The day has finally come to shout our good news for everyone to hear.
We are moving to American Samoa!
I was going to bury the lead and build some suspense but I just couldn’t wait any longer!
This move to American Samoa has happened quickly, from first contact until now, its been about a month. Now Nate will be leaving next week and I will follow with the kids a few weeks, to a month later.
The dream of living abroad however, has been years in the making!
Why American Samoa
As a boy in Los Angeles, Nate grew up with a lot of Samoan and Tongan families. Some of his best friends were Samoan and Tongan. He developed a great love for the people and the culture. After moving away from LA, he always kept that love for the Samoan culture. As he grew older and started making plans for the rest of his life, he dreamed of someday being able to live on an island in the South Pacific.
Fast forward a few years, his loving and sometimes demanding wife (that’s me), kept pushing the idea of packing up their lives and moving their family somewhere international, somewhere exotic. He knew that she would never be content to stay in small-town Idaho and so he started looking for job opportunities all around the world.
As he was making connections all over the world, he thought this might be his chance to make his dream come true, as well as his wife’s. So, through Linked In, he made connections with anyone he could from American Samoa. One day he connected with a government official and asked him for advice on how a person could get a good job there and be able to move to the island.
That government official asked Nate for his resume and said he’d see if they had something for him. That was better than Nate was expecting and began to feel excited about the prospect but kept telling himself to be reasonable and not to get his hopes up. He heard back from the official and was told that they had a position where they could really use him. He was told they could not match his current salary but figured, as long as it was decent, they could make it work.
So began the process of procuring a job overseas.
Life on the Island
We’ve already learned a little about life in American Samoa. We have been watching every YouTube video we can find. We have made connections with people living there through Facebook and Instagram. We have been using Street View on Google Maps to take virtual tours of the island. We have never been there but I feel like I already know it, just a little. It always amazes me, how much we can learn and experience even before going to a new place.
We still have so much to learn, which is the whole point to living in a new place! We are looking into the options for our kids’ schooling, we keep hearing opposing opinions. We will need to figure out phones and internet. When we get there, we will have to buy vehicles to get around the island and we are looking at all of our options there. We are still waiting to hear the final word on what our housing situation will be, too.
We are excited to get to know the people and understand the way of life. We have heard the phrase “island-time” and look forward to learning how to slow down and be OK with others going slow too. 😊 We look forward to meeting, in-person, the Facebook and Instagram friends we’ve made and so many new friends that we will come in contact with as we settle there.
Holden was telling me the other day, how happy he is that we are moving to American Samoa. I asked him what he was most excited about. He said it was learning a new language. Can I just tell you how happy that made me? I love that my six year-old already feels this curiosity and the desire to learn about other cultures! Maybe this really is the right thing for our family 😄
Before We Go
Nate flies out next week and there is still so much to do! So, I will stay here with the kids, to finish tying up all the loose ends. We have to sell at least one of our cars. We are waiting to hear what moving costs will be covered. If they cover it, we plan on packing our car full of everything we want to bring and shipping it to the island.
We have to sell our travel trailer that we just bought three months ago. This is one of the hardest things to part with. When a travel opportunity fell through earlier this year, we decided to buy a trailer, so we could do more traveling around home and we have been loving it! Luckily, we got it at a good price and we feel confident that we won’t be losing money.
We have to find good people to rent our house while we’re away. We have offered it to family first, which would be such a relief to know that it was being taken care of. If that doesn’t work out, we will go through a rental management company and just pray for good tenants. We thought about selling our house but it will take longer and we really like the idea of having a home base. Knowing that, whatever happens, we always have a place to come back to. A roof to put over our kids’ heads is invaluable.
We have to go through all of our stuff and decide what to store, what to take with us and what to get rid of. This is the part I love. I ♥ purging! One of the best feelings in the world is to get rid of things! So, it will be stressful, especially without Nate around, but it is going to be so fulfilling to rid ourselves of all inessentials. Plus, at the end of this hard and stressful chore, I get to have a dream come true! How can I be anything but happy about that?!
The nice part about Nate moving down there first, is that lots of the questions we have about what it is really like on American Samoa will be answered. He will be living in our house and know exactly what we should plan on bringing with us. He will see what the shopping is like, whether we need to plan on bringing all the essentials or if we can easily get them there. He will see if having two vehicles is necessary, the island isn’t very big and it might be reasonable to have just one.
I’ll keep you updated on our progress and when we get to be reunited with Nate. Cross your fingers for me that this preparation process will go smoothly and QUICKLY. I can’t wait to be there! I want to walk along the beach with the ocean lapping at my toes. I want to see the place that will be our home for the next two years. I want our kids to see what we are in for and start to understand the huge blessing this opportunity is for our family. I want them to see why we live differently from their friends here in Idaho and how much can be gained from getting out of their comfort zones.
We will miss all of our family and friends that we have here. Hadley is most concerned about leaving her friends and moving to a place where she doesn’t know anyone. We will be leaving so much behind. I think that Idaho may always be “home” but we can’t wait to begin, to venture out into the unknown.