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D didn’t get the job with a big multinational IT company – although given the dreadful recruitment process, D was wondering if he wanted to work for them anyway.  He made it through several rounds of interviews, so we were feeling hopeful about being able to move to a small town where we could afford to buy a house.

When they said ‘No’, I was bummed out.  Ok, that’s an understatement.  I was devastated.

It felt like our dream of moving to my home town (where we can buy a house without a mortgage) was slipping away.  House prices in Wellington are off-the-charts-ridiculous, and with D’s income potentially being halved in 6 years time when he becomes a Minister, we’re not in a position to take on a massive mortgage.

One of the reasons we want to move is to simply to slow down and enjoy the gentler pace of life that small towns offer.  I’ve lived in several big cities before so Wellington seems rather tame compared with them, but D wants to say ‘see ya’ to the Wellington rat race.  New Zealand is blessed with space, and we’d like lots of it for Eloise to run around in.  I’m constantly trying to find balance in my life, and the support of family we can find in my hometown will be a great help.

Fortunately after the ‘No’, we were not without options.  D took the opportunity to ask his boss if he could do his current job remotely, and his boss said ‘Yes!’.  It helps that D works for a New Zealand IT company that is rapidly expanding overseas.  They have opened offices in several countries already, and have more in the pipeline.  The company needs to get working with off-site employees right, so D is going to be a handy test-case to help improve their current processes.

Naturally there is much excitement in our household!  We were even more thrilled with D’s Mum announced that she too was thinking of moving there!  I know lots of people have dreadful MIL’s, but I love mine to pieces.  My MIL is coming up to retirement age, and has been seriously thinking of selling her large house in Wellington and moving elsewhere.  When she saw the house prices in my home town, she thought ‘hmmmm, why not?’  She’s a nurse and should be able to pick up some work.  By the time we eventually move on again from there, she should be happily ensconced in her new community.

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Part of me cannot believe that I am moving back to my hometown considering I spent most of my teenage years being desperate to get out of it!  Even as a young child I can remember thinking that I was never going to live there as an adult.  I wanted more than it could offer.

My parents are history buffs (it was years before I realised not everyone’s family holidays involved trips to museums or stopping at EVERY historical marker on the road), and my Dad in particular is passionate about learning about other cultures.  When he was 9 he spent a year travelling the globe with his parents.  Back in the 1950’s travelling like that was rare, and he has wonderful stories about being shown around the White House by Mamie Eisenhower, and shooting guns at the FBI headquarters shooting range with J. Edgar Hoover himself.  All true, I swear.

Growing up with his travel stories meant I developed itchy feet at a very young age.  I thought my hometown was boring, and people who stayed there were ‘losers’.   I was going to get out at the first opportunity.  I was blessed to go on an exchange to America during my last year of High School, and afterwards left my hometown to go to University.   I never looked back.

It’s funny how your priorities change when you get older.  I returned to live in New Zealand after spending several years in the UK because I got quite a shock when I came back for a quick holiday.  My parents were getting old.  My mother was struggling with complications after heart surgery, and my formerly fit Dad’s knee had packed it in and had him hobbling around like he was 90.  I was suffering from severe burnout myself at the time and knew moving back to NZ would help my recovery, but I also thought ‘I don’t want to be standing at my precious Dad’s funeral thinking I wish I’d spent more time with you‘.

I see my family quite a bit already, but I’m looking forward to being able to see them whenever I want.  My brother and sister-in-law are there too, as are my aunties and cousins.  Eloise will spend her first years being surrounded by family, who are totally besotted with her.

I know that small-town living will annoy me from time to time, but I am also mindful that the ‘boring’ hometown of my youth is no more.  My hometown had quite a renaissance after I left and is now a much more happening place, with a vibrant art scene.

Maybe going home will be more of an adventure than I could ever have anticipated.

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