I’m not sure how we got here. I know the logistics and facts about how we got to England, I just don’t know how we got to this point in our lives. The point that two ordinary parents living ordinary lives with their two incredible daughters, managed to give up everything for a chance to live an extraordinary life. I’m not sure how we got “here”.
Growing up both my husband and I had the upbringing that so many other Aussie kids had, in fact our upbringings have some very close similarities, and some big differences. My husband was the second youngest of eight children, four boys and four girls, raised by two incredible parents who did their best to give their kids the best life possible. I was born the youngest of three children, two girls and one boy, raised by two incredible parents (although my parents seperated when I was not quite a teenager) who also did their best to give us the best life possible. Both our parents were just everyday Aussies, middle class, and although we didn’t have all of our wants – we had all of our needs. Kevin and I both spent time in different states of Australia throughout our childhood, but had never travelled abroad, much like a large proportion of our friends.
Throughout marriage the conversation of overseas travel really never entered our thoughts, at the very least only travel within the Australia itself to visit family and friends. The fact that we had a child with special needs probably didn’t encourage that idea either. When my husband became really unwell with no answer as to why, we began exploring the idea of him taking some time off work and doing something to make memories with him and the girls “just in case”. This is when we decided to take the girls out of school for 7 weeks to travel around Europe – something Kevin now wanted to do but something he had never thought he would.
In 7 weeks we travelled to England to see my English family, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece – and we were hooked. Saying goodbye to our family was one of the hardest things we did on that trip though so we vowed to continue travelling to visit and explore the world – after all, the world had just become this big place with lots of lessons to teach us. We did do a few other trips after that, one to England and two to New Zealand, but we wanted to have a longer term experience.
Kevin and I discussed at length the possibility of living abroad for a few years, and with my extensive nursing background and family ties to England, we decided we would begin planning for a 2-3 year expat adventure there. We had been planning for a couple of years when someone told me about a UK Nursing Fair in Brisbane, Queensland, and I happened to be going there that day anyway for my best friends Hens High Tea. Honestly I didnt think anything immediate would come of it, but after a 10 minute interview I was offered a position in Kent, England for 3 years…and I accepted with Kevins full support. Less than a year after that day we arrived in England with no idea how the following months of adjustment would go – but I’ll save that for another day.
All I can say is that this ordinary family, from the Sunshine Coast of Queensland Australia, have a little more courage that we had given ourselves credit for. Almost a year into this adventure we have had many tears, many thoughts of going home, and many doubts about our ability to make it through some of the toughest moments we have had, but here we are still standing.
How did we get here? We got here by loving each other, braving the scary, and having faith in God. We got here by never giving up.
Cheers From Kent, Tams