Shortly after we got married, Marc and I decided it was time to make good on a goal that we'd been daydreaming about for the past few years: living abroad.
Marc's employer has a program that provides international opportunities to its employees but it would only move us both if we were married, so for the months leading up to the wedding we had to put the idea on the back burner. Finally, in November after the wedding rush was over, we decided to make a commitment to it and initiate the placement process. December and January were occupied by interviews and a lot of legwork on Marc's part, filling out applications and following up with people. From then on, his employer worked to find a match and we waited impatiently. I would be lying if I said that waiting for news like that is comfortable in any way.
Two weeks ago, he was given a vague, soft offer for a position in India. His initial response was no, as there were too little details given at that stage. Thankfully, a formal offer was presented a few days later. I was at the Long Island house when Marc told me and I rushed as fast as anyone can on the L.I.E., frantically reaching out to a few friends on my own little emergency recon mission to get information about living in India. It took 5 hours to get home and we stayed up until 1 a.m. dissecting the offer. We discussed finances, his new role, logistical details, and if it would be a realistic fit. After revisiting the conversation several more times and a few meetings/phone calls with the HR managers here and in India, we decided to accept. Our moving date will be the week of January 19th, 2014.
The "life" details that were spelled out in the offer are more than enough to ensure we'll be as safe and as comfortable as possible during our stay. Furthermore, our friends' accounts of Pune indicate that it is a modern, metropolitan city, albeit not immune to an immense amount of trash and pockets of poverty, which hosts several universities, museums and other tourist attractions, top notch restaurants, cosmopolitan shopping malls, and award-winning hospitals and medical facilities. We will have a driver 6 days of the week to help us deal with the infamously tricky-to-navigate traffic situation (no more parking spot hunting for me!), and we are being put in contact with a relocation specialist dedicated to working with us on our living arrangements. This person is familiar with expats and I have been told that there are several good neighborhoods which make for an easier transition from the Western comforts we have grown used to. Our maltipoo Stella will be joining us.
Since we are moving in 6 months, my first priority will be to make sure our health is taken care of via reviewing our immunization records with a doctor who specializes in travel medicine and consulting with a veterinarian regarding Stella's immunizations. Other than that, Marc's employer is has experience with relocating employees so I'm trusting them to keep us apprised of any necessary actions on our part.
I'd like to give a little shout out to our friends Navi, Bonita, and Tanmoy for their time and unbiased feedback during the vetting process. We couldn't have felt comfortable without the support and first-hand accounts from you guys!