1 Week to go!

This is a blog about the adventures of Gavin, Lindsey and Nell (the dog). We currently live in London, England but are about to move to Myanmar (otherwise known as Burma) in Southeast Asia. Most people ask ‘where the hell is that’. Myanmar is on the western side of Southeast Asia with borders to India, Bangladesh and China in the North and West and Laos and Thailand in the East and South. The next question is ‘why the hell are we doing this’. That’s a good question. Lindsey works in the international school system and has worked in London for 16 years as a librarian. We always wondered what it would be like to travel with her job but knew we had to wait until we had reached a few personal milestones before making a big decision like this. We then had a three year plan which soon became a one year plan. Once you start you looking, there’s no going back.

Eventually we want to be in Africa, but Southeast Asia was definitely also on the list of potential places. I would also like to go to Central and/or South America although Lindsey is less keen as she spent the first 2 years of her career in Paraguay. The Myanmar job was the first one advertised that we were interested in although Lindsey spoke to a number of other schools in a variety of places including Japan, Cambodia and Namibia. There are lots of great things about the job and Myanmar but the big reason that pushed us over the edge is that, by a miracle of circumstances, there also happened to be a job for me. I have no experience working in schools but instead have spent my career mainly in digital marketing. I will be working in the communications department helping the school with its marketing.

We accepted the job offer back in October of last year but were lucky enough to have the opportunity of visiting the school for a week in January. This was fantastic as it gave us the chance to meet our new colleagues, get a feel for the surrounding area and choose the flat we are going to live in for the first year. The places we could choose were only places that would allow a dog which brings me nicely to our dog, Nell. We got Nell from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London although we believe she was born in Essex, just North East of London. If you bred all the dogs at Battersea dogs home together and got one dog, I think you’d get Nell. We got her when she was 9 months old but she’s now 8. When we initially spoke to the school we asked about whether we could bring our dog and they said that it would be fine. There are lots of street dogs in Yangon (formerly Rangoon and also the former capital of the country). The Burmese people are mainly Buddhist which is a religion that respects animal and human life equally so the street dogs are often fed by the locals. Of all the things we are concerned about, getting Nell to Myanmar is probably the biggest one. Fortunately there are specialist companies that deal with this sort of thing and we are using one of these to help with the move. Something we didn’t know is that airlines flying from the UK will seemingly not take a dog with a snub nose. We think a snub-nosed dog might have died on a flight due to breathing problems and they have since been banned. In London, French Bulldogs are all the rage right now and I pity the owners who got their dogs unaware of this policy now in place. Nell has a long nose which she uses to good effect to sniff out and steal food (mainly cheese but the list includes steak, burgers waiting to be grilled, and once a whole apple pie cooked from scratch).

Movers have packed up our stuff, although we’re not taking too much. The one great thing about a move like this is that you get to declutter your life. Your stuff gets classed as the things you’re taking, the things you’re storing or the things you’re throwing away. It’s amazing how much rubbish you can collect and it has been great to get rid of it all. I can hardly remember what we packed. If it all goes overboard (and apparently about 4% of shipping crates do) then it won’t be the end of the world.

1 week to go…..

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