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Old Jun 26th 2017, 4:45 am   #1
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Default There and back again - a year after our last Canniversary

So it's been a year since our "last canniversary", and we're back in Australia.

We finished off the time in North America by having a dear friend from Australia (who happens to be a US citizen) come to visit us, and doing a road trip down through the US. The three of us from Perth rocked up at the US border with 2 x Canadian and 1 x US Passports, and headed off to Washington state. We took a few days heading down the 101 and dropped her off in San Francisco, before continuing on and covering 10,000kms in 28 days through 12 states, seeing friends, National Parks, wonderful vistas, and many bugs.

Then it was back to Canada, and packing up our lives.

We chose our flight-out date (21 Sept) based on expiry of our car registration - 19 Sept, so we got to keep our plates (now hanging in the garage in Perth, of course).

Chose to use a shipping company, and filled 12 of their medium sized boxes, and two suitcases with anything we loved, or worth $15/kg or more. That was based on the cost of shipping by air to Perth - sea would have taken an unknown amount of time, especially with Hanjin going into administration at the time, and was 40% cheaper - not worth the trade off for us. Then we sold or gave away some of our IKEA furniture, most of our electronics, a lot of our kitchenware. Then packed up our clothes, anything we couldn't decide one way or the other, put that in one corner of the living room, and called 1800GOTJUNK and got them to take everything else. With that small remaining pile, we loaded up the car, and took them to a relative's house. They were out of town, so we used their house to finalise our packing/donating, with the help of one of their boarders (who was also from Perth..).

At that point, we mailed one more box back to Perth, packed four suitcases, got contract cleaners to clean the apartment, sold the car (11 year old Prius, 273000kms - $4200) with finalisation date being the day the registration/insurance expired and dropped it at body shop to get repainted to become a taxi on Vancouver Island.

One last dinner with close friends at White Spot in the airport, then onto a flight to NZ for a 10 day holiday, and into the unknown.

On the second day in NZ, I checked my email and saw one from Linkedin, "Top job picks for you" .. number three was a 3 month contract at something I thought I was a slam dunk for, so I put in an application, and got a call 10 minutes later, since they did too.. Had three phone interviews that day, and had a job offer by the end of my second day, starting a week after we got back to Perth! The contract got extended a few times, and I'm just about to become permanent. And it pays more than my last job in Canada.

Back in Perth at the beginning of October, the first week was dealing with paperwork - renewing drivers licenses, medicare, opening/moving bank accounts, sorting out health insurance, etc. We lived with the in-laws for a few months (they are thankfully wonderful people with a house layout that gave us a wing of it to live in), and then moved into our first purchased home in the beginning of March.

We've picked up friendships where we've left off with all of our close friends, and even many of not so close friends have become closer through our interactions with them over facebook/twitter in the years we've been away. Some of them are different, but there haven't been any unpleasant surprises - only pleasant ones.

It hasn't all been roses - my partner had an early miscarriage while we were in NZ, got fired from a job in Perth after 4 weeks, most recently needed surgery due to an ectopic pregnancy, and her grandmother and one of her cousins have both had cancer surgery. I've got two speeding tickets (less than 10 over, don't worry..), and my grandmother and both of my surviving great aunts have died since we've arrived back.

But life brings these challenges, and we'd rather be here for them than in Vancouver. People ask if we miss it, and are surprised when we say no. Part of being homesick comes from having voids in your life and missing them being filled, and that hasn't been the case now we're back here.

But we're still holding a Canada day party next weekend
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Old Jun 29th 2017, 6:35 pm   #2
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Default Re: There and back again - a year after our last Canniversary

Glad you are happy to be home, it sounds like you have found the right place for the both of you!
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