Category Archives: Austria

We’re Moving!

I’m not even sure where to start. The past few weeks have been a bit crazy and chaotic and we have so many exciting things happening, all at once it seems. I will do my best not to make this the longest post ever and just give you an overview, but I have a feeling I will fail miserably, so bear with me.

Although Charles and I have loved our time here in London we have felt, for sometime, that a change was needed. We have been missing the sunshine and outdoor lifestyle that we used to have in California. With a baby on the way we wanted to find someplace to live that would provide our child with the kind of lifestyle that we both grew up with. Beaches, mountains, hiking, surfing, camping… all things that are kind of hard to find in a big city like London. We also knew that we weren’t quite ready to end our overseas adventure so moving back to California was not an option.

As I may have mentioned a few time in older posts, Charles has traveled a lot. All over the world (except South American), living in several countries for a few months at a time or just spending a few days before moving on. One country in particular has always held a special place in his heart – Australia. A few years ago we had the chance to spend about two weeks on the East coast of Australia. Of course, we loved it! The easy-going, friendly nature of the people we met, the beautiful landscapes, the sunshine! We were kind of hooked and decided that someday we would make it back to Australia to live and work there, permanently.

Now, four years later, about to start a family, Charles and I found ourselves at a crossroads and had some big decisions to make. Knowing that we didn’t want to stay in London, but not really wanting to go back to the States we started thinking about Australia again. Moving there was still something that we both really wanted to do, but didn’t know how to make it happen. After hours of plotting and planning we decided that in January of 2011 Charles would need to fly to Sydney and spend a few weeks there talking with recruiters, meeting with potential employers and find himself a job so we could make our dream come true. I could find a job after moving. We figured that all this would take quite a few months and any potential move would not happen until after we had our baby. Turns out, we were very wrong.

This past December Charles’ business partner, Simon, had dinner with an old colleague of his who lives in Sydney and works for a software company. Just so happens that his company was looking for a sales manager to work in Melbourne and manage the Western Australia territory. Simon, knowing of our dream to move to Australia and knowing that he might potentially lose his business partner and good friend, mentioned that Charles was looking for a job and he would be perfect for the position. Turns out, he was.

A few phone calls, a handful of emails and another couple weeks later Charles was offered the job. We were moving to Melbourne! This is when things started to get a bit crazy, as you can imagine. The new company wanted Charles to start ASAP, which was fine with us, but there were so many things to factor into a move to a new country, not to mention one that is literally on the other side of the world from where we were currently living. Visas needed to be applied for, two months notice to leave needed to be given to both jobs and landlords, a shipping company needed to be arranged, accounts need to be closed. Temporary accommodation, transportation, bank accounts and pre-natal care in Melbourne needed to be set up. Plus there was the not so pleasant task of telling our families that we were moving even farther away from them. All very exciting, but also very nerve-wracking.

Now, here we are, more than two months after the job offer and we are ready to go. Of course a major move like this rarely goes perfectly smoothly. We have hit a few bumps in the road, like not receiving our visas yet, giving our notice on our flat a little too soon which means we are now bunking with friends and living out of our suitcases. We have our fingers crossed and our flights booked and we are scheduled to leave London for good on March 11th. We are beyond excited and are trying to not let the stress of this huge move get to us. We are confident that all the little kinks will work themselves out and in a few short weeks we will be cruising the streets of Melbourne looking for the perfect spot to set up our little home and get ready for our little baby boy. I can’t wait!

The BIG catch-up

Yikes! Has it really been 3 months since my last post? That is pathetic. No wonder I have been getting complaints about not keeping it up-to-date. I apologize to my tiny faithful audience.

So much has happened in three months I’m not even sure where to start. I’ll try to break it down month by month.

Charles and I took a belated summer holiday for two weeks. We decided to keep it on the cheaper side this year. We mostly just wanted to lay on a beach somewhere and play in the ocean because we had no summer to speak of here in London. We also thought it would be nice to mix in a little culture so we found a really great package deal to Goa, India. Without going into too much detail it was a good trip. Relaxing, great food, decent beaches, wonderful people, colorful and interesting landscapes and incredibly cheap. We didn’t rough it, but we were far from luxury. We brought one small backpack per person for the entire two weeks, stayed in budget accommodations, took public transport for the most part and ate a lot of street food. We both got very sick for about three days each (Charles especially), but we left with fond memories and an absolute love of Indian food. More India photos.

A week after we got back from Goa we hosted our third annual Orphan Thanksgiving (the weekend prior to the actual day). We had a few English, Canadians and Americans for a total of 14 people. I think the party was a big success.

Then, as a special treat for myself I flew to California and surprised my family on Thanksgiving by showing up at my sisters house in San Luis Obispo. It was a total surprise and I loved every minute that I got to spend there. Everybody but my grandma was there so I made a special trip down to LA to see her and my aunt, uncle and cousin before I flew home.

This month started out slowly, but really picked up the second half. Several work Christmas parties and lunches for me and a great night out at an annual party one of our friends hosts in central London.

Then I had two weeks off! We went to Ischgl, Austria for the first week to go snowboarding. Christmas was a bit uneventful except for the 7km nightime tobbagan run that we did. We got lucky and had a lot of snow and a lot of blue skies.

For NYE we had very little planned an no expectations. Just a walk down to the local pub to share a few drinks with a few friends and then back home after midnight. As luck would have it we ran into another friend who was at a party around the corner so we tagged along and ended up having a really great time. I think unplanned NYE’s with little expectations are always the best. Less stressful and usually much more fun.

The new year has been pretty good so far. We checked out a few museums that we had not been to yet and saw a very cool photography exhibit. Other than that, nothing of real interest to report. I’m not good with new year resolutions so I will just say, hopefully I will be better at keeping this blog up-to-date, but I can’t promise anything. Cheers!

Christmas in Austria

So another Christmas spent away from our families which means it never really felt like Christmas. Luckily we spent the week in beautiful Lech, Austria which help distract us from the lack of family. Lech is an absolutely beautiful resort in the Alps that caters to the very wealthy and quite posh crowd. Needless to say, we stuck out like a sore thumb. I think it was because I wasn’t wearing my fur coat, fur boats and fur hat and Charles was sans a £1000 ski outfit. People seem to come here more to see and be seen than to ski. Regardless, we had a great time snowboarding for six of the seven days we were there. Our chalet was very nice and our hosts stuffed us with a five-course meal every night. We really took advantage of the great Apr’s-ski and tried several of the local specialties. The only downside to the trip was the theft of both our snowboards (which were locked together) on the 5th day of our trip. We had to rent for the remainder of the trip, but I guess now we will get all new gear once our insurance claim comes through.

Lots of stores to check out. No gift shops or kitschy tourists stores for this town. Every store stocked only top-of-the-line merchandise like Prada and Gucci. Every store. Seriously. I decided I should at least try some of the goods on, but I don’t think fur is my thing.

One of the stopping points on the mountain was Oberlech, a small little village with a few hotels and chalets. Full sit down lunches with waitresses was quite a change from the standard ski resort cafeteria.

Along with miles of ski runs the resort also has a great toboggan run, which we had to try out. Quite a lot of fun after a few cocktails.