Moving to a new country is never an easy decision. You have already built your life, have your home, friends, social circle, and career. Now you are expected to start everything from the beginning. It is scary, stressful, and one of the hardest decisions you can make.
Making a decision
The idea crept into our heads in 2019. When I say crept in, I actually mean my sister kept bugging us to move so we could be closer to her and her family. She wanted free babysitting services 🙂 But we kept changing our minds once a day. Ultimately, coming to a decision to leave Ireland so we could move to the Netherlands took two years. First, Covid put a stop to anybody’s travel plans, and then our brains decided it would be fun to stress it out.
One of us would be ready to pack the bags, and the other would find a reason to stay. I would get upset with something that happened at work and come home saying to my husband: that is it, we are moving. And then, he would get a promotion at work, and we would postpone. Next, he would have enough, but I would list the reasons to stay. Moving to another country is a scary decision. Impossible to make when you are not on the same page and terrified.
One day, I had an impossible day at work. Everything that could go wrong went wrong; I felt so unappreciated and started seeing red. Before I could calm down and clear the red fog, I handed in my two months’ notice. This put our plans in motion. We had to decide what to do next, will we move, or will I start looking for a new job. After a lengthy discussion, we decided to try our luck, and my husband began applying for jobs in the Netherlands. As luck would have it, he managed to find one after a few weeks and handed in his one months’ notice which coincidentally put his end date just a few short days after mine. It was time to start a new phase in our lives.
Considering we didn’t expect things to move that fast, we weren’t quite ready to take action as soon as we had to. But our timetable didn’t care if we were ready or not; it was time, and we had to deal with it. You don’t know how many things you can have in a small two-bedroom apartment until you have to start moving and pack everything. We had to make the tough decision of separating what we would bring, what we would donate, what we would sell, and what would go to the bin.
When we first moved to Ireland, both of us just had a 10 kg suitcase. Mine mostly filled with my favorite books and a trusty hairdryer. Luckily, we weren’t restricted this time, so we could decide what to bring with us and what to leave. Still, we chose not to bring too many things as we wanted a fresh start, and we weren’t sure what our living situation would be.
We slowly went through all of our things and made a list. After donating toys that my daughter grew out of and selling our furniture, we packed the rest. In the end, we filled five big boxes with our stuff and sent them to my sister’s place. One of which was mostly just our books. We would be living there until we found our place. We chose a transport company that offered door-to-door service to reduce our stress and make it easier.
Then all that was left was to finalize the last details. Canceling our suppliers for internet and electricity proved to be more complicated than expected. No matter how many times you tried to explain that you were leaving a country and won’t be needing their services anymore, they just kept offering new special deals and promotions to stay with them. After getting transferred from an agent to an agent, I finally managed to get a person who understood what I meant when I said we were leaving the country. And then he disconnected our Internet 5 days before the agreed date. But, all’s well that ends well.
Luckily we had family members here that could board us for a while. When we first moved to Ireland we didn’t have that opportunity. We used Airbnb to book a place for a month, hoping that would be enough to find our own home. Anyone who tried renting an apartment in Ireland or the Netherlands is probably laughing now at our hopefulness or stupidity. But we were young and hopeful and didn’t know what to expect. Luckily, everything turned out ok. In both countries, it took us around 2-3 months to find our own place and start our new lives. Anyone who tried renting in them knows is not bad at all.
After all the stress
Usually, making this decision and taking all the associated action would take more than two months, but we were a little bit pressed for time. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to either one of us. As it also happened when we were moving to Ireland. The first time we had three months. But we were also organizing the wedding so we could celebrate with all of our family. I feel this time we were more stressed because it wasn’t only us we were making decisions for. Everything we decided would impact our little one also. But, I am glad to report, the decision we made was the right one for us, but most definitely for her.