Bags are packed. Car is sold. House is leased. It’s not surprising that over the last month, I haven’t found the time to sit down and write this post. For those that don’t know, I’m moving to Melbourne, Australia (not Florida, despite what Google seems to insist by default). I’ve accepted a job with Telstra, a large telco company there, as a product specialist (also known as a product manager) for their smart home app and products. My previous employer made the introduction, and I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity to sharpen my skills while exploring a different part of the world.
That means that I’ve been doing a lot of what millennials call ‘adulting’ over the last two months (also known as, being a responsible human over the age of 23). Upon returning from the crazy Hornstrandir hike, I had a voicemail and email waiting for me with the job offer. Since then, I’ve been navigating through this big change and building up a vocabulary of Australian words related to employment, health insurance, and taxes. Some of them make more sense than their American counterparts, and others are ironically opposite. For example, the 10% superannuation is what we’re familiar with as a 401k. A healthcare limit is the most your provider will pay for a service (rather than your out of pocket maximum). A tax file number works like a social security number. I started a list, I hope you find these as entertaining as I have:
- Limit…The most your healthcare provider will pay for a service…oddly the US doesn’t have a term for this 🙂
- Preferred Provider…In Network
- Extras!…Dental and/or Optical
- Cooling Off Period….30 day, money back guarantee
- Theatre…Operating Room
- Tax File Number…Social Security Number
- October 31…April 15 (aka, tax filing deadline)
- Top Up Tax…The amount I owe to the US government if my Aussie taxes happen to be cheaper. This one is much less fun than it sounds.
- Governance Call…Less serious than it sounds- weekly call on a project with all stakeholders.
- Hand in glove…Hand in hand
- Robe…Wardrobe or closet
- Stuff things up…Screw something up
I’ve also learned quite a few new things as I went through leasing and then moving out of my home. One, is that a homeowner makes what seems like an infinite number of tiny decisions when they list their house for lease- for example, what day would you like the rent to be due, what’s the fee if its late, what’s the fee for each additional day its late, do you want to allow pets, what breeds of dogs, do you want a size restriction on dogs, what about the pet rent, just to name a few. The other question that came from a couple of people I met during the moving process that surprised me was, ‘are you military?’ It took some deciphering, but after the third person asked, I realized it was because I was moving abroad. I don’t know of any extensive (or even existent) US military operations in Australia, nor would it occur to me that this might be a key reason people move overseas.
The truth is, I had an inkling that I’d be ‘ooching’ into a change when I left to travel back in October, I was just too scared (and uncertain) to admit it to myself, much less to friends and family. I also didn’t know what that change would be, and wasn’t ready to commit to an idea or location.
Once I had decided on Melbourne and started broadcasting the information, I experienced a much needed and much appreciated outpouring of help and love from friends and family—from an ‘emergency’ garage sale to offload most of my belongings in sweltering Austin summer heat, to a surprise visit from a favorite Floridian, to a killer Australian-themed going away party, to a loving home for Cocoa, to long road trips just to come help pack up and ‘lease-ify’ the house (also known as, fix the crap I don’t want to, thanks Mom&Dad! :)).
I don’t plan on stopping with the adventures and do plan on keeping up the blog. I will miss Austin and all of its friendly faces and delicious tacos. Until next time :).
“How lucky I am to have known somebody and something that saying goodbye to is so damned awful.” –not Winnie the Pooh