Validation

I am realizing more and more the support “family” that I have.  I have given art to friends and coworkers.  My boss has made it clear that she will give me the most shining reference I need to assist in my work search.  Multiple friends have offered to assist in our move as they eagerly offer their encouragement in our endeavor.  It makes you feel good!  There is something to be said about the positive influence of others.  That’s enough for me, now it’s time to sleep.

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Come Together, Right Now.

So things are beginning to come together, slowly but surely.  We have found a long-time good friend to keep our 6 year old American Bulldog for the two years.  One of my wife’s best friends has decided to keep our 20 year old cat.  Our neighbor across the cul-de-sac has a cousin who has looked at our home on Zillow and is interested in renting out our home once we depart.  Slowly, I am getting responses to my Craigslist postings and have been parting with an item here, an item there, each day.  We trust in God.  We know God will take care of us.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Well, as of three days ago our impending journey is official.  My wife signed and mailed her contract agreeing to accept the position to teach for a period of two years.  It is now VERY REAL.  I have informed my boss, coworkers, family, and friends.  Now is the task of selling the majority of our possessions, having multiple “estate sales”, selling our cars, renting our our home, getting the required vaccinations, arranging shipping of a small selection of our personal goods, informing banks of our move, forwarding our mail, and intense research of our new home in order to ensure a smooth transition.  We have started speaking with our children about the move, trying to help them understand the changes to come.  Our daughter is funny, she’ll say to everyone we meet “We’re going to Thailand.  I’m going to see monkeys and elephants”.  Our son is not aware as he is too young to perceive at this time but I am sure this journey will leave a lasting impression on him as well.

 

Break it to the Family

Breaking the news to your family and friends is one of the hardest parts, in my opinion, of moving overseas.  You will find a multitude of reactions; excitement, anger, envy, sadness, disbelief, worry, etc.   Your family loves you and wants the best for you but it is sometimes difficult to make someone else understand making a move such as this.  I continually reassure them that it is temporary.  Both sets of our parents have always remained within the general vicinity that they were born so moving such a distance is far beyond reason in their opinion.  Of course we will miss them immensely upon departure, but we will take every measure to ensure we keep communication regular.  We have invested in a new laptop to ensure that we have no issue keeping contact while being on the other side of the world.  Bottom line, this process is much easier when you have a support system from loved ones.  For myself, this is very important.

The first-time expat

This blog posting begins the story of my journey to Rayong, Thailand with my wife and two children.  To you give you the back story, my wife is an elementary school music teacher who has always had the desire to teach overseas.  A few months back, after some discussion, we both agreed that we were willing for her to pursue a few applications to teach music at international schools overseas.  Honestly I did not expect her to ever receive a lucrative offer as she would be traveling with 3 dependents, aka – myself and our two children.  She applied to countless locations ranging anywhere from Spain, China, Myanmar, Grand Cayman, and Thailand.  At the beginning of this year she received an interview and job offer to teach in Rayong, Thailand for two years.  Now begins the process of preparing to move our family overseas, something none have us have ever done.

My wife and I have always lived in the United States within Georgia.  We have traveled throughout the country as well as Mexico, but never overseas.  We have been living in Atlanta, GA for the past 8 years.  My wife has been teaching for 12 years and I have worked various job roles in high-end restaurants and hotels.  Needless to say, this move is supremely exciting while horrifically daunting all at the same time.  There are many moving parts that need to work seamlessly in order to allow a smooth transition to Thailand.  Will our house stay rented?  Can we sell our cars?  Can we part with most of our stuff?  Will our families be ok? What about our pets?  How easily will we be able to adapt upon arrival?  A 22 hour flight with small children!?!  All of these things have continuously floated around in my mind as I live each day manically bouncing between fear, excitement, sadness, and eager anticipation.  Ultimately I’ve decided to start  this blog in order to document the emotions I’ve felt along the way so that others who undertake this challenge might find this information insightful and useful.