It happened again yesterday on a zoom call with someone. We started talking about our hoped return back to the US in the Spring. They asked what we might be thinking and I said we were hoping to move back in April or May, depending on immigration stuff and baby stuff and work stuff for me. And then came the question that inevitably comes pretty soon after and probably the question we hear the most…..
Are you SURE you want to move back to the United States? Really? Are you SUUURREE?
This often comes with a knowing look, a smile and then a leaning forward to in all earnest to hear the answer.
And then I say that I know what they mean but family at this point is the main reason we would like to move home and we always have two out of three of us with EU passports so we will be able to come back to Europe when we would like to or if we feel we need to.
In all honesty, we ask this question of ourselves often….are we sure we want to move to the US? Here are some pros and cons of such a move that continuously come up.
The Main Pro: The main reason we want to move to the US is for family. I have three younger brothers and all with kiddos who are all young still (all under 7) and my parents aren’t too far from them. We are a family that likes to hang out with each other and we want that kind of tribe for our son. While Ana’s parents are so awesome and we love them, we really can’t live in Serbia so that kind of proximity is only available to us in Oregon plus the cousins are there and they are the biggest draw.
The Main con: We will be farther away from Ana’s family than we have ever been and that is always a challenge. Currently we are only a 2 hour flight away and Ana’s mom is one of our greatest supports. She will be here for at least a month around kiddo’s birth.
A pro: I get to work more easily! This has been a hurdle for me in Berlin. Instead of doing the thing I am called to, I have been working here and there but it isn’t what is fulfilling to me. The leave that I have been on has been good for me but I am to the point I would like to return to my career for a time.
A con: And a big con for me is that we give up our central location in Europe to travel so easily.
A pro: We will be looking for a place to live with a yard and Portland greenspace and outdoor life in Oregon is unbeat.
A con: We have gotten to know our neighbors and love them. We have created community here.
A pro: I am eager to show my family parts of Oregon that happen when you have more time. There are so many things I have wanted to show Ana that we just haven’t had time for in our two week visits.
A con: Diversity in Berlin is incredible and it is not uncommon to hear multiple languages throughout the day around our place. I love being part of a culture that not one language is the most heard (I guess German may be that language here) but in one day I usually hear German, English, Serbian, Turkish, Arabic, Spanish, and Greek.
A pro: Wine Country, the Ocean, and just being able to get to the mountains easily.
Con: Healthcare is more accessible here.
Pro: Holidays and planning with family.
Con: Well, we could talk about all sorts of ways that Europe has it figured out from free higher education to much better walkability in this city and access to services.
Overall, what it comes down to for us is family and my work propelling us forward. We have watched two foreign parents raise kids here and its doable but everyone we talk to says its much harder without your family near by. We want that for our kiddo while he is so small. I have been in Berlin for five years, a few years longer than anticpated so its time to try our hand closer to the Willamette Valley.
Wish us luck!