And we're off!
Sixty carton boxes, five suitcases, three bags, three nights in a motel, one airport, an 11-hour flight and two jet-lagged kids later, and we've finally completed the first leg of our journey back to Germany.
We'll be spending the next two weeks resting, getting our bearings and indulging in plenty of good food and grandparental cuddles in my home country of Malaysia, before embarking on another flight of equal distance to Amsterdam, followed by a three-hour car ride to my husband's hometown in Rietberg, NorthRhine Westphalia.
No one said this was going to be easy. And it certainly hasn't been. We've had some hiccups with selling our belongings and a few stressful weeks waiting for my passport to be returned in time (it arrived three days before we moved out of the house). We've had to say goodbye once more to people we've grown to care about. We've had to come to terms with leaving a country we gave up everything to return to. Flying long haul with two little children and one with special needs is certainly an ordeal I don't really care to repeat (although we're gonna have to). Financially, emotionally, physically and mentally, this move has taken a huge toll on us since we made the decision last October to return to Germany. No, moving internationally with two kids after having done the same only 12 months before, really takes a certain amount of resilience. And desperation.
Through it all we've also been blessed with plenty of support from our family. We've been shown love and kindness and offered help in various different ways, for which I am ever so grateful. For which we are able to make our way towards a new beginning. We have learned lessons, which I think has made us stronger and more sure of who we are and what we want. We continue to move forwards, choosing to focus on the good instead of the bad, choosing to embark on another adventure, choosing happiness instead of regret.
It didn't seem like such a year ago, but I'm beginning to realise that perhaps we are the lucky ones, and I can't wait for this next chapter of our lives to start!