Some of you have done the fellowship thing, some of you will do it in the future. All of our circumstances are different but I wanted to take a minute and share some lessons I have learned so far…

We made it.

4 months ago we left beautiful sunny Sydney and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. My husband started his 18 month ENT paediatric fellowship and my children (7,5,4) jumped into year 2 and preschool. The craziness of moving is over. We made it.

I’ve moved a lot in the past 15 years. Too many times to count.  Since marrying my doctor husband 11 years ago  I’ve moved 8 times and had 3 kids along the way.  This move was by far the most difficult, the most stressful.

Lesson learned No.1

Take a chance. How impossible does it seem to find a house to rent when you live on the other side of the world?  About 6 months out from the move, I joined a Cincinnati Mums Facebook group.  When I found a house online the agent told me I must have a representative see it in person.  I took a chance and posted in the Facebook group asking for someone to look at the house.  I offered to pay them for their time.  A lovely girl responded.  She was home on maternity leave and happy to check out the house.  She took a ton of pics and sent me a long email about the place.  We are now in the house, thrilled with it and she refused to let me pay her!

Lesson learned No.2

Buy the IKEA drill. When moving into an unfurnished home, splurge and get the drill for 9.99$. We bought two.  We also stocked the entire kitchen (dish ware, glasses, wine glasses, platters, pots and pans, etc) from a thrift store.  Everything in our lives right now is temporary so we are living with the bare minimum of furnishings.  Some days I really want to buy curtains but have to remind myself that we will be packing up to move in a year and we’ll be flying out with just 2 suitcases each.

Lesson learned No.3

Months 4-6 generally suck. I figured this one out a few years ago. The first few months of a move are exciting, stressful and there’s so much to do you don’t have time for much else.  It’s months 4-6, when things get a little quiet, and you realise you have no friends, and nothing on your schedule. This has always been the most difficult period for me. I think knowing ahead of time that it’s coming does help.  Last week I started feeling a bit miserable so I committed to going somewhere new at least twice a week and chatting with anyone who was open to it.  Striking up conversations at school pick-up, at the park, around the neighbourhood.  Reaching out to anyone I’ve met and scheduling a kids play date, a coffee or even inviting the neighbours around for a drink.  These things are harder than they sound but they do work!

Lesson l’m working on

Enjoy this time, live in the moment.I find myself constantly counting down the months until we head back to Australia and we start our “real life”. But hey, this IS real life. Slow down, explore, experience new things, and create memories. Life is about the journey, not about the destination.

Kenna Jefferson
ADSN Co-Founder