Archives for category: moving

Today marks 27 days since we first arrived on a flight from Barcelona to San Francisco. In just shy of four weeks, we’ve gotten Amy’s permanent residence, lived in four different places, bought two cars and some furniture, started my new job, managed to get Sofia off to her first day of kindergarten, and eaten way too much junk food.

This morning Google reminded me that the return leg of our trip was leaving from SFO at 7:00am. Even though we never planned to be on that plane (a round-trip ticket was cheaper than a one-way flight), and we’re far too tied down to various leases and contracts to consider the possibility, it’s still a symbolic reminder that we’re now committed to making this move work. And so far, so good.

Now if we just had a sofa and some dining room furniture.

It starts with the most mundane things: canceling an embarrassingly-underused gym membership, or realizing that there’s no need to renew another year on the public bike sharing card. One by one, the clocks run out on one thing and another, and the invisible rhythms that take hold when you’ve settled in somewhere slowly begin to fall away.

It’s almost imperceptible at first, and then suddenly you realize that you’ve begun to say actual goodbyes to people, and the milestones start ticking past at an accelerating rate. Particularly around the summer months in Spain, the odds are that some people will be away for long stretches at a time, so you say these goodbyes early, all the while realizing that they’re a prelude to your own imminent departure.

Then, before you know it, you realize you’re doing every ordinary thing for possibly the last time, and everything is thrown into sharp focus. This last trip to the pediatrician, the last commute to work, the last meal at your usual lunch place, all suddenly take on special meaning by virtue of their finality. As you begin to detach yourself bit by bit from the machinery of everyday life, an almost weightless feeling takes hold. You imagine that impending 17-hour flight through limbo, momentarily homeless and with few possessions, before landing on the other side and beginning to shoulder the responsibilities of a new life.

For now, though, each little daily routine demands special recognition, as if to say, “this is your life, as it is now, as it will have been. Remember it.” Which is the real point of goodbyes, after all.

You may have noticed that this blog has been fairly quiet for the past few months, at least as far as written posts are concerned. There’s a reason for that, and for once it’s not the standard “too busy to post” excuse. It’s actually because there’s a significant piece of news that I’ve had to keep under wraps for a while, but now that I’ve broken the news to my group at work and to our primary client, I can go public with it here.

After more than 10 years in Spain, we’re moving back to the US this summer. I have a job offer waiting for me in San Francisco, Sofia has been accepted to a kindergarten in Half Moon Bay for this fall, and we’re in the later stages of applying for Amy’s permanent residence visa. Our current date estimate is sometime in late July; that date depends in large part on getting Amy’s visa approved, but also on letting Sofia finish out her school year here in Barcelona.

To say I have a lot of thoughts and reflections about this move is an understatement, and I’m sure a lot of them will bubble up to the surface here. Overall, though, while it’s been an interesting decade-long adventure, it feels good to be heading home again.