Going to California…

My wife and I have recently made a big decision. After over eleven years living in London, we’re moving back to the US… to the San Francisco/Bay Area of California!

Wait… what?!?

If we haven’t caught up with you in a while, my wife started working for Google about a year ago in London. A few months later, I left Google to join Techstars (but still based in London). We’ve both been really, really happy in our respective jobs, and the changes have opened up new opportunities for both of us. At Techstars my role has shifted, and I’m leading a product team building applications and tools to help our founders leverage the Techstars network and “do more faster.” And at Google, Annie has been kicking ass and been offered an opportunity to transfer within her team for an important role… but one based in California.

But why??

Frankly, it’s great for both of us professionally to make this move. But it’s not just that, it’s also to be closer to family. For any of our immediate (or even distant) family to visit us, it takes them 6–10 hours of flying and a substantial amount of cash for the transatlantic flight. As our daughter grows, we want her family not to be some abstract concept that she sees on the other side of a FaceTime, but people she knows and loves as she grows up. (We’ve also gotten to be rather jealous of our British friends whose families can help with babysitting far, far easier than ours can!)

There’s a myriad of reasons why we’re doing this, and it’s a bit different for Annie and me. (They range from more sensible school options to being better able to buy a home for ourselves to seeing our UK friends move to the countryside…) But we’ve considered them all, and a move to California is what’s best for us right now.

How are you feeling about this?

I’m very excited for the move, but I’m very sad and frankly a little anxious.

I’m excited for new opportunities (professionally and personally), excited to spend time with old friends that we haven’t spent much time with in years, and excited for new experiences in general.

I’m incredibly sad to be leaving our friends here in London and the UK. Annie and I have spent the majority of our adult lives in London, and we’re gutted that we’re going to have to say goodbye (at least for now) to our friends. That said, we’ve committed to ourselves to visit as frequently as we can. (Probably for Henley every year at least!) And we’ll certainly be back at some point to live in the UK again.

Finally, I’m anxious because there are a lot of things I’ve never had to deal with in the US… like health insurance! (Between the Navy and the NHS here in England I’ve been spoiled when it comes to healthcare.) Frankly, I think I’ll feel like an ex-pat in my own country for quite a while.

When is this happening?

We’re wheels up from the UK at some point in the last couple weeks of March… so less than six weeks away. (Yikes!)

Whoa… I think I need a drink

And I’d say I agree. In the selfish interests of seeing as many people before we go, we’re going to have a party on the afternoon of Saturday, March 7th. Get in touch if you’d like to know more details; we’d love to see you there! 🙂 (A Facebook invite will be going out shortly.)

Finally, I’ll just leave you with this brilliant (and relevant) song from a legendary band…