21 years ago I moved to the UK from Kenya. I’d never seen darkness at 4pm, or snow, or a live premier league football match. The UK was where I figured out adulthood: going to university, marrying my husband, buying a house, having kids and starting a business. And now it’s time for my next adventure, moving to Ottawa in Canada.
Some assume that it is because of Brexit. All countries have politicians capable of ruining things at a moment’s notice. But I do say the Brexit vote was a trigger: a shock that made us re-examine our options for the next 21 years of life.
If you ask my husband he would probably lead with saying it is all about our kids’ education. Under-investment in UK schooling has changed that a lot – if you stop brushing your teeth, they don’t fall out straightaway.
I usually bring up the ‘Family’ reason. That’s where my brother lives, and my brother-in-law, my in-laws too, all my kids first-cousins. Most people count that as a ‘good reason’. There is even research that says people are happier as adults if they get on with their siblings.
I can easily pack my job up and take it with me to many parts of the world. I like the idea that in future more employees can do this – remote work means the countries with the best open policies get rewarded with the best workers, tech or otherwise.
But on most days I’m not even sure why we are moving. None of those reasons seem good enough.