This morning, Sean and I picked up the keys (or rather, “key fobs”) which will end our current nomadic lifestyle and give us a place to call home.
For the past 6 months, we have had the majority of our belongings in storage anticipating an international move to Melbourne, Australia. We have been bouncing back and forth between our parents houses and let me tell you, it has not been easy. A nomadic lifestyle during uncertain times is certainly not ideal. I wrote about it in one of my previous posts, The Announcement | Raleigh to Melbourne when we were 2 months in, and now I have decided to write this post with an update of where we have currently found ourselves in this process.
The Australian borders are still closed and Melbourne recently went back into a 6 week COVID-19 related lockdown. Major Australian airlines are continuing to cut back on international flights and we have heard that it could be March 2021 or even as late as July 2021 before they open the borders back up. Even when the borders open back up, we still need to wait for our visas, find a place to live in Melbourne, and go through the logistics of the move itself.
Bouncing back and forth between our parents houses was supposed to be a temporary solution, lasting a month or two at most until we could make our international move. We had already started the process of lightening our loads which included getting out of a lease, selling one of our cars, and me leaving my job for a big move, a big move that never happened. Fortunately Sean has been working the whole time, however, I have been out of work and have been feeling anxious and restless.
Determined to not make 2020 feel like a total waste and with the news that our international move will likely not happen until 2021 at the earliest, it was time to re-evaluate our situation.
We have asked ourselves time and time again if it is even worth holding out hope for Australia any longer or if we should just a buy a house and settle. The thought of settling brought up many more questions. If we did settle, where would we settle? Here we are, big explorers and planners in a time where it is difficult to explore and plan anything!
In addition, my work experience lies heavily in events, venue management, and marketing in the hospitality industry which is currently struggling to recover from the fall out of COVID-19. The majority of contacts in my network are currently trying to keep themselves afloat and do what they can to prevent their companies from going out of business. What does that mean for me and my career moving forward?
Even with many uncertainties still ahead, we have decided that it is time to get our own place again to ease the strain of our nomadic lifestyle on both ourselves and our families. With Australia likely not being an option until mid 2021, we feel comfortable committing to a lease again.
We toyed with the idea of finding a furnished apartment and keeping our belongings in storage. However, spending these past 6 months without the majority of our belongings and only seeing our cats part-time has convinced us that we would like to reunite all of our items and our little cat family in one place for the foreseeable future.
You heard it here first! We are making the move to Charlotte, NC! We had the opportunity to spend some time in the Queen City this spring and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Charlotte. There are several charming neighborhoods right outside of Uptown, fantastic greenways and bike lanes, and many restaurants, breweries, and places to explore.
I do have some mixed emotions about making this move. In a big way, it feels like a failure. Moving to Charlotte was never a part of our life plan. It is not as grand of a move as I had been dreaming of and had gotten my hopes up for. However, I do believe that we are still in the middle of our story and it will all make sense in the end. We are fortunate to have family and friends who live nearby in Charlotte and are excited to see what this chapter has in store for us! I’m hoping that I will feel more at ease once we are finally settled into our own place again.
Once our lease ends in the middle of next year, hopefully we will know more about where the move to Australia stands and we can make a better decision on how to proceed from here. In the meantime, I am looking for any Charlotte recommendations you can throw at me! Word of mouth is always the best but so far I have loved using Charlotte Agenda and Charlotte’s Got A Lot as resources for exploring the new city that I am about to call home.
Here are some of my personal Charlotte favorites so far:
Favorite Brewery = Sycamore Brewing
Favorite Outdoor Area = Little Sugar Creek Greenway
Another outdoor area that I am dying to explore is the U.S. National Whitewater Center!
Favorite Restaurant = Hello, Sailor
Honorable mentions: Soul Gastrolounge – you MUST order the pork belly and watermelon tacos!
Also, I wanted to mention that I now have two Instagram accounts for you to follow along. I am working on building up my new account, @mollyannexploresitall but still have my personal account @mollyannrussell as well.
Let me know if there is anything that you would like to see me cover during my time in Charlotte!