Homeward Bound!

27 07 2011

After much discussion over the past couple of months, Mike and I are pleased to say that we have decided to move back to Vancouver in September, 2011!

Over the past week we came to the decision that this is the right move for us at this time and we are ready to come home, having accomplished more than we had originally planned. Our primary aim when moving here was to experience living and working in a different country. With this aim we considered three tiers of jobs: the first tier was working in a café or a job that was a means to support ourselves; the second tier was something administrative like a temp job in an office; tier 3 was a job in HR that was of a similar level to our previous experience in Canada. At no point did we think that there was a tier four option—a position that was in our respective fields and actually enhanced our careers and allowed us to develop fantastic experience in truly global organizations. The fact that we both found these tier four positions was beyond our expectations.

So why leave? Well, a co-worker said to me over lunch a couple of months ago that if you stay somewhere for more than two years, you will be there for five. Seems like a leap to go from two to five but I think there is some truth to that in my experience. Here’s why. The first year or so is just about growing your life and finding your place in the city.  Everything is new and challenging – finding an apartment, making friends, finding work, opening a bank account, joining a gym, buying groceries in another language.

However, sometime between year one and two most of it fades away and all the basics are covered – the challenge is gone and real life sets in. Your life has grown beyond the basics of getting by, and you start to crave more – you want to buy a bigger television, maybe an iPhone, maybe even a house, maybe you just want to take a Zumba class in English. You have a small group of good friends but you think maybe you should get out there and make more. You start to feel disconnected from the city because you don’t know the language – maybe it’s time to learn? This is the moment where you have a choice – do you commit? Or do you walk away? People that make it past the two-year-mark stay for five because they made their decision – they committed. This was the choice we had, but in the end we looked back at the reasons we came and we knew in our guts that our path would lead us back to Vancouver sooner rather than later. So, sorry Amsterdam, your delicious cheese and picturesque canals just aren’t enough to get us commit. Vancouver gets that badge of honour.

A couple more blog posts to come before we retire this blog for good. And you thought it was retired already?

-Nick

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5 responses

27 07 2011
Kirk / Dad

Woot! Woot!

You’ve both had an Incredible Journey – the title of the Homeward Bound cover page is very fitting (not sure about the dog and cat pics tho – but the waterfall is symbolic of your travels to scenic places).

Any plans for any final European excursions before you return home? Not that you’d blog about them here anyway (even PWWTWWTLTBA fizzled from the magnificent waterfallish posts of yesteryear down to a mere trickle, and then niets). Yes, I did think this blog was retired already. :)

27 07 2011
Jenny

This was so wonderfully written. I really appreciate how heartfelt it was and your sharing of your experiences and the factors that led to your decision. Thank you for sharing it!

28 07 2011
Steph

So well said Nick! I have experienced that more than a couple times. Sometimes I’ve passed the two year mark and other times I’ve moved on. I think the best thing about this whole blog is that you guys are COMING HOME! Yay!!!!!!!

28 07 2011
colleen

Hi guys,
Nice to hear from you, it’s been awhile.. Sorry , yet happy to hear your coming home, I know you’ve been really missed by your families. Although this journey has or rather is coming to an end, just think, you can start another one, life is too short, you have to live it to its fullest, and I think you have already accomplished a very BIG change in your lives, an experience you’ll never forget. So I am envious of what you have accomplished.
So enjoy your last month in Amsterdam & remember “memories live on forever” :-) Col

28 07 2011
Mum

You must get your brilliant writing skills from your mother! lol. So happy that you are coming home….Dad and I have missed you both so much.
On the other hand it did give the four of us wonderful opportunities to travel together, for you to show us Amsterdam in a way we hadn’t viewed it previously. I will always remember our trip last year to Wales (not sure if Mike is really over it!!) and of course, our recent cruise together which was so incredible, we will remember the fun we had forever! You are both amazing people and we all want you back – they’re ours Amsterdam you just got to borrow them for a short while!
with love
Mum xx

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