A couple weeks back I quit my job and bought 2½ one way tickets to Sydney.
From the people I’ve talked to in the last few weeks, I guess this was seen as a bit of a surprise, but this was a long time coming. Sarah and I first started contemplating a variant of this plan back in October 2010 (or maybe October 2008, depending upon how far you want to dig).
You see, when we first moved to France, we made a choice to stay here for at least two years, no matter how homesick, down or lonely we may get. We didn’t set a max, but the government gave me a three year visa, expiring in November 2011, that seemed to make a pretty good upper boundary.
So, last October we hit our two year mark, and we started asking ourselves how much longer we really wanted to stay. We didn’t feel totally done in Europe, but we knew that if we stayed one more year, it would easily cascade into six – in 2011 I would renew my visa to 2014, at which time I could apply for a passport, and in 2016 I would qualify for a French pension. But were we really happy here? Well, kinda yes and kinda no. Once the consumerism withdrawal subsided, we noticed that the quality of life in France is exceptionally high and we came to really appreciate a lot of things about living here. However, not everything was rosy. There were a number of negative things in our lives at that time as well, things that I won’t get into publicly – some were due to the environment, some due to work, and some were social. And finally, we really wanted to do the kid thing, and while we were happy to raise children in France from 6 weeks to 6 years we didn’t really want them born or educated in France.
So, with all of that, we devised a plan.
- Leave my job via a 1 year sabbatical.
- Move to an English speaking country (other than Canada, USA, England, or South Africa).
- Find a job.
- Have a kid.
- Find a new, better apartment in France and move back.