Borneo? Is that even a real place?
Looking back it was written in the stars that we would end up moving again, and I mean not just to the corner house. Our lease was coming to an end in October 2014 and I was scouring the market for a place to rent or buy… whichever came first as time was running out. We put in 2 purchase offers for places that we liked and got neither. Pressed for time we found ourselves renting again. We packed up the old place and moved into the new place down the road. In the interim my husband had put his feelers out for new working opportunities abroad.
The morning that our lives changed was weird. An old work colleague had popped up in husband’s head. He wondered as to what Mr X was up to. That afternoon he got a Facebook message from Mr X saying that he was looking for an executive chef in Kuching and would husband be interested… ummm for sure he was interested! It was a signed deal by the end of November and plans were already being made for him to start work on 1 February 2015 Fate.
What was going through my head during the initial conversation between husband and I…
Firstly, where in the world is Borneo? Easily rectified by Google searches. Borneo is the 3rd biggest island in the world with amazing rainforests, white beaches and crystal clear water (the latter part is mostly on the Sabah side much to my initial disappointment). Home to the endangered and magnificent Orang-utans. We reside in Kuching – the city of cats, in the state of Sarawak. They also have the friendliest people I have come to know. It is a growing city with loads of opportunity. If government invests in the right places it certainly has the potential to be an exceptional city. I love the fact that rich and poor are able to live on the same street in mansions and kampongs (houses or villages) without class distinction. English is widely spoken, although I do find that the younger generation do not speak as fluently as the older generation do.
How do I tell my family AGAIN that I am leaving the country to follow my husband? I had done this so many times before. But it seems to get harder the more I do it. Do I really want to put them through it?
How do I keep this exciting news from my boss? Who also happens to be my little sister and best friend. We had been inseparable since my return from our Dubai stint in 2010.
Oh noooo more boxes and more packing! FML!
Am I making the right choice? Well, you never really know do you?
My dad!! Is his age and health going to withstand the heartache I am about to impose on him? My poor mom!
You mean I am not allowed to work! Like ever? What will I do all day? Oh he (Chef) says, you will take care of the kids, clean the house, bake, prepare meals, iron and work out at the gym. This was a tough one since I am much better at working a 9-5 job and earning my own cash. Besides, no-one hates ironing more than me. I have come to learn that this keeps stay at home moms very busy with very little ME time left.
What about schooling for the boys? They are at a very good International school and both doing very well. Kids are more robust than we give them credit for. They adapt and settle fairly well in comparison to adults. I guess they fear change less than we do.
Is it safe? Well I actually Googled their crime statistics one night and then giggled. Wow. We will be much safer there where they have like 2 murders a year, compared to SA’s daily fight or flight circumstances. Pick pocketing in the malls and on the streets is as bad as it gets.
Back to the boxes! Packing! Being ruthless and discarding things of no sentimental value! Crap, the thought alone sounded exhausting since I had just done it barely a month back. I can highly recommend AGS Frasers Johannesburg and Prime Global Logistics Kuching for all your relocating requirements. They helped pack the very few things we wanted to have sent over and we were even able to track and view the ship our container was on. It took around 8 weeks from door to door and I was so pleased to have my most prized possessions with me finally.
Why did I take the plunge?
It was a much tougher choice for me to make than Chef, since he had left Germany when he was 18 and never returned to his home town. His only attachments to SA were his; Landrover Defender, motorbike and I do believe my crazy Lebanese family. The risk was greater for me. I had to make the choice to leave my family and friends behind for the future and safety of my own family.Yet, I loved the thought of travelling again and enjoying new adventures with my little family of 4. Selfish me was ready for this.
We broke the news to the family and there were harsh words and loads of tears, but mostly amazing support. My poor boss had to put 3 days of family leave in since she couldn’t bear to look at me. She texted one day and said.” I want to be happy for you but I am really sad for me and now my eyes can’t stop crying.” Bless. Now I am crying too, remembering the conversations I had had with all my sisters.
Chef left on the 1 February 2015 and the kids and I followed on the 2 June 2015 with granny in tow. Thank heavens she was with me as I don’t think I would have made the 20 hour flight without her.
Here we are almost a year later to the date. An adventure that I am so glad I didn’t decline.
If you ever find yourself in Southeast Asia and you love exploring rainforests, rock pools, islands and just being out and about, then do make a turn here. You certainly won’t regret it.