It’s official.

At long last. The paperwork finally turned up in April after it went AWOL in the post room for a few days. Now it’s all in writing, I’m pretty sure it’s real and not some massive corporate practical joke.

When I was 11 I had a pen pal who once sent me a teabag in the post. Aside from that, I can’t think of another envelope I’ve opened, with contents that have this kind of impact on the future direction of my life.

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So. Much. To. Do.

Alex and I don’t get much time to ourselves. When we do, Alex gets things done; it’s amazing how much a Mum can do when she’s given 30 minutes away from her kids. Meanwhile, I faff. It’s an art I’ve crafted and mastered throughout my life.

But I am good at lists. And I’m finding that moving your entire life overseas demands the mother of all lists: sub-categories, bullet points, you name it. The list grows when I least expect it. I’ll be walking to the station, something comes to me, and all of a sudden I’m barking out random words. Netflix! Council Tax! Plugs!

In the off-chance that someone (other than me) actually reads this, and just supposing they’re interested in the things we have to get done before we leave, here’s a scaled-down list. There’s a whole bunch of tasks under each of these, and I can tell you now that we will never get it all done, especially while I’m in charge. Hopefully Alex is reading this and will stage a coup to overthrow me.

– Rent out house
– Sell car
– Stop all utilities
– Figure out what to do with our possessions
– Apply for visa
– Prepare for UK tax exit / US tax entry
– Shortlist nurseries
– Confirm temporary accommodation

If everything goes according to plan, we’ll be leaving in 7 weeks. 7 weeks to get all that done! Christ. Just thought of a couple more to add to the list:

– Try not to panic
– Wear two pairs of pants at all times, just in case I fail the above

Catch up.

Here’s the background. Alex and I have always loved the U.S. As kids we went there a lot with our families. I spent a couple of summers there during university, and before Alex and I had kids of our own (you know, back when we had a life), the two of us went on a road trip up the west coast.

I have been in European Retail Marketing for a tech firm, for 3 years. Since I joined the company I’ve been to the U.S. every 6 months. And each time I’ve visited, I’ve seen more reasons to be out there long-term.

In January, an opportunity in the Global Marketing team became available, and I grabbed at it with both hands. Thankfully, the good people out there wanted me to come too. I accepted their offer in March, and in 2 months’ time, we’ll be heading off to live the American dream.

Us.

Hi, we’re the Jacksons – Aron (me, Dad), Alex (wife, Mum, all-round superhero), Ava (4) and Daisy (nearly 2). We’re about to move 6000 miles away, from our home in North London to the San Francisco Bay Area, and we’re pretty damn excited. We’re shitting ourselves too, but that’s natural, I think.

We know that the move will be a truly life-changing experience. But in an effort to stay on top of the process, manage the kids and cling onto our sanity, we’ll probably forget a lot. That’s why we’re starting a blog.

p.s. I’m hoping this will stand the test of time, and won’t just be another of those things I lose interest in after a couple of weeks. I’ve done that a lot in my past – road cycling, the latest fitness wearable, golf, ex-girlfriends…

Once upon a time a family of four left London for Silicon Valley. This is our story.

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