We have landed!!!! This post follows on from our International Move - Part 2. Now that we have landed, here's how Part 3 went...
After 30 hours, which included an overnight layover in Toronto Airport as well as Bahamas Immigration and Customs, we found ourselves walking out into 28 degrees C sunshine and blue skies. Hubby had welcomed us to the island with Mickey Mouse and a very large car for all our luggage and Miss E's carseat. As we made our way to Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, our driver took us on the scenic route and became our tour guide. We got our first glimpse of the beach and Miss E squealed in delight. We were finally in Paradise.
Goodbye Germany, now for the first leg of our journey
My dear friend, Danni was monitoring our flight and sent me this when we ha landed
"Hello Toronto, Canada"
Not that we saw much since we arrived late that evening
"We're coming, Papa!" Our second and last flight to New Providence, Bahamas
Three days into our stay I woke up with chills and in pain. My body was fighting something. I tried to stay optimistic that it was just adjusting to the climate, weather and maybe also jet lag? But by Day 5, both Miss and I had to urgently go to the doctor. She was diagnosed with a bad case of the flu and I was not only suffering from a cold, but also acute exhaustion - yep, that is a medical diagnoses. The medication we were prescribed would only start working in 24 hours, so we were literally out for the count. We had this beautiful resort to explore and enjoy, but we were stuck in the hotel room, cuddled together under warm blankets, both sleeping for hours at a time. At night I was shivering one minute and then a fever the next. I have never ever in my life felt like this before.
Somehow, Tinsel found his way to Nassau as well and welcomed us with snacks
She was born for this...The pure joy she exudes when she sees the beach - it overwhelms me sometimes
Thankfully our medication kicked in and we both felt well enough to go out and walk on the beach. It did us good. We also managed to go with hubby to look at a few homes - we couldn't stay in the hotel forever.
On Christmas Eve we checked out one of the Resort Restaurants and when we back to our suite, Santa had already arrived. We made it special for Miss E and she enjoyed. She was a bit sad that she would have to say yet another 'goodbye', this time to Tinsel who would head back to the North Pole for hibernation. He promised to be back.
Miss E met Santa and Mrs Claus
On Christmas Eve, she wished her friends and family a "Very Merry Christmas"
Christmas Eve Dinner
Santa made a stop in our Suite
New Year's Eve saw us eating Pizza in our suite. Hubby had to go back to work and Miss E and I went to bed. He came back at 23h45, woke us up for the New Year's fireworks. I decided to skip it as I was exhausted, but Miss E was excited. So off they went and rang in 2020 with many of the hotel guests. I slept through it all.
It was raining on New Year's Eve and Miss E was a bit sad
About an hour later, we were blessed with this beautiful rainbow...I took it as a sign that things were going to get better
New Year's Breakfast with this Munchkin
Praise!!! She is like a fish in water 🙂
On January 4th, we moved into our new home. A fully-furnished (down to the teaspoons) three bedroom home in a lovely family-friendly neighbourhood. Miss E grabbed her scooter immediately and went out onto the street. Weeks went by, where I was struggling to get any maintenance work done - no one sticks to appointments. I was not yet mobile, so couldn't go to the stores for supplies etc. I was also trying to make sure Miss E was settling in. We also wanted to get her into some sort of Kindergarten, like back home. But that is also very different here...And did I mention: we also found ourselves dealing with head lice. Yep, you read that right: head lice!!!!
Our first home-cooked meal in our new home
She is loving the weather...like her Mama, she blossoms in the sun
Our only turned 5 this year
This is why we moved here...
After much research, it became very clear that we would be enrolling Miss E into an International School. That being said, our options were limited and also quite different in terms of curriculum. We decided that the British Curriculum best suited our needs and after some conversations with other parents, we knew that was the right decision. We visited the school and met a few of the teachers. The Director took us around and Miss E could even sit in on a lesson while mum and dad walked around a bit. It felt like the right fit. And Miss E started on February 3rd.
First day of school...we had not gotten her uniform as yet. She was so excited and nervous at the same time
This was an emotional day for me and her teacher was kind enough to update me throughout the day
Settling in, finding our rhythm - it was not all a walk in the park. I had to learn to drive on the left-side of the road; find my way around shopping; get a uniform for Miss E; sort out our home; and all the while also trying to get connected with other mums. It was exhausting and there were days when I couldn't function without several cups of coffee - which is saying a lot, because I generally don't drink more than three cups per week. Miss E was also not settling in at school - which was not a surprise. For about five weeks, I would drop her off and she would cry and not want to stay without me. It was heart-wrenching, having to leave her there and walk away. Several times I would sit in my car in the parking lot of the school, crying.
She has found a new hobby with her Dad
Did I mention we got a horse 🙂
Book Week at school. I didn't have a sewing machine at the time, otherwise she would have gone as a Sneetch
Finally she is old enough to start another hobby
And then, just as both Miss E and I were finding our feet and rhythm, just when we were both setting in, the first confirmed case of Covid19 was announced on the island of New Providence. Friday the 13th March was the last day Miss E went to school - the last day I would pick her up from school, the last day she would see her teacher, whom she had come to love. It was the game-changer. We had finally started to feel like this is home. We could see ourselves settle here...and then we were told to stay home. And we did.
Shortly before the lockdown, I met a friend here for a coffee after dropping our kids off at school. We had such a wonderful time together, we ended up having lunch too
Our move was not easy, no. It had ups and downs and we went sideways and under and zigzag. We got through illnesses and exhaustion and emotional distress; we climbed up high and fell down low; we hit peaks and found ourselves treading water. However, after six months here - three of those in Lockdown - we really do see our little family settling here. Of course no one knows the future, but we certainly feel like we could have a good life here. It ticks most of our boxes in terms of climate, people, access to travel. We do think of the Caribbean in terms of 'home' and we certainly feel extremely blessed to have this opportunity. Given the option, we would definitely not change anything. This is where we are and this is where we intend to remain.
Miss E is happy...even through everything we have put her through since September 2019, and with a new school and making new friends and then a Pandemic...she is blossoming so well
Have you enjoyed reading about our Big Adventure? What would you like me to write about next? Let me know down in the comments and I'll see if I can oblige.
Till next time, Dearies. Stay safe and stay awesome!