It's time to finally tell you my big, huge secret. I've kept this quiet for a solid 18 months now. And in case you're wondering, I'm definitely not pregnant, although, I don't think anyone is surprised. The reason for the secrecy wasn't because I didn't want to tell. I just couldn't. So, after holding it in for far too long, today's finally the day:
I'm moving ABROAD!!!
It's not for work. Actually this isn't for any reason really. Michael and I decided to move abroad for fun. So, Michael has quit his job, and we are going overseas August 15th.
Writing out these words makes this whole thing surreal to me. I can't believe it's really happening. Plane tickets are booked. We're holding a big estate sale next weekend to get rid of all our stuff. We plan to travel light — only packing up a couple of suitcases each and taking off with just that.
Believe me, a lot of thought that went into this. We originally moved to Nashville as a sort of test drive for an overseas move. To that end, we also did a other things to prepare for such a move, many of which I've touched on in the blog but wasn't able to share. Looking back, much of what I blogged about links up to this big decision.
A few years ago Michael and I came to the conclusion we had an incessant urge to travel. I grew up regularly venturing to London for six weeks almost every summer, when my parents taught a study abroad program. Michael got to go with me the summer before college. We'd been dating a solid six months and I told my parents that he had to come on the trip or I'd die. (I was very dramatic.) That was it. Like me, he officially got the travel bug.
After we married, we made it a priority to travel abroad every chance we could. We took these incredible trips to Europe and elsewhere each year — some of the best times in our life. The no-sleep excitement, watching in wonderment as the Eiffel Tower lit up while we drank wine and munched on cheese, and explored around Paris. We found a hidden modern art museum in Madrid, tip-toed on a cobblestone street for a bar crawl in Prague, danced until I had blisters at the music festival Tomorrowland in Belgium, got lost on our bikes and found a historic burial ground in Amsterdam, drove what felt like a tin can car in Crete, sneaked into the Picasso museum in Barcelona… All incredible.
Traveling abroad taught me more than I can articulate and it's helped to shape me as a person. While each has been wonderful, the only drawback was that our trips have been too brief. We wanted to not only see the world, but to be in those places. The expense of travel coupled with the fact that we only had two weeks vacation each year, limited us. So, we looked at each other one night over steaming spaghetti and meat sauce in our home in Dallas and knew what we needed to do: move.
Our jaunts of 10 days overseas always felt like little dreams. We tucked them into our memories, hung travel pictures on the wall, and sighed that we might not ever make it happen. It's hard to leave the simple luxuries of home and the responsibilities that tie you to your roots. I'm basically a homebody. But I felt the pull to just do it. If I never try, I'll never know. Michael thought we could get jobs over there. I wanted to blog full time, to continue working on what I loved from anywhere in the world. To pull this off, one thing was clear: we needed to save a lot of money. We've always been savers, but we went into full throttle mode once the plans started falling into place.
January of 2015, Michael and I decided we needed to move out of Dallas. If you've read any of those previous posts about us moving (here, here, and here) it's all led to this. The reason for the move was simple: can we actually move out of Dallas? I've never lived anywhere but Dallas. Step one, was to make sure I could really be away from family and friends. Not that it will be similar when we move abroad, but I especially wanted to make sure as I've only been a maximum of 10 miles from my Mom my whole life. In January we researched where to live in America. After MUCH debating, we decided on one year in Nashville. Last July we uprooted and moved there.
In Nashville, we spent the past year meticulously planning. Every Thursday and sometimes Sundays we researched options. Trying to figure out just where to live overseas, logistics, and mostly: If we could live anywhere in the world, where would we go?
We now know. And I'm just so damn thrilled. Our criteria included a place where the people speak some English (although we have been taking a foreign language course for the past couple months), is a fairly large city, but still cost efficient, and with great transportation so that we can get around. Any guesses where we're headed?!
This year has completely flown by. We've had an absolute blast and I'm tearing up now thinking of the people I will miss so dearly once we leave. We officially leave Nashville July 31st. We leave the USA August 15th. It's just around the corner. If you have any tips about moving overseas I'm ALLLLL ears!
I cannot believe that we are actually doing this. It seems crazy but I know it will be my greatest adventure. I can't wait to reveal more. I'll be dropping hints on Instagram @heleneinbetween and Snapchat @helenesula.
Thanks for reading my blog. As you can probably tell, there are much more adventures to come!