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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!