What a difference a year makes...

Even by our somewhat unstable standards, this has been a year of change!

For a start, this is the first time in 7 months that I've been to Starbucks: something I would have considered unthinkable this time last year!

This time in 2013, I was living in Paris, with a job I liked, colleagues I loved, and a husband living and working in Monaco. And so, despite the job and the colleagues, I was fairly miserable.  (Even though Paris has Starbucks and Monaco - until about a month ago - did not.)

At the end of January last year, Paul's job was made permenant, and we decided that commuting was too grim to carry on with indefinitely, so it was time for me to make plans to move down south properly. It took me a few weeks to wrap up some work projects, but by 1 June, I was unemployed and on the beach in the sunshine. I started a small web design business and picked up some freelance translation work over the summer, but by and large I carried on in glorious sunny unemployment for the next few months.

Then, in August, I was unexpectedly invited to a job interview. It was part of a long and almost-forgotten recruitment process that I started way back in the summer of 2010. I figured I'd screwed the interview up right and proper, so thought no more of it. Until they got in touch to offer me the job, subject to paperwork. That caveat took up more time than for any other job I've ever held (seriously, I had to find the dates and places I attended *primary school*...) but eventually (several months later, for real - the end of October) I managed to complete enough of the formalities to have my job offer confirmed. So, it was time to move again. (Monaco at this point waied until about the week after I left and then opened Starbucks - something long-term readers of this blog will remember me suggesting years ago. Well, whinging about, but that's basically suggesting. It's not very well-furnished though: no armchairs, no sofas, it's not feeling very Starbucks to me...)

And so, the end of the year finds me starting a new job, in a totally different field to that in which I've worked before, in a new town in a new country. One I was definitely not expecting to be living in. But Brussels is working out for us so far, the people in my new team are great, and the job seems to be going well. Our new flat is fabulous (noise issues aside...), overlooks a park, and is about 4 times the size of our Monaco shoebox.

For the first time in a while, I can see us possibly staying in one place for a while. (This, of course, depends on probation periods at new work and a couple of other issues to sort out. But the potential for a long-term future is definitely there in a way that I don't think we've had for quite a while. All this moving gets tiring - or I'm getting old - either way, I'd be glad of a rest for a bit, if it turns out to be possible!)

This also seems to be a good point to formally close this blog, at least until the next time I manage to run away to the sunshine! So, here's to a happy, healthy, stable 2014 for us all, and I hope the year ahead brings you nothing but good things!

Expatriate Tax Services  – (5 January 2014 at 10:35)  

Best of luck with your new job. Sad to see you go (virtually).

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