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So I Quit My Job…

I’ve been itching to tell you guys something for a while. First, visa restrictions got in the way — specifically, the clause in my Australian 856 permanent residency visa that said that if I quit my job within 2 years of getting my visa, I could face an investigation and possible loss of my permanent residency. Once I got my citizenship and that clause was no longer an issue, all of my preparations got in the way of writing the post this deserved. Anyway, long story short…

I quit my job!

I quit the job that has been the constant for the entire time I’ve lived in Brisbane. For 4.5 years, I helped to write and lead the development of some pretty major pieces of software that I’m proud of. For 4.5 years, I was part of a team that became a sort of family — one that I’m sad to leave behind.

A Company Outing on the Beach

Just a normal day at the office...

So why did I quit? Why would I leave behind a steady income, especially since I don’t have another job lined up?

The short answer is family. My family is, and has always been, very important to me. The huge distance between us hurts, even though I know it was my choice to move that far away. It’s even tougher when family members become unwell, as my grandmother has in the last year. It’s not unexpected that my grandparents will have some difficulties at the age of 91, but I still feel so helpless hearing about it from so far away.

Now that I’m in a stable position in Australia and can leave without facing residency repercussions, I made the decision to leave my job and go to Europe for an extended trip to spend time with my grandparents. I will be living with them for five months, helping out with everything I possibly can and hopefully squeezing in a few games of Scrabble with my grandmother.

My Family

My family all together. It happened more often before I moved to Australia.

Some people have told me how great they think it is that I would do this for my grandparents, and others have asked how I am going to avoid going stir crazy being in a small seaside town for five months. It really wasn’t a hard decision; I’ve never gotten to spend a long period of time with my grandparents, since there has always been an ocean between us. I’ve got the chance, so why not take it? In ten years, I wouldn’t remember what work I did, but I will most definitely remember the time I spent with them.

As for not going stir crazy…I’m going to have so much to do that I don’t know how I’ll fit it all in. Aside from helping out around the house, I’ll be working to make this blog bigger and better, learning how to write iPhone apps, and exercising my butt off for some hiking challenges later in the year. Plus, every chance I get, I’ll be traveling around Europe. My first trip, which starts in Stockholm, begins only 9 days after I arrive in the UK!

That said, I think my first order of business when I get to my grandparents’ house is to give them a big hug, have a good chat, and then go sleep for a looong time. Today marks a week since I finished at work, yet I feel like I’ve been even busier than I would be normally. Every day has been non-stop, visiting friends and family that I won’t be seeing for five months and preparing for the trip ahead.

Cleethorpes Pier at Sunrise

How could I go stir crazy when I have views like this to photograph?

Surprisingly, I got my packing done very quickly. Part of this was due to having to be really picky about what I take, since my original baggage allowance on Singapore Airlines was 20kg. I couldn’t figure out how to pack for all seasons in that amount of weight, so after a bit of cajoling, they very nicely upped it to 30kg. Now my checkin bags & camera bag are sitting next to the front door, with only the carryon backpack left to finish. I think this may be the earliest I’ve ever been packed!

Packing is only the tip of the iceberg when you’re heading away for five months though, especially when a new flatmate is moving in while you’re away. I’ve spent all week moving and boxing things around the house, yet it feels like I haven’t made a dent at all! I’ve also had to run around getting things like health insurance and mobile phones suspended so I don’t have to waste money on them when I won’t be here to use them.

So all in all, what can I say? I’m hugely excited to be starting a new chapter in my life — one that focuses much more on the people and things that matter to me most. It’s going to be a wild ride!

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6 Responses to So I Quit My Job…

  1. Ali February 15, 2013 at 8:23 pm Reply

    Sounds like a great decision! You’ll have a wonderful time hanging out with your family & exploring a little more of Europe. Did you find a home for your cat?

    • Kristin February 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm Reply

      Thanks Ali! I am very happy with my decision and my grandparents are really excited to have me here. It’s great to be around to help them out and just to chat a bit more. It’s surprising the new things you learn about people that you’ve known for so long while chatting over a cup of tea!

      I did find a home for my cat. It’s sad because it’s a permanent home rather than a 5-month one, but I think it’s for the best. He’ll have a place to stay that doesn’t keep moving around, and he doesn’t get along with his brother (who lives elsewhere but will eventually end up with me) anymore so it’ll be less stressful on both of them to live separately. It was difficult saying goodbye, but thankfully his new owners said I could come by and visit anytime 🙂

  2. Heather February 17, 2013 at 5:25 am Reply

    I’m so glad you’ll be able to spend time with them 🙂 Great decision, chica.

    • Kristin February 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm Reply

      Thanks Heather! I’m so happy that I came over here. It’s been great just being able to sit in the living room and talk face-to-face with my grandparents without the stress of knowing I have to leave soon. Even though I’ll be leaving next week for a month, I know I’ll be back for most of April and June and part of July, and that makes such a huge difference.

  3. Deborah February 17, 2013 at 10:33 am Reply

    Oh wow! So exciting! I’m really happy for you and what a great new adventure!

    PS. Family is so very precious!

    Deb

    • Kristin February 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm Reply

      Thanks Deb! The next few months will be an adventure, that’s for sure. And family really is precious, isn’t it? I know that in ten years’ time I wouldn’t have remembered the work I did, but I’ll definitely remember having spent time with my grandparents!

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