People are in one of two camps when I tell them we are upping sticks and moving to Singapore there is a look of jealousy or a look of ‘you are completely and utterly out of your mind, woman’.
Strangely, no-one from the latter group has actually asked ‘why?’, but I know they are thinking it.
The easiest answer is “well, why not?”. But I’m going to try and outline a proper answer, so here goes…
When my husband first raised the possibility of relocating overseas for a few years my first, primal response was “not on your nelly, mister”. We had a comfortable, settled life in outer suburban Melbourne and throwing all our cards in the air and having them land any which way just seemed insane.
Over the next week I pondered the opportunity and a little bubble of excitement started to fizz in the bottom of my tummy.
Yes, we were comfortable and settled, but when the prospect of a bit of adventure appeared I no longer felt so content with my lot. An adventure sounded appealing.
Neither of us are massive risk takers. I couldn’t see either of us throwing in our jobs (assuming I had one), selling our house and backpacking around the globe with kids in tow. So this particular adventure – an overseas relocation with M’s work – appeals to us. Adventure, but in a controlled and planned way.
I’m also not someone who feels the need to follow the pack if it’s not going to make me happy. My high school English teacher wrote a written reference that included the line “K does not succumb to peer pressure”. I wear that with pride. I don’t feel any need to keep doing what we were doing just because that’s what most people do. My husband is cut pretty much from the same cloth on that score.
For most people it’s the fear of leaving family and friends that is the big stumbling point to jumping into something like this. I’ve lived in a different state to all of my family for 17 years, so I will not feel the wrench as much as my husband will. Sure, there will be times when we will miss them, but I wouldn’t swap this opportunity for the handful of days we spend with extended family during any given year.
And friends. In complete and utter honesty there are maybe 3 friends who I will truly miss, but we don’t see each other that often anyway given all of our work/kids/life commitments. We will rely on email and facebook, which is pretty much what happens now. In even further honesty, there are quite a few acquaintances that I’m looking forward to dropping.
I’m not looking forward to the process of making new friends. And all the figuring out of who are and aren’t ‘my people’. But I won’t let fear hold me back either.
I want to give my kids a broad and varied childhood. To teach them tolerance, acceptance and understanding. Which can be taught just as well by staying in Australia, as it’s all about leading by example, but it’s still on my list of reasons. I suspect they will adapt faster than I do.
I’m looking forward to having our life just be the four of us. To be free from familial expectations and traditions. To carve our own way in the world, sing our own song, sail our own boat. None of us can carry a tune or can man a tiller, but I’m sure you get my drift. To find out who WE are as a family.
So, as I sit on the back deck of our holiday house during what will probably be our last Aussie summer holiday for sometime, these are the reasons we are standing on the edge of a precipice, about to launch ourselves into a new phase of our lives.
POSTSCRIPT: I asked my husband why he wanted to do this, his answer was “It will be a good experience.” Which is really the bottom line…..