I realized the other day that I actually never wrote out why we made such a big move, but rather just announced it on my blog and in person to people here and there. It’s always hard to share our rationale in an elevator speech behind a decision of this magnitude. This will be my chance to write it out and for our children and others to know more.
It all started when I gave Daniel a challenge one evening: “Go be by yourself in the spare room, take the self-discovery curriculum I’m teaching, and tell me what you find out about yourself, your dreams, etc.” Off he went. And when he returned, to my semi-surprise he shared he really wanted to give being his own boss a go. The idea of having flexibility in the future to be present for our kids’ activities, not report to someone, and serve wherever he is called, all spoke to him. We were both not completely shocked by this conviction since it’s always been a desire of his to be a self-employed man; it was just about timing. As we sat on this idea for weeks, we each did our homework and reflections. How would this look? Can it be achieved in San Diego, a city we loved and called home? Financially how can it happen? Do I return to work to support his dream? The questions were endless. The best answer: move to Gold Coast, Australia, Daniel works independently in his family’s property management business, and I remain a stay-at-home mom. Simple answer, right? Not the least.
Preparing for the move took a year, and we chose to save thousands by doing the visa paperwork and packing ourselves to ship 30 boxes abroad. I sold everything else through craigslist and friends. Further, we had to sell our first home that we put so much elbow grease into to make it the beauty she was when she was no longer ours. As hectic and stressful the experience was, we give thanks to our friends for their help during the process and God provided and opened doors every step of the way. For such a big move, we felt at peace with our decision and there were no yellow or red lights that made us think otherwise. Here’s the break down of the reasons beyond why us two crazy kids would leave an amazing community and comfortable life for something even better (in due time)…
A. Business/ financial opportunity: his parents have been running their property management business for 25 years. Daniel was offered the opportunity to start his own book of rental properties within their business. To have the opportunity to not have to start a business from scratch saved him a lot of time, money, and lessened the learning curve. Undoubtedly he still has to work hard to produce his own income. However, the great news is he can strive as much as he wants and earns 100% of his efforts. Hopefully in the future this will translate to living more comfortably for us, buying a house we desire, giving more generously, and vacationing more.
B. Work-life balance: the GC is extremely family-friendly. There are many parks and beaches nearby, many young families, and endless free activities to do altogether. It’s not a rat race here, unless you want to create one for yourself. We spend loads of time together as a family and because Daniel makes his own hours, we make sure he is present for the essentials.
C. Better schools: private education is a lot more reasonably priced here. We are looking to put Zane in preschool in a local Christian school. The annual fee is a fraction of what we would’ve paid in San Diego. Public schools are rated high in quality. As well, universities aren’t as expensive.
D. Affordable Healthcare: we don’t need to find a job just to get good healthcare here. Amen! As residents, we receive free healthcare and pay low copays for medicine and procedures.
E. Closer to family: we get to spend more time with Daniel’s parents and brother’s family. Zane gets to grow up with his cousins and be spoiled by at least one set of grandparents. And I appreciate the help we receive for childcare, meals, repairs, etc.
F. Serving abroad opportunities: Daniel and I both would love to do mission work abroad one day when we feel called. Being his own boss and once his business is doing well, we will have flexibility and money to raise our hands and say “yes” when God calls.
G. Leaving behind a legacy: moving here has been an adventure. No doubt we experience stressors and funks. However, we are following our dreams and building a business that serves others well and one that we can offer to our kids when we get older. We want our kids to know we took risks, loved with our hearts, enjoyed the ride together, and never had regrets.
Thanks for taking the time to read this! Hopefully this gives you some insights to why we are living here.