It's amazing how time flies! We're seeing the last of the New Jersey summer and the sycamore trees have begun to drop their leaves, one of the first signs of autumn around here. We got to travel a lot this month, visiting family in Maryland, attending a wedding for friends in NYC, and spending an awesome weekend with my partner's high school friends from UNIS at the Long Island house. Neither of us have to work on Monday due to Labor Day, and since we've been travel-heavy for the past few weekends we're going to take it easy and stay local.
We got some further clarification around our move date so I decided to tell my employer. I know that notifying them 6 months in advance could have been risky but I work for a large, international pharmaceutical company which I hope will be able to afford me the opportunity to explore roles in India. After breaking the news, my mentor and regional vice president were generous enough to reach out to their professional networks and provide me with introductions to colleagues who currently work or have worked in marketing and sales at our Mumbai office. This has led to a some great conversations and networking, and I'm confident that I'm moving in the right direction. Realistically speaking however, my thinking is idealistic and I have willingly left out, for the simple purpose of saving time and space in this post, a handful of logistical issues that could be game-changers in my quest for work. Time will tell.
We'll be going to Pune in October to find housing, tour my partner's workplace, and explore our new "hometown". I'm excited to be able to see everything in person for the first time and also nervous since this is going to be our only shot at finding the place we'll call "home" for the next few years. In looking for info on housing and the expat experience in general, I came across Jeanne Heydecker, a marketing and business development professional who has had a blog since she moved to India from the US with her son, dog, and cat in '07. She writes about her work, travels, and her experiences as an expat living in different parts of India. If you haven't already, check out her blog, HERE. She was nice enough to give me a generous amount of invaluable, no-BS feedback on what to keep in mind when looking for housing, so I'm feeling confident that along with with her advice and the relocation agent my partner's work has connected us with, we'll be able to settle on something.
Before we leave, we need to make sure our vaccinations are up-to-date, and more importantly, I need to address my fear of practical footwear. Second, I need to get my name changed in my passport to reflect my married last name, which involves me filling out a form, and mailing it away with my old passport, a passport photo, and $175.00 (It's usually $110 but I need it to be expedited).
Once I receive my new passport in about 2 to 3 weeks, I will need to apply for a tourist visa, which will take 7 to 9 days. Will also need to arrange boarding for Miss Stella and pre-pack another bag with all of my business stuff for a national sales meeting in Orlando, FL, since I will be flying our for that almost immediately after we arrive back in New Jersey. Should be busy, exhilarating, and absolutely exhausting.