It seems fitting that as I’m typing this post it is officially the one year anniversary of our move to Houston. It feels like we only just got to Texas and now it’s just about time to leave.
About a week ago I announced that Dave and I had gotten confirmation that we are moving overseas again. I meant to spill the beans on our destination sooner, but Dave was home this week so I didn’t have a lot of spare time for blogging. The week flew by and now he’s back in London. We are both so thankful that this is his last business trip to the U.K. before we move to…
Yep, you read that right… Kazakhstan. It’s kind of hard to believe, but it’s the place where Dave and I will be spending the next few years of our lives. The last few months have been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. The when and where of our move kept changing. At first we thought we would be going to the U.K. around the end of the year and then all of the sudden the U.K. was out altogether and we were now moving straight to Kazakhstan this summer!
So that’s where we stand. Dave has gotten his official job offer letter and he has sent off for his supporting documentation for his visa application. At this point, we expect to move in late August, but we have definitely learned to go with the flow and take everything one step at a time.
In the meantime, we have both been trying to get our hands on any information about Atyrau that we can, but unfortunately there’s just not that much out there. Here’s what we do know:
- In Kazakhstan they speak Kazakh and Russian.
- Atyrau is a transcontinental city. We would likely live in Europe, but we could very easily go to Asia for dinner.
- There is a foreigners community/compound for expats. We will likely live in an apartment, but there are townhouses available for families.
- We are not allowed to drive or take local taxis. Instead, we will have a number we can call 24 hours a day to get a company provided taxi.
- Temperatures are above 100 degrees (38C+) in summer and can get down to -40 degrees (C/F) in winter. It’s what I like to describe Texas summers and Alaska winters, but I’ll let you know how accurate that statement is once I’ve been there.
- It takes 16 hours to fly to Atyrau from Houston, but requires at least 2 stops so the journey isn’t easy and can take up to 30+ hours depending on your connections.
- Atyrau is 10 hours ahead of Texas (CDT/CST), making the window of talking time with friends and family back home only 4-6 hours per day. And that’s morning time for Texas so really that only works for people not working or for weekends. Dave has it a lot better, with only a 3 hour time difference between Atyrau and Perth.
- We have heard that there is a Korean market in Atyrau, which might actually help with the language barrier of buying produce. Who knows. We’ll see.
- We are a little apprehensive about the food, but apparently there is a TGI Fridays there so if all else fails we do have something that will somewhat resemble “home.”
At first we were really unsure of this move. It’s big and it’s scary and there are so many unknowns. We have been able to talk to some people that have lived in Kazakhstan and it seems like there’s an amazing community and people seem to really like it so we are excited to begin our new adventure. The first 5+ months of our marriage have been a little less than ideal with Dave traveling so much so we are just looking forward to settling down together… no matter where that may be.