Alright, I suppose I can’t drop a bomb like potentially moving to Africa (or Eifrika as we like to say it with a South African accent when we talk about it) and not explain further. So as you peeps probably figured out, Andy is in school right now. He is studying International Affairs and specializing in French-speaking Africa…if you look at wikipedia (my go to source for information) you’ll see Francophone Africa consists of, for the most part, the northwestern countries (Algeria, Morocco, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, etc.). Now if you have been following me for a while, holla at my long-timers out there, then sorry to bore you with these details again and again, but Andy was a Marine…oops I mean is a Marine. Apparently that whole ‘once a Marine always a Marine’ has been branded into my brain. I won’t get into that too much, but basically International Affairs bridged the gap between him getting a degree to appease me (because I think long-term sustainability/marketability) and doing something that he enjoys/has experience with/etc.
When he started down the educational path, we didn’t really have a clear idea of what would happen upon his graduation. There was talk about the need to look into domestic options, but in essence Andy has very little desire to work domestically. Most likely we would need to make a move back to the east coast. Which while I love Colorado, career-wise a move like that could be beneficial for my aspirations as well (historic preservation). Anyway I could go on for a long time about the options but here is what is boiling down to be the three main ones…wait make that four:
- Andy finds a job in Colorado and nothing changes. A highly preferable option but obvi depends on opportunity.
- We move to the East Coast. Most likely the Baltimore/DC area and Andy travels overseas when necessary.
- Jack and I stay in Colorado, Andy goes overseas. Not the best option, but not really that different from how it was when he was in the military….so I think I can do this. Alright fuck, I’ll be honest, this is my least favorite option of all. I want Jack to have his dad home as much as possible, I am not big on the idea of single parenting for 6 months or more at a time. Can I do it? yes. Will I do it if he finds something he really wants to do? yes. Do I want to do it? not really. The benefits is I will have our family and friends and be in a place I obviously love. So I guess there are positives and negatives to this one.
- We move to Africa as a family. Obviously we don’t know exactly what opportunities he might find. Maybe an embassy, maybe a private company, it is hard to say. Part of me is like ‘holy shit this would be insane!’, but at the same time it is exciting and wonderous and something that I would look back at my life and think ‘I did that’.
You may have guessed that moving to Africa wouldn’t necessarily be the best career move on my part. Yeah I don’t have that figured out yet. From what I know my license is semi-transferable to Europe (with some additional hoops to go through) but Africa? I can’t begin to predict what might be involved in that. Perhaps I could teach? Perhaps I could work for a world aid organization that builds shelters in Africa. I don’t have a strong grasp on it yet.
So far I am just letting the idea sink in. The thought of what it might be like to live somewhere like Africa. I think my brain explodes with images of an Africa FAR in the past. It is pretty certain we won’t have our own pet elephant. If we did though I think I will name him/her Waffles. In reality, a life in Africa…especially a life doing what it is Andy wants to do…may involve living on an embassy compound. In which case that would be highly isolating and perhaps not at all something I would want to experience for a long period of time.
But assuming we could live in a safe place and I would be able to leave the house. I can really just imagine it being such a beautiful and life-changing experience. It is very hard to tell right now. We have some time before we have to make any decisions. I can tell you right now, Andy’s family about died when we brought up the idea. His mother will most likely disown us if we move Jack to Africa, but can you imagine what an amazing upbringing he would have with such an opportunity?
A friend of mine from graduate school went to work in Tunisia for a few years. He and his partner had just had a baby boy before they left. At first I was terrified by the idea of taking an infant overseas. But slowly my ideas started changing. I remember looking at every image he posted on FB and just being so enamored with the fact that his little one was getting to experience so much. He was growing and thriving and learning so much about the world. His experience definitely paved the way for me to feel the way I do right now at the thought of taking a child/children overseas.
Perhaps this will turn out the same way that many things do, just a thought we contemplate that never happens. But I guess I am just excited by the idea that I would be so open to something like this. Go me!
One thing is for sure, we will be going to South Africa someday. Maybe just a visit in which case we will be doing this: The Blue Train. I love riding trains and this would be such an awesome way to see some areas in S.A. Of course we will need to win lotto first….which I totally think is going to happen any day now.