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Our Journey to Oz

14 March 2012

It was late January {2011} when I got the E-mail.  "Hey Emily, it's Nathan from Australia.  We met in Amsterdam.  Hey mate, just letting you know we have a couple of positions opening in Sydney...descriptions are attached.  What do you think?"

My heart skipped a beat.  I'd spent the months prior mulling over job decisions.  My job contract was ending in June.  And although several other positions had been offered to me, none felt right.  The funny thing about intuition is that it's very hard to explain to others.  It doesn't use logic.  Sure, the positions looked great on paper.  More money, a permanent role, career progression.  But my insides were screaming NO!  So I lied.  I told the managers that it wasn't enough money.  That the commute was too long.  That is just wasn't a good fit.

It was a leap of faith.  I had nothing lined up.  No back-up plan.  Just my faith in the Universe and my affirmations for the new year.


So there I was, on a chilly morning in January, sitting at my computer with my slippers on.  I was planning for the day.  Nothing special.  Until I saw the email.  Immediately, that same something inside me said YES!  This is the reason those other positions weren't right for you.  This is what's in store for you.  Then my brain kicked in.  Wait one second.  I need to talk to my husband about this.  And who's to say the company will approve it?  No one's ever heard of them transferring a sales rep across the planet.  And are you really ready to move? What about the dogs? What will our families say?  My mind was racing.  And yet, that small, quiet, unassuming voice was there.  This is for you.

J and I discussed the opportunity.  We talked about our dreams, our goals, what we wanted out of life.  It was an opportunity to expand our horizons, to spread our wings, to travel and explore and live in that faraway continent you have to turn the globe to see.  We also talked about our fears, our concerns, the impact of making such a decision.  When it was all said and done, we were excited.

We thought 2-3 years would be the perfect amount of time.  Long enough to get the full experience, but not too long away from friends and family.  We also thought the company would give us a nice relocation package.  We were wrong on both accounts.  When the offer came, it was for a one-year contract.  The open position was the result of a newly-created specialty sales team that only had guaranteed funding for one year.  The manager was very keen to have me on board, but couldn't swing much for relocation, as they would be investing significant funds into visa sponsorship.

Okay, now what?  We were already excited.  In our minds, we were already moving to Australia.  But we had to adjust our plan.  We knew 12-months would go by in the blink of an eye, so we didn't want to disrupt our entire lives.  For that reason, we found a couple to sublease our apartment {furnished.}  We also approached my sister about taking our dogs for the year.  Because Australia doesn't have rabies, the process for bringing dogs in the country is long and stringent.  It didn't make sense to spend over $10,000 and wait 6 months to have our dogs come to Oz for the 6 remaining months.  My sister agreed to take them.  {For the record, this was seriously SO heartbreaking and a very, very difficult decision.  Maybe I will find the strength to write about it at some point.}

"How can you say goodbye to me?!?"

With the loose ends tied up, and after 3-weeks living out of suitcases between friends' houses and the Ho-Jo in Torrance {yuck!} waiting for the visa approval, we were ready.

On the night of May 22nd, 2011 we said goodbye to LA, and our adventure commenced.

5 suitcases and 2 backpacks

Slipper power
{Incidentally, I always dress like a hobo on planes and then wonder why I never get upgraded.}

That was almost nine months ago.  Where has the time gone?

It's time to start answering those hard questions of "What's Next?"  Those answers aren't sitting well with me, at the moment.  But I'll share them with you, nonetheless.  Stay tuned.


  1. I love this post. I love reading about people moving & living abroad. Those - what next questions are often the hardest to make. I can't wait to read more about it. I am currently trying to figure out how I can get a job abroad. HELP ME! As much as I love living in Canada I know there is something more out there for me.

  2. I can sort of understand your heart's tug: Kev was going to grad school in VA (where are families are) but then we found out about this opportunity out here and it just kept pulling us. It is not across the world, but it is far for us! We had the same mentality, 'its 2 years, just long enough', but are now are already looking ata every next assignment EXCEPT DC. Something about the adventure has tapped into us. I think technology makes 'home' feel not so far away! I cant wait to see what else is in store for yall!

  3. That is a crazy story! I freakin love the thought of getting a job offer halfway around the world and just moving there. Leaps of faith is a total adrenaline rush for me. Love your story and your blog!

  4. Okay, okay, okay! Can I just say that your big adventure of moving away with Mr. EJBM started 8 days after my wedding, and then WE moved away two weeks after you guys! Our adventures started at the same time! Oh, we are so bonded, it's not even funny.

    And by the looks of your pictures, I think I will be up to your chin when we finally get to stand side-by-side. This is going to be AWESOME!

    Aaaaaand... I'm sending you a ton of love today!

  5. Hi there, just stumbled on your blog via Lindsay's blog and so glad I did - am a new follower:)

    What an amazing opportunity to be in Australia. Wow. Can't wait to see what happens next ...

  6. ahhh i'm so jealous!! I want to pick up and move to Australia!

    ...where's my calling??? I'm waiting.

  7. Hey girl. so glad I found your blog. I'm definitely following now. I can't wait to read more. If you get a sec, I'd love if you'd check out my blog. It's all about the adventures of a small town girl taking on the LA fashion scene. xo

  8. It's amazing how things just happen sometimes. You just get that call or that email and boom your life has changed. Really enjoyed reading this and can't wait to hear more! x

  9. Good luck! ;) I think I will always regret not moving around after college.

  10. ta ta ta TORRANCE!!! My hooood!!!! Omg... what a heart wrenching decision you had to make.. BUT most of all, the dogs... apart? My heart breaks for you!! We are SO attached to our dogs that I can't imagine what I'd do in your situate :/

    I'm glad you went though... and you didn't let fear get the best of you! You go girl!!


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