Why are we in Perth? What is happening? What is this Perth business? As you may know, Dave works for Chevron. He went to work there soon after Simone was born. Part of what led to Dave joining Chevron was the
opportunity for all of us to live abroad at some point. It’s the same reason
Dave chose to go to INSEAD. Hey, here’s a convenient excuse to leave our
beloved home for a dedicated amount of time and explore another country (and of course, INSEAD is the best school ever and this post is sponsored by INSEAD go INSEAD). But after Dave joined Chevron, we settled into life in San Francisco, both in incredibly positive ways (my career, the girls’ school, family & friends) and in difficult ways (my dad had Alzheimer’s and we couldn’t imagine leaving). In 2013, my dad passed away, and soon after that, we started having conversations that went something like this: “Maybe we should move somewhere. No way, no one’s going anywhere. Where would we go? No one’s going anywhere. No I
know no one’s going anywhere but you know, what if we just did it? But you love your job and I love my job and the girls are so happy and they’re learning freakin’ Chinese for god’s sake and we have a cat and we love our house and we have amazing friends and oh my god my mom and our east coast family.”
Like having a baby, or eating a hot pepper, there is never a
good time to move abroad. It makes no sense and is irrational in every way. But if you want to eat a hot pepper, goddammit you’re going to eat that hot pepper and that’s just what’s going to happen.
And then Perth fell in our laps. Perth. It was not unlike when Dave learned he got into the Singapore campus of INSEAD and we were like, “Singapore! Awesome! Um, where exactly is, Singapore?” Perth, Australia. All I knew of Perth was that at some point, roughly 50 years ago, everyone in Perth turned on their lights when Americans were orbiting Earth and Perth became known as the city that can be seen from space.** We started researching Perth, and talking to people there, and discovered that Perth seems to have quite the solid reputation. Its classmates Sydney and Melbourne get all the attention for being hip, pretty and smart. And Brisbane and Adelaide are sitting on the side of class being all, “we’re best friends and wear our hair in perfect braids and don’t have anything to prove and don’t need anyone.” And Cairns is smoking in the corner looking super hot, drawing really impressive but sort of filthy cartoons on the back of his notebook. And then there’s Perth. Perth is a bit shy, but beautiful. She’s happy being alone. She knows she’s not necessarily the first thing outsiders think of when they think of Australia, but she’s fine with that. She knows she’s got it.
So Dave accepted the job on a Tuesday, on Wednesday we asked
the girls, “you want to move to Australia?,“ on Thursday and Friday we told our friends and family, and on the following Tuesday, I gave notice at my job I love. It was a done deal. We were moving to Perth.
That was October. The girls saved their Halloween candy “to eat on the plane,” and on January 25th, the stale candy, along with eight suitcases, and four exhausted but excited humans boarded a plane (two planes)
to Perth, Australia.
**this is totally accurate factual information but you may wish to double check it.