Our biggest move yet

July 21, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Almost exactly sixteen years ago James and I met up in Rome. We were both studying abroad, me for an art class in Florence and him for a political science class in Brussells. I had just spent a month touring Italy, drawing the landscape, drinking the wine and loving every minute of it. James was just about to embark on his own adventure backpacking through Italy, France and Spain after his class in Brussells ended. Our trips briefly overlapped in Rome. Back then neither of us owned a cell phone, so I had to check at the front desk at my hotel every afternoon to see if he’d left me a message. Soon enough he did. 

We had a magical couple of days in Rome, and we threw a coin in the Fountain of Trevi which, legend has it, means you will visit Rome again someday. And now, finally, we’ll be fulfilling that wish. 

That summer had changed us, opened our eyes to the wider world, and set in motion our life goals. Back then I figured we’d come back when we were much older (like, say, almost 40…that seemed so old to us!), and we’d just come on vacation. But sometime in the early aughts James started pining for employment in Europe. He’d just gotten a job with US Immigration, and there were positions he could apply for overseas once he got to a high enough level. 

So he worked his way up as quickly as he could. We moved from Kansas City to New York City, the first of many cross-country moves to further his career. He took the foreign service exam a few times, passed it once and scored an interview in DC. That’s as far as he got, and secretly I was glad — in the foreign service you don’t get to choose where you go. I would much rather wait and land in a better location. 

And so we waited. We had Liam, and I started to picture my life in Europe as a mother. Sort of Maria Von Trapp crossed with Bill Bryson. LOL. Shortly after Liam was born, James finally qualified for the lowest overseas positions. After much discussion I convinced him to narrow his search to just Europe, Bangkok and Seoul. No Moscow. No China. He applied. And applied. And applied. 

While in Florida it seemed he was finally getting somewhere. He was making the list. He was one of the top candidates for a job in Frankfurt. But still no interviews. It wasn’t until he got the top dog position in Wichita that he scored some of those. He interviewed for Rome, Bangkok and Seoul. Still nothing. We wondered if this was ever going to happen. We bit the bullet and conceived our second child knowing there was a distinct possibility that we’d have to move at a very inopportune time. I came very close to having Violet in South Korea, yikes!

Now our time has come. Later this fall we’ll be moving to Athens. It wasn’t my top choice, especially amid all of the financial turmoil Greece is experiencing at the moment, but who in their right mind would turn it down? The job is better than we’d hoped — we’d been prepared for him to take a demotion to land a job overseas, but he scored the same top dog position he has here in KS. Go hubby!

So now we embark on our biggest adventure yet. Raising two children over the next four years in a foreign country. Seeing as much of Europe, the Middle East and Africa as we can pack in. And hoping we don’t lose our marbles in the process. Wish us luck! And stay tuned for our continuing adventures on my as-yet untitled new blog TBA when I get around to creating it, heh. 


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