Just a little under three years ago, sitting in my elegant townhouse in Heidelberg, Germany, my husband and I discussed places we would like to relocate to. I’m not sure how we would describe ourselves; nomads, adventurers, explorers? But… the truth is that we are a couple of Irish kids that got caught up in the corporate world and decided to let the professional wind blow us to wherever it would take us. I guess what I’m saying is; we are blow-ins. So, how did we end up relocating internationally to Indiana?
Eleven years ago, after buying a home and marrying in our native hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland, my husband was offered a corporate position in England. For us, it was a no-brainer. One attribute that had clearly attracted us to each other was our love of travel. We both had jobs that allowed us to travel internationally, and any vacation time we had acquired was another opportunity for us to travel. So we packed our bags and two cats and off we went to a sleepy little village just 40 minutes South of London. Within the next eight years, we would have two children, an international move to Germany (where neither of us was familiar with the culture or language), and a career change for myself from a Medical Marketer working for a leading healthcare company to a Corporate Transformational Coach.
Eight years later, sitting with an Aperol Spritz on our balcony overlooking the beautiful views of Heidelberg, we were discussing where we would go next. We knew we wanted an English-speaking country, affordable housing, and great schooling. My husband had traveled frequently to Indianapolis for work. Me? I didn’t know ANYTHING about Indianapolis. So when he suggests it, I’m stumped. What is there to do in Indianapolis?? What were the benefits of relocating internationally to Indiana?
Over the next few weeks and months, we started planning our move to Indy. I researched every Mom Group (reading endless articles on the Indianapolis Moms website), every area, every neighborhood, and took in all the advice that was available.
Finally, we arranged a home-finding trip. I aged approximately ten years on that nine-hour flight; what if I hated it, what if the schools were lacking, what if the kids hated it? We arrived at 2 am and were awake, jet-lagged, and prepared to meet our relocation consultant at 7 am.
Over the next three days, we saw approximately ten potential properties, toured the area, and became acquainted with the best play parks and splash pads. All of this was an eye-opener. Indianapolis and Hamilton County were not as I had expected. In fact, I was feeling very at home in Indianapolis already. Plus, we had ticked all three boxes in our wish list;
- English speaking
- Affordable housing
- Great schooling
When we arrived back in Germany, we began the seemingly unmanageable task of packing and saying goodbye to such a beautiful chapter in our lives. It was much easier knowing that we were going somewhere that already felt like home.
Two years later, and reflecting on our journey to Indy with a 3 and 5-year-old, the most positive and familiar aspect of the Hoosier life is not the state-of-the-art museums or stadiums, the alluring state parks, competitive schooling, or the house prices; it is the people. They always have a smile and are happy to small-talk with a homesick Irish girl struggling with the confines inflicted due to covid. They love to talk about their background and have a joke, which reminds me of my friends and family at home.
I love that my assumptions about Indiana were wrong and I love to be proved wrong. And that is my story of why we chose to relocate internationally to Indiana and also why I’m hoping we stay here for the long haul. Here’s to many more years living in the land of Indiana and perhaps, just maybe, becoming a Hoosier myself.