We spent some time at home in Dublin before we left for San Francisco in the weeks before The Big Move. It seems like I must have been asked “are you excited?” more than a thousand times. There were also been a few more insistent variations of this, such as “you must be so excited!” or “isn’t it all SO exciting!”. They were all well intentioned, but how do you explain to people that you aren’t actually so excited?
How do you explain to people that you aren’t actually “so excited”?
I found it hard to strike a balance without sounding either terribly naive or like I’m dreading moving. The approach I’ve been taking is to answer with a rather unconvincing “yes, but…” It’s an odd situation; whilst I really am excited about the opportunity to experience all the exciting new adventures and challenges that await us (I’m thinking weekends exploring, meeting new people, finding and furnishing a new apartment, skiing at Tahoe, wine weekends in Napa), there are also a few things that I’m really not that excited about at all. Here’s why:
I talk to my family a lot; sometimes I chat to my sister 3 to 4 times a day. We have lived in different countries, but the same time zone, for most of our adult lives. So we can catch each other at similar times of day; out and about in the car, cooking dinner, commuting etc. An 8 hour time difference is really going to impact that.
Flights to the West Coast are expensive. The cheapest return from Dublin – San Francisco I have seen is about €500 in economy, with a no frills airline. Living in London we have been able to pop home to Dublin after work on a Friday and be back in time for work on Monday morning. It’s been cheap too; less than €150 return if we were organised and booked in advance. The flight is a long one too; at least 10 hours not including airport and transfer overhead.
We have been lucky to make some really great friends in London and to keep the ones we have in Dublin. Being further away will make keeping in contact even more challenging. Also, while making new friends is exciting and rewarding, it can be really hard work!
It looks like I’ll have at least 12 weeks of downtime whilst I wait for paperwork. My background is relatively flexible, but the uncertainty is still a little unnerving. There’s also a significant chance of me going bananas with all that time off.
Preparing to move has been such hard work, with weekends and evenings stuffed full of life admin as we consciously uncouple from London (bank accounts, redirecting mail, packing, utilities etc). I’m secretly dreading repeating the process in reverse when we arrive in SF.
Whilst all of the above are real considerations, we decided that we would much rather regret moving than regret not moving. Have you moved, did you share similar concerns? How did you respond to the “are you excited” question?