I had always imagined I would travel the world but I guess had never imagined living anywhere outside of the United States. I’ve done a fair bit of traveling, although not as much as I’d like to have under my belt. Now, I’m actually moving to Australia, to live for an indefinite amount of time. Huh? Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine trading deer for kangaroos.
Thanks to an amazing work opportunity for my husband, we are packing up two small children, two cats and a dog and leaving our American life behind. Unlike migrations of generations past, ours will be on a huge ship in the sky and take just over a day of travel to get there, not months. We are also making the choice for new personal and work opportunities, not leaving due to famine or religious persecution, at least not in a literal sense.
This is difficult in some obvious respects; we are leaving my family (hubby’s a Brit) and our dear friends behind. We have to shed all of the small luxuries we’ve grown accustomed to like fast internet, nice (and fast) cars, a home on an acre of land, my day job which has always been the higher breadwinner for us, and modern convenience.
Why are we doing this then, leaving what many would call the American Dream? Because, and simply put, there’s a greater opportunity elsewhere and we are a bit disillusioned with the current state of the American Dream. My husband has been trying to grow his research program at his University here in the US but they don’t seem to be interested in supporting his work. Even though he has had funding success-what happens with ever shrinking NIH budgets when he doesn’t get funded? It’s a bit too focused on making money at the moment.
For me, I’ve lived in the pharmaceutical world for over 10 years and it’s dismal. Corporate integrity is on the line as my company pays for past mistakes, the anticipated blockbuster sales are lackluster, and I am in a current position I didn’t strive for and which buries my talents. I also have my genealogy business that deserves attention to see what it truly can become. The time is now for greener pastures.
While not exactly green, we are headed to Melbourne, Australia, which seems to be in the process of a reinvention. Named the most livable city in the world the last several years, we are about to see what all of the fuss is about. I visited in February for less than a week but it was enough to know Australians are friendly and my husband would be supported in his line of work. No longer an island, there was a true team dedicated to propelling science that encourages an active lifestyle and its direct effects on chronic health conditions.
While the transition planning, hubby’s Oz job commute 2 times for several weeks, house move and sell are all big factors and adjustments for us now, we know in our hearts this is the right next step for us and are open to what our Oz future holds.
Stay tuned, there’s always more…