Five years ago today we moved to the States for the first time. Five years ago. 23rd June 2007. I was so terrified of living so far from home, Nathan was so excited by the whole thing.
For a brief, glorious time, we were honorary Coloradoans. We lived in Fort Collins at the foot of the Front Range of the Rockies. I remember wandering around the first few days, jetlagged and weirded out, probably by altitude (it's about a mile high).
I knew of three bloggers who lived there or in the surrounding areas (and ahem, I really should go visit their blogs, see what is happening at the moment). I met them and it was good - none of us turned out to be axe-wielding maniacs.
Odd how it was that DH struggled more than me. I was not at work, not doing Important Things. I tooled around on my bike and we occasionally hired a car which I'd drive up into the Rockies. The weather was warm (ok hot :-), we had quite a number of thunderstorms, the creek at the bottom of the hill flooded twice (so exciting!) and I settled into a summer that never seemed to end until... DH got laid off in a 20% budget cut.
Sigh. Plus I still regret losing six weeks of amazing pictures that we took, including all the ones of the Trail Ridge Road and Rollins Pass. Double sigh.
I cried when we left Colorado, partly because I really liked living by a creek and playing with the crawdads, partly because I would miss the thunderstorms and sunsets, and partly because I wanted to stay. I was only just getting the hang of Colorado.
Luckily DH had already lined up a new job in California,
so we got to go to Canada (huh?) to get new visas and experience
Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Vancouver, Victoria (on Vancouver Island, where I discovered I have a cousin),
Edmonton, the Great Plains and then Toronto and surrounds in December.
So fast forward to two years in San Jose, where summer never seemed to end. Sunny and warm if not outright hot. Winters had some dismal days but 330 days of the year are sunny there so....
And we made friends and settled down and things were good. We travelled around and saw Yosemite (twice, in winter and in summer):
and drove all the way to the Grand Canyon and Utah, plus in a different trip the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone:
The second year we were there we travelled to Europe in conjunction with a conference Nathan went to, so I visited France, Germany, Austria (briefly) and Switzerland.
The GFC (global financial crisis, not Geelong Football Club) meant DH's job disappeared and we went back home to Melbourne and our own little house (after we gave our tenants a generous two month warning rather than the 14 days we could've put on them). I cried when we left California.
And it was crappy because Nathan couldn't find a new job and I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Five months of heavy duty chemotherapy, an operation and six weeks of radiotherapy. Not my best year but I was done with treatment by November. Whilst we tried to renovate the house on a budget of about zero dollars - we had been living on the US job's payout but that didn't last that long and $200 a fortnight in sickness benefits doesn't pay for much.
Nathan got a job just after my op and was off to Sydney, 800km from home whilst I was still in treatment, so we lived apart for months and what a disaster that was! I moved to Sydney and things slowly got better in some ways and worse in others.
Finally this Amazon job showed up just when Nathan had had enough of the problems at his old job and suddenly we were off to the Pacific Northwest.
Three intercontinental moves in five years. Two interstate moves. One serious illness. It sure has been one helluva ride!
I do admit, I would be quite pleased if things slowed down for a while. Some have described my job role as army wife, but at least I don't have to worry about deployments and will my husband be blown up or shot.... and I certainly have gotten to see more of the world than I might've. I won't be displeased if it continues.