2016 was a year full of changes – both disappointing and welcomed. First was the disappointing, our plans to move to Australia went up in smoke. Rather than heading down under, we spent 6 months in hot and humid Houston. However, rather than focus on the lost opportunity to move to Australia, we focused on making the best of the temporary move and learned to sail and spent time with family. After the brief stint in Houston, we have now relocated to the Dallas, TX.
Even though we didn’t move to Australia, we did get to spend some time in Brisbane in January, for what we thought was going to be a house hunting trip. We had everything arranged to meet with a realtor, provided by Todd’s company. We timed the trip to correspond with Kelly’s birthday so we could be together, knowing that Todd was about to be relocating full time and Kelly was going to be staying behind until the pets were ready to go in April.
A few days before we were to leave Todd was informed that our relocation was going to be delayed. He was involved in an arbitration and had just transferred it to someone else for handling when it escalated in importance; resulting in Todd’s company asking him to delay the move to Australia and manage that arbitration until it was complete. Even though our permanent move was to be delayed, we enjoyed our trip to Brisbane and made a point of scoping out potential areas we would want to live, so it would be easier next time.
The arbitration Todd was involved in was located in Houston, so his company offered to relocate us there and pay for our housing, since we had sold our house in Denver and had no more need to be in Denver. As much as we would have rather stayed in Denver, the free housing part and the fact that Todd would have to be traveling to Houston every week anyway made Houston the only real option. So by mid-March we had relocated to a corporate apartment in Houston and most of our belongings had been placed in storage in Denver, since we were still anticipating the move to Australia.
We took advantage of being in Houston to make several trips to Galveston and the Gulf coast area. Dharma is still a little timid in the water, but has definitely gotten more comfortable swimming about in the Galveston Bay. We took sailing lessons and spent several weekends enjoying the Galveston Bay area and even enjoyed an overnight sail to Galveston when we completed our certification for off-shore sailing.
For our 11th anniversary we decided to get back to our tradition of a weeklong camping trip. Todd’s work had been stressful and things seemed up in the air with regard to moving to Australia, it seemed less likely with every passing day as corporate reorganizations in Todd’s company were happening on an almost weekly basis. With all the pressure and uncertainty, we needed a break and some time away from work. So we decided to hit the Appalachian trail!
We choose the part of the Appalachian Trail that goes through the Great Smokey Mountains. We had a lot of fun, got to relax and meet a lot of interesting people with different stories about why they were hiking the Appalachian trail. We learned that many of the hikers used trail names while hiking and we spent the night of our anniversary in a shelter trading stories with 9 other hikers all lined up on the bunks. Even though we had a few rainy days, we ended the trip convinced that we need to do more of the trail, maybe some day we will have time to do the whole thing. We even got trail names, Smiley and Grumpy… guess who is who.
The last night of our trip we were back to civilization and in our hotel. Of course the hotel had wi-fi so Todd was back to checking in with work. They had announced a major re-org while we were away and Todd’s position was suddenly changed as the company collapsed the business unit for which he was responsible in order to eliminate costs. He called his boss to see what it all meant and was reassured that he still had a job and that the Houston arbitration was going to be his main focus now and they would put him in charge of “special projects” in the future. He confirmed there would be no re-location to Australia and that Dallas would make the most sense for us to move next after he finished the Houston arbitration. We were devastated, but at least now we knew.
The rest of the year was a blur with Todd working, finally finishing the arbitration and us moving to Dallas. We did spend some time with family in August with a trip to Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie to visit Todd’s bother, Charles and his niece Laiken. We also spent Labor Day week checking out Vermont and Thanksgiving camping in our familiar Texas haunts.
As we settle into our new home in the Uptown area of Dallas, we are grateful for where life has led us. While we were excited about our potential international move; we both acknowledge that with all the changes that happened at Todd’s company, we would have been in a much worse place if we had moved.
So while the door closed on one adventure, we enjoyed our year of challenges and changes and are ready for our next adventure over Christmas and New Years – Cuba! We will be exploring the island of cigars, rum, classic cars and salsa dancing with a biking and people-to-people interaction tour. We are excited and ready to see 2016 come to a close. We look forward to 2017 and what will be next for us.