life on purpose, with purpose

Casey and I are talking about moving to Scotland in the next five years or so.

We’ve been telling people this bit by bit ever since we realized that this is a genuine life goal, and seem to get one of two reactions. There’s the negative “I think this is a bad idea!” reaction, which I don’t think we’ve even had thrown at us in actual earnest up to this point 1 And then there’s the positive, “Awesome! I want to come visit!” reaction, which we’ve gotten a lot more of, and which has certainly been genuine.

The decision feels almost frivolous to me, probably because I don’t really believe it myself. I am trying to put some faith in it, but there’s also a level of resistance in me since I am quite attached to my current life and cannot really fathom leaving behind Salt Lake City and my community.

Again.

I just got that back, for the love.

At the same time, it is Scotland, and if other posts of mine haven’t been enough to shed some light on how I feel about about it, I freaking love the place. I have since long before I went there and I think I always will, because it’s a part of my soul in some way I can’t quite define. It’s a home I have never really lived in, only visited, and too briefly.

Perhaps my DNA is wrapped up in Scotland, although genealogy charts don’t dictate that there is high percentage of ancestral blood to be found there. Perhaps it is just a quirk of myself, to feel so connected – long before setting foot on those melancholy moors – to that culture and those people.

The idea of living in Scotland at once fills me with joy and with concern.

On the one hand, I believe down to my core that I could feel very much at home there – or anywhere else in the UK – despite the many differences I noticed just in a three weeks’ visit. On the other hand, I am too an American, and I like owning guns for no other reason than self-defense. Also, Costco. And sinks with a single tap. And a clothes dryer that isn’t some sticks and string in the open air. I had enough of that growing up, thank you very much.

But none of those things are necessities for me.

We’ve been looking into the requirements, At and I, and I’m glad we’re committed to at least finishing out our educational plans first. He is getting an MBA and I am getting my BS in Accounting Business Management, with plans to obtain my Master of Science Management and Leadership after.  While I doubt Scotland is crying out in need for business people, we may be able to manage a work visa on At’s IT skills and higher education combined. And once there, I won’t be unemployable, since Business Management is a fairly generic field to get into and a Masters in Leadership can’t hurt.

But so much of all this post has been written with an eye to the future.

For the here and now, this plan to move to another country has radically changed our lives. Gone are the days of talking about the improvements we could make to our house. We intend to finish out the basement, but that’s our only actual plan for the foreseeable future. Literally everything else we’ve ever talked about falls under the category of “Why bother? We’re moving in the next five years or so.”

As a goblin in disguise, I love this. I have been crunching numbers of how much we can save once we pay off the few existing debts we have outside our mortgage (mostly the car and a few small furniture purchases),  and the numbers are frankly gorgeous. Even if we don’t move anywhere, we’ll finally have a really lovely savings account and I won’t have had to fight At every step of the way for it. 2

Balanced against that, again, is the very idea of no longer being here in the life and the community we’ve carved out for ourselves in the good old US of A. With Casey’s family mainly being in Europe and Africa, he finds the idea of adjusting to be very easy. Whereas if any of my family were within a few hour’s flight should we live in Scotland, they would be in a war zone. And I don’t want that ever.

Nothing is settled. Nothing is certain. But we keep talking as though it is and that? That exhilarates and terrifies me all at once, for so many reasons. We’ll be in Europe this fall and I can’t help but feel that this upcoming trip will be so much more important and so much more indicative of our probable future path. I’ll journey with an eye towards being an ex-pat and the realities both obvious and less-so that such a status would bring me.

In the end, all I can hope for is to be guided by God’s good hand.

  1. But then again, neither have we mentioned this plan to the people most likely to be vociferous in their disdain for it, so there’s that.
  2. What? He’s a frikkin’ spendthrift and he knows it. If I could rein in his incidentals, we’d be in truly outstanding financial shape.