I am excited to announce that I have a new job! Starting in August, I will be a Lecturer in Marine Biology at the University of Portsmouth. This means a big change in more ways than one, as – after 8yrs down under – we will be moving back to the UK.
I think our friends and families on both sides of the world are still in shock, with one side having given up hope of us returning and the other thinking they’d managed to claim us for keeps. I’m still feeling pretty shocked myself, alternating between being Extremely Excited and Totally Terrified. The positives are obviously the idea of going home and being closer to family, all to do a job that sounds perfect for me. I love teaching, and this position will allow me to broaden that by developing new materials and supervising students, as well as continuing my research activities. However, moving means saying goodbye to some amazing people, a big lifestyle change, and an overwhelming amount of logistics. As I wander around our house, mentally categorising items as ‘sell’ or ‘ship’, I can’t help but think how much simpler it was when we first came out here with just a backpack each. If it wasn’t for the fact we’re going to need so many layers whilst our internal thermostats adjust, that might still be an option.
What makes the logistics particularly challenging is that neither of us have ever actually been to Portsmouth before. The whole hiring process (including an interview, a mock lecture, and a presentation about my research) was all conducted over skype. So whilst all these virtual meetings have gone well and my new colleagues seem lovely, it is still a bit disconcerting to be moving to the otherside of the world to a place you’ve never been. Although saying that, I did the same thing in 2010 by coming to Australia… Maybe I’m just getting old.
However, this issue will soon be rectified! Phil and I are both presenting at the International Statistical Ecology Conference next month, which conveniently enough is being held in St Andrews. This not only allows us both to tie in a trip to see our parents, but means we’ll also have the chance to visit our new home.
It does mean my life at the moment has been pretty FIFO (Australianism: fly-in, fly-out). Last month I was over in the US to present my research at the Acoustical Society of America conference in Minnesota. After a 27hr flight and 13hr time difference, I had an amazing trip despite being wrecked by jetlag. The fact that I was only there for a week meant that by the time my body clock got its act together it was time to go home and spend another week temporally confused! Now, after a month back home, we’ll be heading to Europe for a month, followed by a month back in Oz before the Big Move over to Portsmouth. Crikey.
It is a lot to take in, but there is no doubt in my mind that this going to be a great experience! So stay tuned for posts about moving dramas, culture shock, and academic adventures!