One of the things that I’ve always wanted to do is live abroad. I recently got my chance and have decided to take it. This coming January, Deb and I will be moving to Swindon, Wiltshire, U.K. for one year. I’ll be assisting with setting up my company’s new division in England. But in addition to working and living in England, we will be traveling all over Europe with my new job responsibilities. In between business meetings and touring retail developments, there should be plenty of time for castles, cathedrals, museums and the occasionl glass of wine. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that our children and grandchildren will be living in the United States. After serving six years abroad in the Air Force our son Tyson is returning stateside whilst (I’ll probably be using that word a lot in England) we’ll be living in Europe. And our grandbabies won’t be nearby (something we’ve grown accustomed to) – not to mention our daughter, son-in-law and our younger son, as well as our parents, siblings, cousins, friends, etc. If I focus on the negatives I start to question my decision. But then I remember that it’s only a year. And it’s a year in Europe!
So we will adjust, even if we shed a few tears along the way. We pray that God continues to bless our family and keep us together (even though we are apart). And as we have for the last 36+ years – Deb and I will carry one another on this journey. There has been so much racing through our heads since we made the decision to live abroad for a year : “Big things” like leaving family and friends (especially Charlise and Anna and Noah). “Little things” like not getting to watch our favorite TV shows in England. And “other things” like learning how to drive on the “wrong side” of the road.
In the meantime, we need to close up our house here and begin the search for our new home in England. Our goal is to immerse ourselves in the culture and community. We hope to live in a town or village that is primarily English – not some enclave for expatriots. We will be traveling to Swindon this fall to begin our search for housing. Fortunately, my work associate, Mark is British and has offered to help us with that task. Deb and I have lots to do and much to discover and explore. My HR Director is assisting with much of the mundane stuff – work visas, cost of living adjustments, cultural integration, etc, etc. That frees us up to do more important things like figure out where to get our hair cut and take our dry-cleaning and to look for good restaurants and pubs.
We will strive to really make England our home in 2012. Of course we hope to have lots of visitors. And we expect to make some new friends along the way, too. Please keep us in your prayers. As always, I will share whatever and whenever I can.