This blog’s existence really started out of this little adventure. Previously Kiwi and I were leading a merry existence in Oxfordshire. Seriously we lived in a rural village – and loved village life. Its quiet, there’s no street lights neighbours know who you are, the only politics are leaving notes on cars for bad parking, you can have local milk delivered, see stars at night, and cosy up in front of the fire in the winter, and run out in the fresh air in summer. It sounds idyllic, and it is, but don’t worry there were plenty of challenges still, like never being near a cashpoint, having crap internet and phone reception, spending more money on petrol, not being that close to friends, missing Cowley road and all the takeaway and restaurant options, and always having to drive – fortunately I’m not a big drinker, but its sometimes annoying on a night out with the girls, and really bad for your activity levels!
I was working in London – I know! so commuting wasn’t much fun, but I had an awesome job and loved getting up at 6am and working non-stop -seriously that isn’t sarcasm, I can’t remember a day when I was bored, I was constantly challenged, just enough, slept well and crammed in a social life to boot, some days yeah I was pretty tired, but I got to go to the theatre, walk along the Thames and come back to Oxfordshire. Obviously in the depths of winter this commute was horrid. Getting up in the dark, going home in the dark, wasting hours of my life on a train, but overall we had a fantastic lifestyle. Kiwi was working as a post doc and publishing lots of papers, we’d talked a few times about living and working abroad. Having an adventure and being somewhere different. Its funny because we were pretty settled and had the best lifestyle. But we are both firm believers in always challenging ourselves and each other. Its really difficult to change when you get too comfortable, its also nice to be comfortable. But for us both its important to always keep moving, literally or metaphorically. We enjoy demanding roles, and varied lives. We talked about different countries and decided that we would go live somewhere for a bit and see what happens. We enjoy travelling and love being in different cultures, and we figured if we liked it great, we might go somewhere else, and if it was awful we could move or come back home, knowing we are both horribly stubborn and aside from being a danger to our health we would stick it out wherever we found ourselves. But we also know we are incredibly fortunate to have options, and a choice.
We made a list of some ‘vito’ countries and sat down and thought about what parts of our lives collectively were important, what commitments we had and dreamt different versions of what our future could look like. We had some panics, and we dithered, then we figured what was there to lose. Kiwi looked into different posts – he is a scientist and requires much more specialist equipment than my work does so the location was more important for him. He got one, In Indiana, in the USA.
Yikes! We knew nothing about Indiana, we knew not a soul in the state or anyone in any neighbouring states. Kiwi – unsurprising is from New Zealand and has already left home, and is always in ‘another’ country. But for both of us packing up several years of our life and going was scary, hard, exciting and liberating.
We made a huge ‘to do’ list, and more lists, and made it all other again, we mentally visualised our house and considered all the things we needed to do. Then we packed up our home, our life and possessions, said goodbye to friends, and flew across the pond. Already we’ve questioned fundamental aspects of ourselves and are discovering what we need to build a life. Some days its really hard, not having friends, family and a familiar routine, but in the end most things usually work out for the best. That’s how this all started, its been challenging and fun, and this is only really the start of our adventures.