20 March 2015

Exigencies of Expat Life - Moving on From Miri

Sometimes expat life throws us a googlie.

My most vivid memory of a move is when, 6 months in to our 2 year posting in the Netherlands and my father came home and said 'what about Turkey?'  My sister and I immediately thought about Greek and Roman ruins and the fun we could have on a holiday there, my mother looked a little incredulous and said we had already booked our annual holiday.  This is when he admitted that we would be moving 3 weeks after we came back from holiday.  The announcement resulted in a flurry of packing, sorting out flights for the dog, selling the car and all the other hassles of moving.

A few years later it happened again.  When we left Turkey we were supposed to spend 2 years in the Netherlands, 4 months into the posting my Father came home to announce that we would be relocating  in the summer.  I was in my first year at university and was just getting to know people.  My new friends thought I was an international girl of mystery.  I had left uni to travel home to Turkey at Christmas, the Netherlands at Easter and then on to Venezuela that summer.

My mother was always capable, completely unflappable and wonderfully heroic.  I am not sure if she ever felt overwhelmed by these sudden changes in plan, if she screamed or got stressed about the hassle it caused her she always did it quietly and in private.

My wonderfully calm, brave and versatile mother. (in 1970's post war
Port Harcourt, Nigeria)

I thought, when my husband and I moved abroad that we would be extremely unlikely to relocate with minimal notice - schools typically recruit their Principles 6 -12 months in advance of the appointment but yes....it has happened again.  Last week I got a call from my husband who was on a trip to his head office in Peninsula Malaysia.  We were being offered the opportunity to relocate to the company head office in Ipoh, 2 hours north of KL.  We had been planning on staying in Miri for 3-4 years but this offer was too good to refuse.  We chatted on the 'phone, decided to go for it and the announcements were made this week.

So, in about three weeks time we will be relocating the kids, dogs and car. We are flying to our new city to do some house hunting next week (one of the advantages of an in-country relocation).  We sat down the other night to make our to-do list and it was scarily long given that we will effectively have 2 weeks to pack the house and close things down here.  9 months is not the shortest posting I have ever had but this is certainly the fastest move time I have had to contend with. So I will channel my mother and stay calm (all the time being eternally grateful that I had not yet got round to buying the swimming pool I was planning to surprise the kids with).  Ipoh here we come!

Bye-Bye Miri
Added to Amanda Mulligan's Life with A Double Buggy Expat Life linky - click for stories from other expats around the world.

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  1. Your feet barely touch the ground! All the best for your next adventure :-)

  2. Ah, yeah a short time to move. We did the same for our move in Germany from France. The 25th of August my husband accepted the job, the 20th of September we were in our new flat / new country. Good luck with all the packing and "stress"!

    1. That is a quick turn around - I am not sure what is worse - less than a month to get it all done or the 6 month lead in we had on the last two moves where there is more time to stress. Hope you settled in Germany ok?

  3. Oh my! Sounds very exciting. What a great photo of your mother. Good luck with the move! #ExpatLifeLinky

    1. Thanks Meg. I love having the photos of her but 8 years on and it still catches my throat when I look at them.

  4. Wow, good luck! Nothing like a challenge to keep you on your toes - and sounds like you have a wonderful example to follow in your mother.
    Thanks for linking up #ExpatLifeLinky

    1. Thanks Amanda - I was very lucky with her. We are now moved and in the process of settling which is good.