We had such a wonderful time in Canada that it has really thrown into relief the difficulties of living here in San Jose.
I've enjoyed my time here, but it's time to go. Things that didn't bother me before, like the damp, the omnipresent bugs, and the language barrier are now annoying me. And few weeks spent with friends and family makes our current isolation here and the fact that San Jose is not conducive to our lifestyle (no outdoor activities for Travis, no bookshops and libraries for me, no nice walkable neighbourhoods for either of us) much more apparent.
Until now I haven't minded this year's lack of company because Travis and I have been very busy getting to know Petra and getting to know ourselves as parents. But Petra's bigger now and we're all ready to go back out into the world, or in Petra's case go into the world for the first time. I want Petra to have lots of new experiences and know lots of people. So we need to be where our people are.
I'm also keen to have a real settled home base and to stop living like a student with temporary belongings in temporary homes.
We've decided to move to New Zealand, to Dunedin where most of my family are. I'm a bit trepidatious about it because I've been away for nearly ten years and a whole lot will have changed in that time. And of course some things, some of the reasons why I left in the first place, won't have changed. But mostly I'm excited. I imagine houses, gardens, cats, small children running around – a whole domestic idyll – and New Zealand's a great place for that.
Now that we've committed to leaving, I want to go right now, but Travis wants to leave his job in good order and we have to get rid of our car and furniture and work out how to ship what we want to keep. We also have to go back to Vancouver to deal with the storage locker full of stuff we have there. We left a lot behind when we moved because we weren't sure how long our stay here would last. At the moment, therefore, we're planning to leave here mid September, spend some time in Vancouver and maybe Saskatoon, and be in Dunedin by mid October.
Travis will be able to continue working at his current job remotely from Dunedin. He'll just have to be up at odd hours skyping his colleagues in South Africa and Costa Rica. That's a relief because Dunedin, with its population of 120,000ish, is not a hotbed of high-tech jobs. It's a university town, not a corporate centre.