I talked before on my old blog about dreams and being realistic, while still giving yourself something to aim for. I think this whole thing is taking a rather interesting turn for us now that we're reapplying for our work visas again. In fact, our documents should be at the office any minute now! While the website claims they're only processing applications from July 17th, they've been saying that for almost a week, so I'm of a mind to think they don't update the wait time very often. Besides, our visas expire Sept. 21st, so they better be on top of it!
No sooner than we were gathering everything together to apply for this next stint here in the UK (3 years, 5 months), than we were starting to think beyond that. Scary, right? I mean, to date, we've tried to not think about after any given scenario until we're in the year it shows up. Now, that being said, I've always been a planner. I like to look at scenarios and see how they could work out so that I can get an idea about what appeals to me and see how would be required to make that happen.
We've been talking about what we want after this job posting is over. Hubby's career (who is notable shocked to discover he in fact does have a career), is going really well and he's been working on several projects on top of the one he's paid to do. Ahh, yes, free labour. But then again, these are just proposals and likely won't come to anything.
Except for one.
That one project has great potential and is getting people in his field excited! If it gets funding (always the big if in science), it likely will be just getting going when he's done his current posting. This means, drumroll... we very probably will end up back in North America. We're determined to go home though, and are looking at the options of being back in Canada. So far, the possibilities are quite open depending on where hubby wants to work. He'd likely take a teaching position at a university or college and commute to the project site when he needed to.
In looking at housing prices to remember how crazy they were, we casted a wider net and looked at a location we knew had a great chance of a job for him. For the same price as a small 2 bedroom apartment in Vancouver, we can get in this other place, get this... an entire 3 bedroom house with a large yard! And people there think their housing prices are crazy, lol. I will grant that equivalent salaries do always play a part in cost of living, but Vancouver is still crazy expensive in comparison, hands down.
And yet, despite that fact, I look at the areas I love in that city, including ones we've already lived in, and sigh longingly. There's just something special about it that I can't quite shrug off, no matter that I'm looking at $600 more in rent a month for one less bedroom.
It's something to keep in mind as we continue to look at adding a second child to our family. Finances have been tight for us, and until I'm bringing in significant income, it wont change.
So it begs the question, what price are you willing to pay for lifestyle? If you choose a place for lifestyle, especially when raising a family, what are you willing to do or give up? Do you work more? Live in a smaller place? Give up on buying a home and accept that you'll be renters most of your life?
More importantly becomes the consideration of money and how much is enough. If you can make ends meet, pay off your debts (better yet, be debt free) and put some savings away, but don't own a home or car, and don't go on lots of vacations, but are content in your daily life, is that enough?
I think it comes down to priorities and doing what makes you happy. It's so easy to get caught up in accumulating things. But when you live with a lot less, you realize that you can in fact live on less and that those other things you'd probably like to have, you can do without.
We have our dream life in the back of minds and I think we'll always be striving for that, but, in the meantime we're learning to be content with where we are at. It can be stressful and difficult at times, but at the end of the day, I know that we have it pretty good in life and there is much to be grateful for.
Meanwhile I'll be eyeing housing prices both back in Canada and for our pending move south into England next year with a slightly wistful, if realistic eye.