So, anyone who knows us personally, might already know this, but things aren’t official until they exist in the digital world right……
My Thinking About Thursdays Post this week I am happy, excited, nervous, etc., to announce that we are moving to…..
Yep, this is real people.
We have known for a long time that we would be moving in 2017, and for a few months that our move would be to Hong Kong, but it takes a while for things to become official (i.e. contract signed), and therefore announceable on Social Media. When I tell people this fact I get the same question every time, “Oh wow! How do you feel about that?!”
That is such a good question. It is funny to see the tone that people ask this question with, some say it as if it sounds dreamy and exciting, others like “Oh, poor you!” To be honest, I feel as equally excited as I do heartbroken. It is amazing to feel such strong binary emotions to the same event. Clarke and I could be a textbook definition of “wanderlust” or “itchy-feet.” We have moved so much in our marriage, and not just to different houses in the same town, I’m talking, round-the-world moves, multiple times over.
Drumroll please…… Our Move History:
2002-2005, Utah, USA – undergrad and grad school for both of us, includes a Summer Internship stint in So. Cal during that time, we live in two different places during our Utah days, married student housing, and my parent’s basement (Thanks Mom and Dad!)
2005-2006 Nanjing China – post-grad studies for Clarke at Nanjing University with the Chinese Flagship Program, we have three apartments during this time, including 2-months in Shanghai for an Internship. Our standards are very low for housing, and when my father visits at Christmas jokes to Clarke that if we were living in these circumstances in the USA, he would come and take me back home until things improved!
2006-2008 Orange County, California, USA – Clarke starts his life working for The Man. We live in three different apartments during our So. Cal days, including a one-year stint as an apartment manager (oh how we celebrated as we turned in the key when we left!)
2008-2010 Coral Springs, Florida, USA – Condo living next to the Everglades and the beach. Not too shabby, actually it was dreamy, who am I kidding.
2010-2012 Shanghai, China – Clarke does an MBA at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), we live on the 9th floor of a 26-story building, in Yanlord Town, a complex that has probably 50 or more 26-storey buildings and feels more like a small city than anything.
2012-2017 Auckland, New Zealand – we live in two different houses in our 5-years. It is the first time we live in an actual home as opposed to an apartment. Our first house has water views. Currently we have a wonderful playground in our backyard, including a flying fox (i.e. zipline), and a trampoline, plus a large extra garage that I use for teaching yoga. We probably feel the most domesticated and settled in the suburban lifestyle than we have yet in our married life.
It is funny, our stint in New Zealand is actually THE LONGEST we have lived ANYWHERE as a couple. New Zealand is more home to us than anywhere we have lived (sorry Mom!), and especially for our children. Oliver likes to tell people he is from Florida (where he was born), but he only lived there for the first 20-months of his life, and China for less than 18-months. By the time we leave New Zealand he will have lived here for 5 of his 8 years on Earth. And he is a Kiwi-boy through and through, i.e shoes are optional all year round, says things like “At Morning Tea I played with so-and-so,” and loves Hokey Pokey ice cream.
New Zealand has been such a gift to our family in so many ways and I could happily live here the rest of my life (again Mom, sorry!), but Clarke’s job is rotational and we have actually worked the system to stay here as long as we have. When we moved here it was only supposed to be for 18-months. As soon as we arrived I made sure that changed to 2-years (the system was four 6-month rotations, one of which was outside of New Zealand) because I had no desire to move somewhere for only 6-months with an extremely active and social 4-year old. After we had been here for a year-and-a-half I pretty much said to Clarke, “You have a find a way to stay here! I love it.” Thankfully he was able to secure a fantastic 2-year role within the bank that suited the needs of the rotational program, and our family, so we were able to extend our New Zealand time to 4-years. As that time was coming to an end last year we needed to extend further as we were in the middle of the adoption process and had no desire to disrupt our progress with a move (i.e. doing the home study over again and losing our place in the queue). This extra year here has been so good for all of us, most importantly because we were able to bring our beautiful Mia into our family and be settled while going through such a big change.
So here we are, the countdown is officially on. It is the middle of October, we will be out of our house right before Christmas, travel around New Zealand for a few weeks, get our yoga on at Wanderlust Great Lake Taupo, and then hop on a plane and start a new life in a giant, urban jungle.
Just typing that I feel excited and nervous in the same heartbeat.
It’s not just the extreme contrast in lifestyle that we will be facing, i.e suburban-beach-life-perfect-for-young-families vs. urban-jungle-apartment-living-subway-motating, but there is SO MUCH TO DO before the move, that is part of why I feel so nervous. I started my great de-cluttering project a few months ago knowing that this move was coming. We have accumulated a lot of SCHTUFF in the last 5-years and most of it isn’t going with us to Hong Kong. I was on a roll for a while, but lost some steam. I need to get back on that bandwagon quick smart or December is just going to be a giant mess of anxiety for me.
This move will be interesting for sure. Hong Kong was actually the very first place I ever visited in Asia 11-years ago (pardon the tiny photo, this was a long time ago and cameras didn’t have that many mega-pickles!). We spent 3-days there before taking the train into the Mainland and up to where we were going to live. I also went to Hong Kong a few times while we lived in Shanghai, once for a yoga conference, and another time to renew my China visa. But all the times I was there I never looked at it through the eyes of eventually living there. So there you have it. The New Zealand Schaumanns will be taking on a new identity in Hong Kong. Stay tuned to watch it unfold.
What about you? Do you experience Wanderlust? Have you made a massive, life-changing move to a different country? Do you have any questions about our crazy moving lifestyle? Share in the comments below or on Instagram.