phew. We are thrilled and we are terrified. Is it crazy to quit your job when you are in your early 50s and moving across continents with nothing but a few dollars in your savings account, just enough to pay for the relocation and a few months of living? Yes, it is. Because that is all we have. No assets, no money windfall, only a very modest stack of savings. It is a huge financial risk we are taking. But here is what we do have: no debts, good skills and talents, the willingness and ability to work hard, each other and the kind of faith that comes along with knowing that this is absolutely what you want to do and where you want to be.
Without risk you cannot create the life you want.
For me there is only one very personal downside: I will be far away again from my ageing parents. And seeing them will require me to get on a long flight and we all know how I feel about that. My parents have never expected me to put my life on hold for them and any wish to be closer to them comes out of my own desire to be there when they need me. So that’s a bridge I will have to cross as and when this need arises. On the upside they are still reasonably fit and I know that my mother is excited about being able to visit us again in a place that she also loves. When we lived in the States before she used to come and stay with us for a month or two and the Pacific Northwest was one of her favourite places, too.
The next couple of months will be very busy. My husband is still working until Christmas but I finished my job yesterday so that I can focus on the relocation. There is a lot to do: organise the move of all our belongings, the cat and my car. Declutter and sort through all our stuff so that we only take what we really want and need. Wind down things in the UK, cancel utility accounts, sell all of our electrical goods (because they don’t work in the US) and anything else we are not taking. Find a place to live in Bellingham. We’ll probably rent to start with unless we get jobs immediately in which case we would love to buy one of the condos we viewed during our vacation last August. There are a lot of logistical details that need to be worked out in a relatively short frame of time, it’s a good thing that I’ve done this a few times before!
Oh, and my weight loss plan? Well, yesterday I finally plugged up the courage and stepped on the scales. I have gained almost 12 lbs. Gulp. This is no surprise at all since I’ve been eating myself through all the emotional stress that accompanied the changes and unsettling developments these last couple of months. I lost this particular battle but the war is not over yet and I am not ready to give up. In fact, I am determined to get through the next few weeks feeling healthier and more energetic. And I am kickstarting this again on Monday with Persephone’s Fall Harvest Cleanse.
This is potentially one of the bravest things we have ever done and we are a tad freaked out. But you know what? I am also feeling a sense of freedom I have not felt in a long time. This has absolutely been a gut decision and in my heart I know that we are on the right path.