Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Next Big Adventure

With one foot still in Portugal and the other not quite in Nanjing, since we returned from Christmas in the US I have been feeling a bit like we are in limbo here, and unfortunately not the cruise ship, margarita drinking, "How low can you go?" type of limbo. As I walk around our house everything I see is automatically being viewed and classified as either 1) take with us on the plane 2) include in air shipment 3) include in sea shipment 4) try to sell before we go, or 5) why haven't we thrown that out already? In addition there are so many little things that need to gone through and classified as well. From our experience moving here I know the movers will pack everything in sight, so this time I want to be (well, with two kids this time I NEED to be) a little more organized. Today begins the two week countdown, and my list grows longer rather than shorter at the end of each day. But somehow it will all get done. Or not. But that will be OK too.

Now that we've returned from our house hunting trip, decided upon a home and a school I am feeling more prepared. Now I'm starting to look at some things here in Portugal with nostalgia, though others I may not be so sorry to see go. I'm looking forward to the new adventure in China, but also nervous about many things. I mean, I thought grocery shopping was difficult in the beginning here, I can't imagine how long it will take me to decipher some of the Chinese products, and this time I will have 2 kids in tow. So stay tuned, it will be quite an adventure, and there may even be a new blog address for you to check in with soon!

Adeus Portugal, Ni Hao China - Dan's Take

It is now official. As soon as the visa application is complete, expected sometime around beginning of March, we will be moving to China. We have now been in Portugal for 4.5 years and it was a big decision whether to move to another country or to return to USA. In the end we felt it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it’s a good time for us to make the move while the children are young, adaptable, and not too attached to a particular place.

The city will be Nanjing, which is a small Chinese town of about 8 million located 75 minutes up the Yangtze River by fast train from Shanghai. We just spent last week there looking for a home and getting ourselves situated. We found a nice place that is in a compound with lots of other expats and close to where the kids will go to an English speaking international school. Amelia is very excited to speak English at school, and Katrin is excited to have other moms and children to play with during the day. Here in Portugal that doesn’t really exist since every home needs two incomes to have a decent standard of living, and the children are either in daycare or with their grandparents.

As for me, it will be a big challenge, but how could I say no? For those who love to travel and seek adventure, this is the ultimate opportunity. It will mean a lot more travel as my responsibilities cover the region from Australia to India to Japan, but I feel a little more comfortable leaving home when Katrin and the kids are surrounded by a good support network.