From Comfort to Culture — How We Moved Abroad in 8 Weeks

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller

I was actually meditating while Donny took this pic of me. This is also where we snorkeled on Day 1.

>>If you want to read more about our Curacao adventures, do me a favor and click the image of the clapping hands. That way, I know if I should consider posting in the future! :) With love, Jocelyn

Social media-wise, things have been quiet when it comes to Donny and I; however, our lives have been anything but that.

Why?

Well, from mid-July to the end of August, we went zero plans of any big changes in our lives to moving to the Caribbean.

Yes — you read it right. I am writing this from Curacao, a Dutch island down in the Caribbean. Our new home.

If you don’t know where that is, don’t worry. I had to Google it myself when Donny got the job offer. It’s 40 miles east of Aruba. And it is NOT in the hurricane belt!

The Decision

You’d think a decision like this would take a long time to make.

Our decision was more like “Holy sh*t. Are we really doing this? Wait.. can Jaffe come? Yes? Okay.. Let’s do it! Eeek! WE’RE MOVING OUT OF THE COUNTRY!”

And what about work? Donny got a job offer down here and I.. well I can pretty much work anywhere with wifi — although that’s TBD.

So in a matter of 8 weeks (less actually, but I will explain in a bit), we cancelled a trip to Croatia, rented out our house, sold/donated most of our furniture and belongings, sold my car, packed a couple of suitcases, said goodbye to friends and family, and moved out of the country. And like I said, we couldn’t leave our fur-child, Jaffe, behind. We went through a semi-crazy process and got him an international health certificate so that he could come with us.

Did you really think we’d leave this cutie?

Overall, it was a whirlwind.

The Move Down Here

Donny had to report down to Curacao by the end of August. I, however, wouldn’t miss my best friend’s wedding for the world so I said I’d meet him down here 15 days later. Or so I thought...

Little did we know, Irma was on her way.

She decided to hit right when I was supposed to fly to the Caribbean. As you could imagine, that didn’t happen.

So Jaffe and I were in limbo while Donny was waiting helplessly in Curacao.

Donny’s version of worrying :)

We didn’t know if Irma would come straight at Charleston. I didn’t know when the airports would open back up. Everything was up in the air.

On top of that, if you remember, my best friend was supposed to get married that weekend! They pushed the wedding forward to avoid the hurricane and it went off without a hitch. And we made it downtown for round #2.

Who wouldn’t want to hang out with the bride in the bar?

My family let me crash with them in the meantime. We were lucky to have only lost power for a few hours. Seeing the damage Irma and Maria have done makes me appreciate the fact that all they did was delay our plans. I feel terrible for those who have lost everything.

Nonetheless, 3 or 4 cancelled flights when you are trying to move to a new country is not ideal.

So I was supposed to fly out Tuesday, September 12th. Then it got pushed back to Wednesday. Then Sunday. Then bumped forward to Saturday, September 16.

Then, Thursday night (after one last girls night involving margaritas with my best friends), I decided to check flights just in case one opened up a little early. I knew that if I could arrive on Friday instead of Saturday, I’d actually get to see Donny before he had to go back into work for 2 days.

It was midnight and sure enough, a seat opened up for the 6AM flight the next day. That meant ferocious packing would be in order along with only about 3 hours of sleep. Did that stop me? Nope. I booked it. I think the margaritas boosted my confidence in making this flight on time..

NOTE TO SELF: Do not drink margaritas and then look for flights.

But like I quoted earlier: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” My wonderful sister agreed to take me to the airport in just a few short hours and I started packing.

You’ll be happy to know that Jaffe and I made it on time — sleep deprived but ready to be in Curacao. 12 hours later, we saw this incredible view and it was all worth it:

So that was a quick view of the craziness we’ve experienced over the last 8 weeks or so.

Now, onto Curacao!

Friday night work isn’t so bad with this view. Don’t worry — I had a glass of rosé while at it.

Things haven’t really calmed down since we got here. We snuck in some fun (snorkeling, beach day, concert on the beach) in between car shopping, house hunting, trying to find reliable wifi connections for podcast interviews, etc. etc.

Office views here aren’t that awful..

This weekend was my first true weekend here so we made the most of it. Lots of fun, a night out that turned into a 5AM bedtime, jumping off a 40-foot cliff into gorgeous turquoise water, and then checking out some beautiful beaches on the other end of the island. So far, we are loving it.

Housing

And the reason we finally decided to announce our move is because we officially found a home! I guess that means we are sticking around for a while. :)

This is our backyard (literally.. those porches are our complex):

And the breeze is incredible.

We also bought this awesome old lady — a 4Runner that Donny found. Perfect for cruising around an island. :)

And Donny found a Crossfit gym for us, too! 5triple9 has a massive facility and great people. What more could we ask for?

Just some last minute thoughts..

Things I have learned here so far:

  • Cold showers are a blessing, not a curse.
  • Try to find housing with access to the breeze.
  • Island time really is a thing — and may be the death of me. I think this is 90% of the reason I am here. Must. Adapt. Quickly.
  • USA produce is all over (unfortunately).
  • This is going to be an incredible experience.

We have a lot to learn and get used to here but I can definitely see this being home for a while. Donny and I have always talked about moving abroad and this opportunity fell into our lap at the perfect time.

How could we say no?

If you liked this and want to read more about our Curacao adventures, do me a favor and click the image of the clapping hands. That way, I know if I should consider posting in the future!

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