Thursday, February 25, 2010

Should we stay or should we go?

This blog might change – from a blog about being a working mom to a blog about being a working mom living in another country.  Nothing will happen quickly but it IS a possibility… Let me back up a bit.

When I was 23, my girlfriend and I had just graduated college (yes – I was on the 5 year plan) and decided to stuff some backpacks full of clothing and head to Europe. We spent a little over two months being vagabonds – we traveled to Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Netherlands, France and Spain.  I was in love – not with a man but with the amazing, eye-opening experience of being in different countries, learning about different cultures, languages and people.  I had been bitten by the travel bug.

A year or so after I got back, I met my husband.  On the first night we spoke, he told me about a 6 month trip he had taken from California to Guatemala and back and how amazing it was.  I was smitten – and jealous!  Less than year after we started dating, the NEED to travel was hitting us hard. We realized that neither of us had seen much of the US so we decided to quit our jobs and spend a few months camping across the US (oh to be young with no responsibilities… but I digress!). 

Since then, we have continued to travel together and with our son who is now 5. However, two of my goals in life are to learn another language (fluently) and to live in another country. The more that I thought about it, the more that I realized I should do both at the same time. 

My husband and I have toyed with the idea of selling everything and moving to another country for a while.  We went to Costa Rica on a fact-finding trip thinking that we might move there. However, it just didn’t seem like the right time.  Then the housing market blew up in our face and selling everything didn’t seem like much of an option.  We went to Panama last year and really felt at home.  We told ourselves that when the housing market got better, we would pack up and go.  I even approached my boss about it and asked if I could work from home from there.  She said that she was fine with it as long as I had easy access to an airport.  All the stars were starting to align. 

Now, the housing market hasn’t really jumped back up but it doesn’t seem to be in the gutter either. So what is our motivation?  My husband just got hit with a 10% pay cut.  Add that to the cut in bonuses that happened last year and it’s a pretty hefty dent in our monthly income. We’ve started thinking seriously again about making the move and have come up with a plan… 

We are going to bust our butts in the month of March to finish all the house projects that we have started. We don’t have much – we can pull it all off in the 30 day timeline we’ve given ourselves.  We will then have a few real estate agents come in and tell us what we could sell our house for and, barring that, what we could rent it for.   If we can do either without taking a hit then we’re out of here.  Of course everything takes time. I don’t see an actual move until July or so – but it IS a possibility.

I’ve looked into schools for my son. I’ve looked into flights to NY (my office). I’ve looked into rental houses/apartments for our initial living situation until we decide if/where we want to buy.  At this point it’s all a matter of pulling the trigger.  Will we chicken out? Will our house be worth nothing?  Will we be able to make it work?  I would love to hear from someone who has done the same thing – or who knows someone who has done the same thing!


  1. WOW. I am floored by you and your husband's courage! To just pick up and leave a comfort zone like that. I am envious of your drive, courage and determination. Wow. Amazing. What's even more amazing is that you and your husband are totally on the same page. No matter where you are, I am sure you are going to have a wonderful time because the two of you want the exact same thing. Now is actually a good time also because your son has not entered the school system yet. I wish you the best of luck. And I will be following your move through this blog!

  2. Oh Steph! How exciting! The closest I came to this was a move we almost made from Ontario Canada to Florida and I found that overwhelming. If you do this I am living vicariously (sp?) through you! Fun!
    Either way I'll still keep following your blog:)

  3. Thanks for your support! We have started our house projects and are moving full steam ahead. I'll keep you posted on the possible move...


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