USA here we come!

This news is just so exciting I’m going to cut to the chase…

We’re moving to San Francisco, U.S.A!

USABefore I get into a bunch of questions you might have, let’s take it back to the beginning of the journey that is taking us to the other side of the globe.

You may remember this post from last year that announced quite the opposite: we weren’t going to Chile. After two months of discussion with Navin’s work, our hopes to go on a 2-year secondment to South America fell through at the last minute and left us wondering if we were meant to stay in Australia after all. It was a huge rollercoaster of emotions at the time and experience that left us a bit frazzled and disengaged with life in Australia.  Yet eventually we agreed to whole-heartedly getting involved in as many things as we could at home.

This rejection certainly didn’t stop a niggling feeling that we should keep trying for an overseas adventure at some point in our careers though (and surely Navin doesn’t work all those ridiculously late nights for nothing!) so I kept pestering him to pursue any opportunities that were out there and a few months later, here we are!

Why San Francisco?

SF

Think we’ll be able to make the transition from the Harbour Bridge to this…

Great question! I’ve never had a desire to travel to the States and certainly never to live there (and my close friends will definitely attest to my dislike of American travellers) but suddenly the city just kept popping up in my head and the idea of heading to the U S of A seemed very exciting.

SF also seems to be the mecca of the digital world: the city of Silicon Valley, just about every tech start-up you can think of and thousands of young entrepreneurs hoping to make a quick dollar. Scary but also very enticing as I seek to ramp up my work in the digital marketing space.

When I announced to Navin that we should try for SF and not London as he’d been rooting for (goodbye Arsenal season membership!) he slowly came around to the idea when he realised just how many sports he could be watching all weekend: baseball, basketball, ice hockey and not to mention NFL. I’m just happy he’ll be watching all these sports at normal hours as opposed to his usual 3am Monday wake-up during NFL season.

How long has this been in the works?

Mr San Fran

Mr San Fran

Well it’s been an idea floating around since Chile last year, but really things ramped up about 6 weeks ago and in that time a whole lot of weird signs seemed to pop up…

  1. As Navin was having his Skype interview with the States I was touring around Cambodia with work, collecting videos and stories from our project areas. One afternoon as we sat outside in 40-degree heat, a little boy cycled up and parked himself right behind the subject we were filming. I was frustrated and just as I was about to tell him to move along I noticed something, his hat said “San Francisco”. Even far away in a remote village in Cambodia I felt like this city was following me around everywhere… and I even have this photo to prove it!
  1. I was really lucky to head to Oxygen Conference a few weeks later with work and had the opportunity to listen to prominent pastor, author & speaker, Francis Chan. I knew he was from California but I hadn’t heard that he’d moved to San Francisco to plant a church. He opened his workshop by sharing about his journey to San Francisco and what it was like to live in a rather secular city… I’m not sure if this was meaning anything to anyone else in the room but it felt like he was talking directly to me at that point and I really needed to get over there! As finding a good church is something we’ve been thinking a lot about over the last few weeks, it was a very reassuring workshop to be at!
  1. The final sign (and there’s been a fair few little ones too!) was finding out there are actually Ramrakhas all the way in San Francisco. As Navin was collecting his parents’ mail whilst they were on holidays, the very first piece he collected was an envelope addressed from Walnut Creek, C.A, a city in the East Bay region of San Francisco Bay Area.

What will you guys be doing over there?

Navin will be continuing as an auditor with accounting firm, KPMG. In Sydney he’s been auditing property companies and will be doing a similar role in the States.

And for me? No idea! Just embracing the adventure and looking for an exciting opportunity to develop my skills in digital marketing & events and some how using my Not for Profit experience in the mix! So if you know of anyone in San Francisco I might be able to connect with (seriously!!) I’d love to hear about it. I’m just starting to email a few companies I’ve had my eye on to get a conversation going, and we’ll see where we go from there!

When do you leave?

At this stage we’ll be leaving Sydney mid-late October for a few days in Hawaii before we head to the Mainland. We’ll be keeping everyone posted with our departure date and then attempting to cram in as many farewells with you as possible.

We’ll also be back in January to see our two best friends get married (woohoo!) so if we miss out on seeing you before we go, we’ll make sure we book you in for some time in early 2015! But this leads me to my next point…

Can we come visit?

Sofa Bed

Doesn’t this look super inviting?!

Ah, heck yes you can! We absolutely LOVE having people over and San Francisco is going to be no exception. We want you to come experience the States with us! So seriously, please start thinking about whether you could come over in the next 2 years and let us know what dates to book you in for! Know a friend heading to SF too? Send them our way! We’re definitely keen to show as many people around as possible! 🙂

What do you need to do before you go?

Scary question, thanks for asking 😉 We’ve got HEAPS to do over the next six weeks, but the two major things we’re focusing on is renting out our wonderful one bedroom apartment in Northern Sydney AND selling our Mazda 3 – if you’re interested in chatting about either, I’d definitely love to hear from you. We’ll also be selling bits and pieces before we go (how else do you think we’ll afford the Hawaiian factory outlets?!) so look out for a link to our Gumtree page in the next couple of weeks. I also have one Katy Perry ticket and two One Direction (yes, feel free to judge me) to sell so send me a message (maybe privately so you don’t suffer the same judgement!) if you’re keen to go.

You sound super excited… but aren’t you going to miss us here in Sydney?

We are super excited, but there is so much we’re sad to leave behind. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do was resigning from my job today. My colleagues at Baptist World Aid have been a family to me over the last 19 months. The skills I’ve learnt, the knowledge that’s been passed on and the incredible personal development opportunities I’ve had both here in Australia and Cambodia have been life-changing. It’s going to be a very teary goodbye on my last day there in October but I’m definitely going to watch the Baptist World Aid journey from afar 🙂

Timezone Birthdays

We haven’t forgotten your birthday… we’re just behind the rest of the world 😉

We’re also really sad to leave our family & friends. This incredible network of people who encourage us, laugh with us and cry with us have truly shaped us into who we are today as individuals and as a couple, and to think of all the weddings, birthdays, friend’s babies growing up & new romances we might miss over the next couple of years makes me feel pretty miserable whenever it passes my mind. But this is why we want to invite you to visit us in America AND add us on Skype/Facebook/WhatsApp/WhateverSocialMediaAppYouUse  –  there may be a horrible time difference but we still want to be a big part of your lives where we can – to encourage you, challenge you and maybe even use you as a shoulder to cry on when those homesick moments kick in.

We’re also very sad to leave our incredible church, Thornleigh Community Baptist Church. It’s been an amazing four years getting to know the talented, humble and inspiring group of people who call TCBC home and we know it’s definitely going to be a HUGE challenge to find a church that has the same quality of teaching, music & friendship as what we’ve found here. There’s no doubt we’ll be back here on the very first Sunday we return home to Australia 🙂

Phew… this was a mammoth post and I applaud you if you’ve made it this far!! Thanks for sharing in this excitement with us  – I just love doing life with everyone who reads this blog and I can’t wait to take you over to the States with us. Finally, we’d really appreciate your prayer as we wrap up everything over the next few weeks: for the lease of our apartment, sale of our car, handover of our jobs and also a few too many tearful goodbyes.

It’s going to be hard to leave but boy are we looking forward to this next adventure 🙂

Caitlin & Navin

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