It’s hard to know where to start. I guess it makes sense to start at the beginning. In late 1999, a year into our marriage, Dave and I had just purchased our first home – a tiny flat in the heart of Spitalfields. We had literally just finished furnishing it when Dave returned home from work one day and asked ‘how do you like the idea of moving to Atlanta?’. At 28, no kids and a career I wasn’t married to, I LOVED the idea.
Me outside our Spitalfields flat in 2011
‘Well you can always come back can’t you!’
‘You’ll never know till you’ve tried it!’
‘Better to have regretted trying than never try at all!’
These are all things we said to ourselves as we both landed firmly on the side of moving. Our friends thought we were mad or brave. Either way I think most were pretty surprised when Dave headed over to start work in March 2000. In the meantime I was working for an investment bank in the City and obviously getting a transfer visa with them wasn’t going to happen, though they did offer me a position NYC – still quite a commute from Atlanta! So I hedged. I had started my career with Price Waterhouse as an IT consultant – that’s Price Waterhouse with an office in nearly every major city in the world, including Atlanta. So I took the risk of leaving my job with Dresdner to return to Price Waterhouse – claiming I’d made a huge mistake leaving, and knowing in the back of my mind there was still no guarantee that they would help me get to Atlanta. However, it was the best chance I had of going with a job, and more importantly back then, a visa. After just a month back in the job I announced that my Husband had been relocated…and errrr….is there any chance you can relocate me too? Incredibly it all fell into place. I traveled over to Atlanta to interview with the office here – the Partner happened to be English too which helped a lot – and within a month I had a Visa, a job, a one way ticket to Atlanta, and a flat to rent out in London. It all happened so quickly that a friend of ours even sold our car for us, as we weren’t there to do it ourselves!
We came with no plans to stay or leave…basically no plans at all except to have LOTS of fun and relish life in the sun. It was like being on a constant vacation. That was 18 years ago. Little did I know then that 3 houses, 2 kids, countless cars, several dogs and a business later we’d be considering moving back to the UK.