Tuesday, June 17, 2014

An Opportunity: What Would You Do?

- I have an exciting news to share!

- Hubs has been offered an opportunity to work in Asia! We will get to live in TAIWAN! MY HOMELAND! We need to make a decision and would love to get your perspective.

- But before I go any further, I will back up a little bit.

- Back in March, the hubs started a conversation with the APAC folks within his company regarding a position in Asia. The short version is that there are lots of business opportunities in HK and they need someone who knows the company technology and Cantonese to help with the said business opportunities. The hubs was chosen to be that person. It was all very exciting, until we looked into the cost of living in HK. And the competitiveness of getting kids into schools. And the price tag that comes with the schools. It was all very, very crazy and we kind of just said yeah, this isn’t going to happen. We can't afford to live in HK. Simple as that.

- So we forgot about it….until it came up again in Aruba. The APAC leaders met with Luke face-to-face and they really wanted to make it happen.

- And this time, they said what about Taiwan? It's much cheaper to live there.

- Taiwan! The place where I was born, where I spent the first 10 years of my life. I have such fond memories.

- How it would work is this: We live in Taipei, and Luke travels weekly to HK or other parts of Asia, wherever the business is. There is no company office in Taipei so he works from home whenever he’s not traveling. The contract term is for two years, with an one year option. We can use our expat package ($60,000 USD) however we like, but all moving expenses, relocation, air tickets, etcetera come from this bucket. The purpose of the package is to move the family there and to pay for the kids’ tuition, not to cover our daily expenses.

- While this is a decision that will be made by two people, I am the bigger deciding factor because I would be the one giving up my career and taking on bulk of the parenting in Taiwan. There is a lot for me to consider.

- So here is my take. I honestly think this is an exciting opportunity to have and kudos to the hubs for being so valued at his company, but of course, there are buts:

- As I said, my career. It’s not that I love what I do, but my job has offered us many luxuries. The ability to take multiple vacations a year, the ability to help us live (relatively) worry-free of money, the ability to do save for retirement and do many things! It’s a stress-free, good-paying job. A job that a lot of people would like to have, I think. And the icing on the cake? I have a TWO-MINUTE commute. I don’t ever have to face traffic and I can be at daycare to pick up the kids almost as soon as I hit shutdown.

- But the thing is? I kind of want to be a stay-at-home-mom. I just don’t have the guts to walk away from the easy money. Taiwan is the perfect opportunity for me to make that leap because I am not just giving up the job to stay home, but also to do something brand new.

- Unfortunately, my career is not one that I can take a two-year sabbatical and pick up where I left off. So when we come back to the States, I would have to start fresh, find something new. Sure it may not pay nearly as much and I will start from scratch, but isn’t that what a lot of people do when they get lay off unexpectedly?

- However, the one thing I worry the most is SOLO PARENTING. As I said, Luke will be traveling all over Asia and I will be left with the kids alone most of the time. That will be a big dynamic change for our family. Sure being a SAHM means more solo parenting anyway, but to not have Luke’s help at night is something to dread about. How will the kids do without their father?

- And then there is the concern about the kids adjusting. Anna worries me the most because of her attitude toward anything new, especially when it comes school. I will have to write a separate post later, but that girl is giving us such a hard time about school lately. How will she do at new school in a foreign country? Unless she surprises me completely, I already know the answer. What about the air pollution, the hot humid weather, and apartment-living?

- But I think about the great possibilities of living in Taiwan! I get to spend 24/7 with the kids! Living the life of a stay at home mom :)

- The kids will be fully immersed in Chinese, because let’s face it, learning Chinese while living in Northern VA just isn’t going to happen. And I think about the food that will be available to us. Not having to cook every day – because it is actually cheaper to eat out than in. I think I would absolutely LOVE that. And oh the places we could go while over in Taiwan! :) :) :)  

- Last but not least, I also believe that Luke would do great in Asia. A chance for him because he has wanted it for so long. A chance for him to make it big.

- So tell me, what would you do if you were in my shoes? Keep banking it here and live a cushy life? Or take on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and figure out the rest later?

10 comments:

  1. Super interesting and difficult decision! You'll likely never know which path is "best". Being a SAHM can be a wonderful experience, but I know exactly what you mean about walking away from your career and not knowing what will happen in the future. Can't wait to hear what you guys choose! Good luck Joyce!

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    1. That's right, you left to stay home with your boys. Will you return to work once they are in school? Will you be going back to your career? You never know what will happen in the future...it's the same whether here or in Taiwan. I guess over here I can just plan it better.

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  2. I agree, living in HK would be too expensive, competitive, and crowded. I mean, Taiwan is crowded but visiting HK, THAT'S crowded. Living in Taiwan is a great alternative. The flight isn't very long between the 2 (will they pay?). Honestly, if it were my family, I wouldn't do it, but that's because it's my family. But if I were you, I'd do it. You listed some great reasons for it - you getting to be SAHM, hubs making it big, and even the challenge to the kids is hard but probably rewarding at the end of it. And come on, how could anyone say no to Taiwanese food? Fresh soy milk and you-tiao for breakfast. Beef noodle soup for lunch. Hot pot for dinner. Oh stop it, now I want to go ;). Stow me away in your luggage. Will you take your dog?

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    1. Yup, all the business travel he does for the company while over there is separate from our expat package. It's a scary decision. I think about the logistics of getting there and I get overwhelmed. Then we have to find an apartment, school, etc. It's easier to just stay put, make our money, and go on a long vacation to Taiwan to get my Taiwanese food fix.

      We would find a nice home for our dog. Want him? :) He's very quiet ;)

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    2. Definitely scary and a BIG one to make. Good luck! We've already got our hands full with 2 dogs, so sorry we can't take yours :(

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  3. Congrats Joyce! Figure out the rest later since you both are young. It will work out for the best and especially the children to experience your homeland. Way to go!

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  4. Wow, what a difficult and exciting decision! Reading through your list, it sounds like the factors are in favor of moving. On the other hand, a stress free job with a two minute commute sounds like a treasure! Good luck with your decision!

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  5. That is a tough decision! Something niggles at me and says, "at worse" it would be for two years... and "at best" it would/could open up and whole new whole world and life for you (four) - and a life adventure.

    Change is hard - but the rewards might be great. :)

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  6. I'm ready to pack the bags, pitch up the For Rent sign on the house, and dump the cars off at CarMax. Just say the word...

    But really, either way, I'm fine. A job is just a job and Asia will always be there. So long as the family will be alright, that's all that really matters.

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  7. That's a huuuge and difficult decision, but congrats on even having the choice to stay or go try something new. It sounds like it could be a great opportunity not only for Luke, but for you and the kids to create new memories. How about flipping a coin and committing yourselves to the result? At the very least you'll find out if you were secretly pulling for one choice over the other.

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