Thursday, February 24, 2011

It all started with The Plan

When Tim and I met in January of 2002, our conversation consisted first of his kids, and then of travel: first of my (then) upcoming trip around the world, and then to his years in the Central African Republic in the Peace Corps. He proposed to me in Paris during that trip and we spent 17 days touring through the French countryside with the ring still fresh on my finger. At that time Mike and Samantha were just 8 and 10 years old respectively, but we formulated a vague plan that when the kids were safely tucked away in college, or otherwise on their own, we would once again live and work overseas in some capacity.
We've referred to this as "The Plan."

Over the years, jobs have brought us new opportunities and we've settled into our Snohomish life, watching the kids (and cats) grow and developing new friendships along the way.  But we've checked in with each other now and again that The Plan was still on our distant, undefined horizon.

In May of 2009, Tim saw an ad for a recruiting event in Seattle being held by the State Department. We took a half-day off work to attend and listened to Foreign Service Officers and Specialists speak of their jobs in embassies and consulates worldwide. With each speaker, I grew more and more convinced that this path was bringing into focus our misty horizon. Determined to make it a reality, I devoted the next 18 months to studying, testing, studying some more, interviewing and generally going through all the rigors of the Foreign Service hiring process. I have now accepted an offer to join the 119th Specialist Class as an Office Management Specialist at the Foreign Service Institute, starting bright and early Monday, March 14, 2011, nearly two years after first hearing of this opportunity.

So that sets the stage. I hope this blog will let me (us) share our travels and adventures with the group of friends and family that we so sadly leave behind. This is the hardest part. People ask if I'm excited, and while one side of me is (a very small side currently), it feels like all tunnel and no lights right now.

Stay tuned for updates from the start of my Specialist Class where we learn our bid list of potential postings and later for Flag Day (the Big Reveal).

Thank you all for reading.


  1. We will be walking down the yellow brick road together!!!

  2. Hello! I'm scheduled to take the OMS Oral Assessment (OA) in April and, while I've been enjoying and learning a great deal from your blog, I wondered if you had any advice on how to best prepare for the OA. I'm mid-career and have been dreaming about an opportunity that would challenge me and allow me to live different places abroad. I really want to ace the OA!

  3. Best of luck to you - please note that this entry was written six years ago, so the best I can offer is that you use the labels on the right to find all my OMS OA advice that was written at the time. I don't know how much the process has changed since then, though.