So we’re moving to Sicily.
Oh, we’re relocating overseas.
We’ll be living near Catania in Sicily for the next three to five years.
No matter how many times I’ve said this to basically every person I know (and some randoms like the person who
butchered cut my son’s hair the other day), it honestly still does not feel real. But, since we have filled out approximately 145,324 government forms in the last month, I’m thinking that it probably is going to happen. So here are the facts:
1) My husband works for the government, and has taken an assignment in Sicily. We are required to stay a minimum of three years, and could extend to five years if we so choose. Five is the max we are allowed before being required to come back to the United States. At the end, Chris has the right to return to his current job in Indiana.
2) We are aiming for an Oct. 1 leave date, and as we’ve already sold our house and need to be out toward the middle of September I’m really hoping that this pans out. Unfortunately delays seem to be pretty common, so that makes me a little nervous.
3) We’ll be shipping the majority of our possessions to Italy and storing the rest. And since a lot of people seem very interested in the fate of our new minivan sports van — yes, it is coming too! We’ll probably be separated for two to three months (sob!), but it’ll get there eventually. We are planning to buy a beater as well once we arrive on the island.
4) We can’t hunt for a house until a couple weeks after we arrive, so we’ll be staying in a hotel on base for probably the first month or so. Gulp. This is honestly the thing that is driving me the most crazy because I’m a planner, damn it.
As to how we are feeling? Mostly excited, with the occasional deer-in-the-headlights WHAT HAVE WE DONE? moments. Right now is pretty stressful because we are waiting on various government agencies to complete certain paperwork so that we can move on to the next, very important steps, like applying for visas. Our house fortunately sold pretty quickly so that is a weight off our minds. The kids seem enthusiastic about the move, and Owen (3.5 years old) likes to tell people that we are moving to “Siiiiiicily, which is in ITALY” pretty frequently. Fiona, who turns 2 at the end of this month, has a fairly limited understanding of what is going on.
Honestly though, this is basically a dream come true for us. Chris and I have been talking about moving overseas ever since we found out it would be possible shortly after he started his job almost seven years ago. At one point I was pretty adamant that I didn’t want to do it until the kids were older, but somehow over the last several years my mindset has shifted from “now isn’t the right time” to “well, go ahead and just apply to this ONE because it is so perfect and it probably won’t happen anyway” to Chris coming home telling me “I applied to jobs in Germany, Italy and Belgium today …” and me actually hoping it would work out. While I always felt sure it would work out at some nebulous time in the future, I have to admit it is a bit surreal that it is actually happening. I’m not sure I’ll actually believe it until we’re there.
*Author’s note. This was written last week, and some things we “know” have changed. However, since web sites are harder than I thought I make we had to start over (second update: twice) and hence the older posts.