Well, we have 23 days until we fly. The shippers have just left, taking about 250 cubic feet of our belongings with them. We have had our main leaving party (we've both got work leaving nights out to come), we've handed in our notice on our flat and our jobs - the list of things to do is shrinking rapidly! As of the 30th October, we will be unemployed and homeless - vagrants wandering around of no fixed abode...
We still have no jobs to go to - we have had no luck in trying to persuade employers to contact us by Skype (but then, as I've been helping in the recruitment for my position, I probably wouldn't be interviewing someone who wasn't in the country, either!) However, we know that the jobs are out there. We've made contacts, and we are able to apply for a good number of jobs a week, so I'm not worried that we won't find anything. And if we don't get work in the first month or so, then I'm going to start going round the bars and restaurants - it's not as though we are going to be joining people on the general summer exodus this year!
I'm finding that emotions are oscillating wildly - I'm bouncing from being very excited, through incredibly scared and very wobbly about the friends and family that I'm leaving behind. As well as all of the day to day friendships, I'm going to be missing two close friend's weddings, as well as another good friend's first child being born. And these are just the ones that I know about at the moment. Of course, I know that life doesn't stop for everyone else just because we are leaving the country, but it is suddenly coming home to me just how much we are leaving behind.
But then, we have Skype, we have Facebook and we have emails. It is very different for us emigrating now than for two of my great-aunts, one of whom ended up in New Zealand, the other in Australia. For them, when letters took three months to arrive, and you had to arrange phone calls in advance, as not everyone had phones in their homes, emigration really did mean leaving everything you knew behind, with no chance of coming back in an emergency. It will be interesting to see the advances of the next forty years or so - will our children and grandchildren be popping back to the UK using the rocket plane that flies straight up into the stratosphere and lands half an hour later in London? Or will they think nothing of emigrating to the new biosphere on Mars?
For us, here and now, though, we have to focus on getting through the next three weeks - saying our goodbyes (or au revoirs - we are going to be coming back to the UK for holidays, and I know that we will see most people again) and making sure that all of our paperwork is in order before the big day!