Nearly 10 months ago whilst in the Netherlands I said “Enough”. Particularly enough of the on/off carousel of my partner’s organisation’s expat lottery – the annual event that begins each Springtime of who are we moving, when and where. Which brings 3-5 months of questioning, not getting straight answers, planning “just in case” solutions and options whilst trying to remain “present” in the expat life one is currently living in and not giving out too many signals that one might be heading out the exit very soon (just in case one doesn’t).
Discussions had happened about moving back to UK – good. Then they were off again. Discussions had happened about going to New York USA – they proceeded, then they were off again. Nothing was going to happen again for the 4th year in a row. “ENOUGH”! I yelled. I’d been wanting to take back control of my life from the “rat in someone’s experiment” lifestyle being an expat/ trailing spouse can become for a good number of years. Finally HE was having the same thought at the same time as me.
We’d bought a house in the UK as our fall back to come home to if needed. It wasn’t rented out. Now was the time. In six weeks I sorted out leaving our life in the Netherlands partially and exchanging it for a life in the UK.
My 9 year old son and I formally “exited” the Netherlands whilst HE remains a legal tax paying citizen there. My son and I live an English rural lifestyle daily. HE flies in for the experience at the weekends. 7 months on – its going well, better than we thought but its not the permanent solution – we all miss being a family on a more regular basis. And the conversations (okay rows) are repeats of a script I remembered hearing my parents using. My original reason for leaving my lovely life in London back in 2002 was I didn’t want a part time, commuter family nor relationship a la parents. I tried the other way for 10 years and yes there were some benefits and some difficulties. Now I’m doing it the way I feared back in 2002 and its okay – perhaps its so as we know its temporary (fingers crossed), we’ve been in a relationship and family unit for a lot longer and we obviously missed being in the security of “HOME”. So for all its difficulties in the past 12 months, at present we’re on the whole HAPPY.
Can’t promise I’ll blog more, can’t promise I’ll stay happy but hey that’s normal, isn’t it?