Searching for work overseas can be a bit overwhelming, especially over the holiday period when most people are out of the office or just coming back after time off. Sending your resume around, searching online job boards and having countless phone calls with agents isn't much fun either. But after weeks of searching, John pushed through it all and found himself a new job: in Norway. So we're excited to let everyone know that we're about to move to Scandinavia indefinitely!
It's always a thrill to plan a trip to a new place but moving is a bit more of a pain in the arse. There are visas to secure and accounts to settle, items to ship and short-term accommodation to find. We haven't even begun to think about where we might like to live in our new city - or booked our flights for that matter. We still have a bit more research to do and are awaiting more information from the company. Did I mention that neither one of us has been to Norway before?
One of the things we learned during our sabbatical year was that we prefer to reside in a destination for awhile instead of moving around a lot. Being an expat probably isn't what most people have in mind when they think of slow travel but we want to start a family later this year and so staying on the road full-time, even at a meandering pace, doesn't appeal to us at this stage in our lives. Perhaps we'll save enough to take a long-term family trip again one day, but in the meantime the expat life will suit us just fine for stability, while providing us the opportunity to discover a new country and culture.
We were considering a few different places this time around, including the US and the Middle East. In the past we've lived and worked in France, the UK and, of course, our native homelands of Australia and the United States. We were pretty much open to anything at the start of our search, with Europe always a top choice because, well, it's our favourite continent. But after careful consideration and other factors, an important one being the opportunities available, the contenders became Denmark, France, UK and Norway, with a company in the latter having the choice position for John.
John loved Finland, Denmark and Sweden when he visited in 2003 but I've never set foot in any of the Scandinavian countries, which makes it extra exciting for me. We'll be close to so many places that I'm dying to visit: Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and, of course, the rest of Norway. So while this blog will be taking on more of an expat focus for the next several months as we settle in, we'll have the opportunity to cover many more European destinations in depth in the coming years. I can't wait!
Our new home will be Stavanger and I'm grateful to the talented photographers on Flickr for making the art for this post possible. I'll talk a little more about Stavanger in a coming post. So much research to do...
Do you live in Norway or have you visited before? What do we have to look forward to?