So, it's strange to be packing up our lives to move to a city, a country and a whole region that I've never set foot in. All I know about it is from what friends have told me and what I've read about on the internet.
And I've been pouring over the internet to get a sense of what it's all about. Looking at school websites and thinking: "Those kids look happy, my kids could be happy there too".
There are people who think we're mad. No doubt. Why would you want to leave Australia? Why would you want to take your family to a place like the Middle East? Three words that are usually followed by words like 'tension', 'crisis', 'war'.
I've had the whole scope of reactions from: "You'll love it!" to "I really hated it" or "Are you sure you want to go there?"
I'm not going to find Utopia. I'm not going to find a place to plant roots. We will come back.
So why am I going? Well, when the offer came up I looked at our life. It was a good one, but the past six years have gone by so fast. I could easily stay here another six years and not really do anything other than the day-to-day. You only live once. I'd love to fill my life with experiences and people and places. And here is a great big opportunity to do just that.
That's why I'm going. Even if we only stay six months and decide that it's not for us, those six months will be memorable and we'll learn so much. It's an opportunity to see parts of the world we otherwise wouldn't. It's an opportunity for my kids and for us to be put out of our comfort zone. To challenge ourselves. To live a rich life. We're so ripe for it that it's not funny.
When I was small my family spent a short time in a small Californian town. It wasn't an ideal place to live. In fact it was a pretty average place. Over lunch recently, my mum, brother and I told tales about this time. There so many, much more than at any other point in our family life.
Basically I'm selfish and want this time in our family's life to be memorable, slow and jam-packed with amazing stories.
In a few weeks when we step off that plane for the first time, look around and wonder where the hell we are and what we've gotten ourselves into, I know I'll remember that moment and those emotions for the rest of my life.