Venice, Italy

Making the move

We talked to friends, we talked to old mentors, I talked to sales reps who took me to coffee at work, Justin talked to mates at the gym… we talked to each other, it was all we have been talking about since the phone call.

Should he take a job in Austria, pushing back a chance at a good, permanent teaching job in Brisbane? Should I go over there with him, leaving my secure career job for a long holiday? If he went alone, of course we’d miss each other (seriously, the longest time we’ve spent apart is a weekend and the only thing I did was watch Les Mis by myself at the cinema… then came home and watched two other versions on my computer…) but the main reason I wanted to join Justin was so that we could have this experience together.

Ever since we went to Europe two years ago, we’ve both dreamed of going back. We often discuss what it would be like to live over there, experiencing something so different to our lives over here. This three-month opportunity would be a little taste of that – perhaps if we like it enough we could seriously think about going back for longer one day.

For Justin to postpone his chance at a job here was scary, but there would always be jobs available. The position in Austria is essentially a contract teaching position, after which he could come back and search here for a job with a term-two start date. For me, it would mean quitting my job or taking a leave of absence (unpaid), which might cause serious damage to my career.

There are so many other things to consider. Would we get someone to live in our apartment and pay our rent? I’ve heard horror stories about subletting – our apartment is not suited to becoming a brothel (well, maybe we could cut a deal so it wouldn’t matter that I’m not working). Would we quit our lease and find an apartment when we return? Do we have any family members who would housesit and pay us rent?

When having coffee with a friend, she essentially told me that I would be silly to quit my job for ten weeks of unpaid holiday. Right? Yes, she’s right. It would be stupid. This realization made me frustrated and sad, but what she said next caught me by surprise. Normally my brain is super-organised, thinks of all the options and weighs them up logically. It leaves no stone unturned. This time, there was unturned stone with a great idea hidden beneath. I hadn’t thought of the possibility that we could do this properly – quit our lease, pack up, move to Europe and find jobs over there.

It made perfect sense. It might not be the most sensible option, but we have always dreamed of living in Europe and this ten-week contract job was the kick up the butt we both needed to make it happen.

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