Here we go, we are moving! I’ve been waiting for this moment for a while now. I am ready! It’s just I no longer expected it to happen anytime soon. And bang, all of a sudden, here we are: we just received an offer to move to The Netherlands. Just like that, out of the blue. Well, kind of. We knew the possibility potentially existed somewhere in our future but definitely not for now!

How do I feel about this? Good, really good; and a little bit stressed out! Not by the move itself, in the end there is not much to do, not much I have time to prepare for. All I did was packing suitcases for our discovery trip and our first month and making sure I was taking with me all our important documents. For the rest, the movers will take care of everything. That’s for the part in France. I won’t go over the administrative part, informing the school, closing off our utilities accounts, cancelling our insurances and other things. I have a gazillion “to do lists” so I am good!

I’m not too worried but I do have concerns, mostly about how my kids will settle in their new life. The saying goes “be careful what you wish for”, doesn’t it? I wonder if they will like their new school, make friends and in general will my kids be happy over there? Then I think about me: how will I cope with this move that I’ve been longing for for quite some time now? Will I make new friends, how lonely will I feel during the first few months, will we find a house we will make ours and feel good in? How much will my husband have to travel? So many questions… But the good thing is: we are so busy at the moment these questions are just pushed in the back of my head.

Whereabouts are we heading to? The Netherlands… We keep circling around Belgium! If the trend continues, we’ll only have 2 options left for later moves: Germany (although for the husband it’s more like “been there, done that” ) and Luxembourg!! Anyhow, this time it is The Netherlands. Who hasn’t been to Amsterdam? We sure did and enjoyed it but that’s not the city we have in mind. We decided on somewhere else without ever having been there. We don’t have the slightest clue of how that city works, where things are located, how my husband will reach work and the kids their school. For some reason, we set our heart on The Hague. There are practical reasons behind this choice, we didn’t pick it by putting a finger eyes shut on a map! Schools, recommendations, proximity with the seaside and other factors were taken into account.

Although we are moving to a country we barely know, we are all very excited about this change. My daughter can’t wait to visit her new school and make new friends. My son is a bit more reluctant but the house-hunting bit is quite appealing to him and I’m sure he’ll be just fine after a few months in.

It all seems easy but it is not. I find myself overly stressed in the morning and my sleep is of poor quality. When I try to analyze the emotions I go through I think it is mostly the timing that scares me: learning round the 20th of July you will move and noticing schools over there can start as early as the 21st of August, you realize there is not much time to organize everything. More worrying to me is that all schools are closed during summer and won’t reopen before a week prior to the start of the school year. At the moment we are still not sure both our kids will have a spot in school. Fingers crossed they do!

So in a few days we will be heading to The Netherlands for a discovery trip: house hunting, school visits, obtaining a local fiscal number, opening a bank account. We will then come back to our home in France for what could be the shortest return trip ever: one day! If all goes according to plan, we should be going back to The Hague the very next day, making sure our son is there for his first day in his new school.

That’s my plan!

When reality mixes in with my plan it will be another story…

And that my friend could be the root cause of my stress!