Our way of dealing with a dreadful waiting period

After 15 years as an expat, I can honestly say that I’m pretty fine with change. We had our problems, but now we became close friends, who occasionally argue, but always find a way to sort things out. What I hate though is waiting for a change, when you have no idea whether its coming at all or not and if it does, then when and how and what and and… Knowing what you have to deal with is easy; not knowing – that’s pretty unsettling.

My husband’s contract in Czech Republic was coming to an end and we were at a crossroads again. Shall we extend the contract and stay here longer? Shall we look for something else in CZ? Or in another country? There were several factors that were against prolonging our stay here. First, our daughter has to start school (next year, if it’s in CZ) and we would like to find a steady place to live and to work, so she doesn’t have to relocate so often. The company, where my husband works at the moment, prefers hiring on contract basis and that doesn’t provide that level of stability. Second, if my husband wishes to find another job in CZ, there’s only limited number of opportunities for English-speaking expats and learning to speak Czech fluently would take time. So, planning to live in CZ in a long run was a bit tricky.

While we waited for results of sent out CV’s and interviews, life felt very temporary. Although, we moved a lot, in every place we stay, I like to make our life as comfortable as possible. In the end, what could be worse than spending years waiting for something and not actually living it? And that’s what we decided to do during the last couple of months as well.

First of all, I wasn’t sure whether to plan a weekend trip to my friend’s birthday or not – if there’s a move to plan, than we would need a lot of time for preparations. I waited patiently to find out, whether we’re moving or not, until my husband actually told me to book this trip in any case. Several days won’t make much of a difference and I deserve a break (yes yes, I really do :).

Even though, increasing your possessions before the move is not a very good idea, I bought some seeds and pots and set up a small garden for kids on the balcony. Still not sure, when we would move, but at least the summer won’t pass without kids seeing strawberries and marigolds springing to life from the ground.

Last summer we didn’t go on a vacation per se, instead opting for exploring CZ on weekends. It was really interesting, don’t get me wrong, but we still wanted to have a family holiday, where all four of us would spend more time together. So the decision was made to book a trip in July – if we did have to relocate, we would have to do it after we come back.

Finally, we got ourselves another pet. It wasn’t actually for the kids, as much as it was for me. A giant African snail. Very random, I know. Somehow the idea of a snail 20cm large completely fascinated me, so now we have Xena, the warrior princes, happily eating her salads and cucumbers at night. She’s amazing.

All of that meant that we didn’t spend the last months just waiting and doing nothing else. We still felt anxious, of course, but we also continued living instead of waiting and I’m very happy about it.

Then, just a couple of days ago, we received the news we’ve been waiting for – my husband got a job offer and we’re moving again :) Now, I have to sort out pet relocation (for our snail, hamster and fish), we had to plan the move around our family holiday and I still intend on trying to squeeze in some flower pots into the shipment, but at least now I know what I have to deal with and it’s all fine.

P.S. Stay tuned to follow another relocation of TInyExpats (5th country for the 5 year old and 3rd for the 2 year old). The older one will be hitting school, so we’ll try to stay put for a while longer this time.

Expat Life with a Double Buggy


  1. Where are you going?????? You can’t leave us hanging like this! And – a snail???? That IS random :) But I totally know what you are saying. Probably the hardest period for me of all my time as an expat was after we left Pakistan (with two weeks notice) and were waiting to hear where and when they would send us as an alternative. I found it incredibly hard not knowing what was going to happen to us – were we moving? Were we staying? I hated being in limbo – couldn’t apply for a job, didn’t know what to do about the children’s (pre)school…..

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  2. Oh come on, you can’t leave us hanging like that Yuliya! That’s cruel – I’m so impressed with how well you have continued on with your normal lives during a trying time – I’m sure your next move will be just perfect for your young family – waiting patiently now for your news ; )

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  3. When you said a pet snail, I couldn’t help but laugh! Only you my friend and I love it!!! Can’t wait to hear about your new adventures :)

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  4. Good luck with the move! Looking forward to reading about it! And how difficult is it to relocate a snail? I’m just thinking of the process I had to go through for cats, and I’m guessing you can’t microchip a snail :)

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  5. That is hysterical that you got a pet snail…AND you are taking it with you to the next posting! Great news that your husband got a job and the waiting is over, but I can’t believe you just left us hanging like that without telling us WHERE you’re going!

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  6. We’re experiencing that terrible limbo again in terms of not knowing if my husband can keep his job over here (visa issues) and whether we’ll be staying in the States or returning home. It has been an almost permanent uncertainty throughout our time here, but now we’re into the last 3-4 months of our visa so it’s getting stressful. I’m so impressed at you still making plans and buying things. Though I’ve had an urge to nest since we got married 4 years ago I’ve been resisting it as we’re never sure how long we’ll be in each of our homes. I guess we do still have holiday plans though, so that’s one area where we’re doing ok.

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  7. I know what you mean about never being sure how much work to put into your home, because even within Berlin I had to move a lot! So it’s the feeling of not wanting to gather too many things to move but on the other hand it’s also nice when home feels like a home. I’m looking forward to hearing where you are going next, and I hope to see a photo of your giant snail! :-)

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  8. Congratulations on the move – the waiting period of limbo is, I think, the hardest part. Your snail sounds amazing. I remember the roadside vendors used to sell these in Nigeria, sadly for consumption rather than as pets, I can’t imagine they are very tasty! Hope that the children settle down well in the new school and good luck with everything.

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  9. How exciting! Would like to know if you’re staying in CZ Republic but just moving to a different place. Or maybe you’re moving to a nearby country. Did you visit Český Krumlov? That was one of my favorite places to visit when I lived in Prague. Loved living in Prague and was homesick for it for so long after I left. I wish you the best of luck with your move. Sounds terribly adventurous :-) #ExpatLifeLinky

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    • Thank you :) Secret’s out – it’s UK! Unfortunately, we still haven’t been to Cesky Krumlov – tried to limit our road trips to 2 hours in the car, easier with the kids, and Cesky Krumlov is about 4 hours from us. But it’s still on our list!


  10. Oh geez…waiting! It’s evil. We call it limbo and it causes so much stress! Sounds like you are so used to it with moving so often. I don’t know that I could handle that!
    Thanks for posting on the #ExpatLifeLinky!

    Liked by 1 person

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