503 days ago we put everything we owned into a huge shipping container, waved it goodbye for 9 weeks and got on a plane to Anaheim with our 2 boys and 7 suitcases.
I look back at the early days and wonder how I survived.
We spent the first 6 weeks living in 2 different vacation rentals (I spent 2 of those weeks trying to make sure my boys didn’t destroy the garden thanks to broken sprinklers and my darling little mud magnets) then we ‘glamped’ in our rental house until everything we owned arrived.
So what’s it like being a legal alien? (I’m sorry, I had to, I sing that song to my children all the time with some lyric changes!) Thanks to the amazing community we live in, it’s awesome. We joined a Moms Club, we got passes to all the local attractions, we found our favorite beach spot, the meat man at our local store always finds me the best steaks for grilling AND we discovered that when the grandparents visit we are only a 4-hour drive to Vegas.
Winning at life!
In all seriousness though, this is something many think of doing but few take the plunge. It is stressful, it is lonely until you make friends, it is hard work without family to help out when you have kids, but it is also the greatest adventure of our lives so far.
We are exactly 5321 miles away from the house we left in Sheffield, England. Would we change anything about this journey we embarked upon? As my theatrical, 4-year-old would say, NEEEEVEEERRRRR! This is the best gift we have given our children so far; it has made our family unit so strong, our bonds unbreakable and our love for home amplified. It has given us the realization that we are stronger than we ever thought we were, and that together, we’ve GOT THIS. It has also given us a new appreciation for a decent cup of tea and a custard cream (if you haven’t ever tried one you must. It’s a sandwich cookie that would destroy the oreo in a battle of cookies).
The children have amazed us with how easily they adapted. The 4-year-old uses his American accent at school and stays true to his British roots at home. The 3-year-old says trash instead of rubbish, but still asks for a biscuit instead of a cookie. Children cope. They see such a huge upheaval differently. The 4-year-old often talks about his friends from England but we look at photos and are thankful we live in a technological era where we can Facetime, what’s app and facebook our loved ones.
FOMO still gets me, and I don’t think the homesickness will ever go away but we know we will always have the ones who love us back home, and now we have new friends to love here!
Life is for living; throw yourself outside of your comfort zone. Who knows what might happen if you believe that you can survive the adventure.