One year ago we moved countries for the second time in 14 months
We had been living in Spain for a little over a year when we left for Hungary. My boyfriend found a job in Budapest only just two weeks before we actually stepped on the plane. That's just crazy when I think back about how fast that went back then. One moment he was busy doing several job interviews, and the next moment I was clearing the clutter of our unused clothes and daughter's toys to make sure we'd only be taking a few suitcases to our new destination.
Our minimalistic lifestyle began here
This was quite a big deal because we had to make sure the apartment was empty to give back the keys, and even though we had quite a small apartment, you wouldn't believe how many bags filled with clothes or other items I'd put outside at the garbage. Most of the stuff was taken by people, so it wasn't actually thrown in the garbage containers. Since that moment we haven't gone back to the point of having too many unused clothes or other items in our home. And I must say that feels so much better.
I needed to swim in the sea at least once before leaving
There was one thing that we had to do before leaving Spain, we had been living in Spain for 14 months without seeing a beach or swimming in the sea! So that was the last thing we needed to do before leaving: swim in the sea. So we stayed in Malaga for two nights before leaving for Budapest and we could finally have a swim with our daughter. She loved the sea! I have a few precious pictures of her with her daddy standing in the rough waters on the Malagueta beach. She was screaming out of excitement.
After we arrived in Budapest
It has been a pretty rough ride between our arrival in September until the end of January. First, we stayed at a colleague of my boyfriend, then we had a temporary apartment where the heater didn't work while it was winter and pretty cold. So we decided to move to an Airbnb apartment for the last three weeks before we could finally move into our own rental apartment at the end of January. But we weren't quite settled yet, as this apartment was rented by two students before we moved in, and we bought all their furniture for a good price, we actually lived in one room until June. Because they both used the rooms as their bedroom, we didn't have a couch until June, I had to earn money for that first, and save up. When we could finally buy one that wasn't too expensive we actually had an apartment that felt like a home, with a separate living and bedroom. Although it wasn't ideal, I've been in much worse situations, and we got used to it pretty quickly. But of course, I was very pleased when we finally had a room that actually looked like a living room instead of a student bed/living room in one.
We've had many challenges during the first year
Not only with the housing part, but also with my boyfriend's employer and the lack of good management in the company. The end is in sight though, after this year we don't have any deductions of his salary anymore which we have had every month because they paid our first month rent and two months deposit. I'm really looking forward to the moment that's all behind us. The worst challenges we had were actually bureaucratic things, like arranging address cards, and tax cards and health insurance. While my boyfriend was covered with most things the first week he started working, and our daughter was covered two months ago, I had more delay in my documents due to departments both in Holland and Hungary. Last week I finally received the child benefit that I had to apply for before I could get my public health insurance card. I now only have to wait until the letter with the confirmation is in our mailbox, so I can go to that office, and then they will give me my so-called TAJ card. I really hope this letter will be arriving one of the next days, because then we can finally celebrate that everything has been arranged.
And then it's time to think about school
Because our daughter is now 2,5 years of age, we soon have to apply for a school. And we will not bring her to a Hungarian school, but to an international one. Because we feel it's better to be surrounded by English speaking children and teachers than Hungarian ones. The Hungarian language is only useful during our stay in Hungary, and we prefer here to learn English, she already speaks lots of English at home. Once the time has arrived that she'll go to school, I will be able to write more as she'll be there five days a week. While it will be a big change, especially for me and her, I'm also really looking forward to that moment, because it will mean that I have much more time to focus on my own projects. And that will be good for all of us too in the long run. I still have my first book to finish, and I plan on working really hard in 2019 to accomplish that, or at least come really close with that.
Making friends along the way
I have the feeling soon I'll be making new friends after a year of being surrounded mostly with my little girl. And it's good to have time during the day too to be focussing on the project once she'll go to school. Until then, things will stay busy and I will have to adapt to her daily rhythm. But slowly I'll be able to count down to having more time for my own projects, while the little girl grows older.
Conclusion is that in this case, the first year was probably the toughest after moving to a new country, but slowly things will be getting much easier, and things will fall into place. And it feels like soon we'll be able to enjoy ourselves more, because most stressful issues have been solved, finally. I'm really looking forward to that :)