The scene is very clear in my mind, one of those moments in time you remember so well you can smell and almost feel it when it comes back to visit you. I was 9 months pregnant with our 2nd little traveler, we were living in Malaysia and it had been the pregnancy from hell. I'd lost 10 kilo's. Going to the obstetrician was similar to going to a weight watchers meeting "you've lost another 5 pounds this week"!
Our first little traveler was two years old and it had been a long day. I was at that waddling, aching, get this child out me stage of the pregnancy. She was splashing away in the bath while I was trying my best to maneuver my very pregnant tummy over the side of our circa 1968 midnight blue bathroom, when G walked through the door. He hovered in the doorway for awhile, the first sign that something was up. With a nervous how about this one voice he said "I got a call from Bill in Dubai today, he said he heard a rumour we're moving to Libya".
A few days later our 2nd little traveler was born, three weeks after that the house was packed and we were all on a plane (thanks to some serious help from the Grandma's).
About 18 months before that we were living in Jakarta, G received a phone call from an American who asked if he and his wife could come and look at our house. We'd met them a few times but G was still surprised at the way they'd invited themselves over to visit. "Those Americans are a bit forward" he remarked that night at the dinner table when he explained the phone call. It was the next day that G discovered the American had been walking the corridors at the office and spotted a whiteboard in a meeting room that had a list of names on it. Those moving to Kuala Lumpur were in the left column, those moving to Dubai on the right. G's name was on the left. He wanted to see our house because he knew we were moving. He had no idea that we weren't in on the news. Once again, we were on a plane in a few weeks.
A have another three stories like that one, all involve very small children and quick goodbyes, one of them involves a Christmas Eve phone call that resulted in never going back and never getting to say goodbye. Am I complaining? Not at all. It was exactly what we signed up for.
I think the adrenalin rush of moving and new adventures is very similar to that of exercise. You know it's going to be hard, maybe even painful, perhaps they'll be tears but the end result is a better you. You'll learn you had strengths that you didn't give yourself credit for. You'll make friends with someone who would normally not move in your circles. You'll learn something about someone's culture, you may even adapt it in to yours.
Just over a year ago we decided to leave the company that provided us with the adrenalin. Our dealer if you like. We came to Qatar and joined a Qatari company knowing that once we were here there wouldn't be a Christmas Eve phone call or a rumour or a whiteboard. We had control. We talked a lot about how much we'd miss the unknown but with a 9, 7, 6 and 4 year old who were looking forward to a bit of stability, we could see the obvious benefits.
We're now a year in to our new Qatari life, we love it but I can't help but wonder how I'll feel when people start to move on around me. Will I be jelous of their phone calls and packing, jelous as they try to learn a new language or find the right areas of a new city to call home. Where to find curry paste or good chocolate? Maybe I will, but not yet.