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…Reykjavik!! Woo hoo!! I am beyond excited about this. I spent almost three weeks in Iceland as a tourist back in 1999. At the time I was transitioning between jobs and relationships, and it was the isolationist break that I needed to really ponder what I was doing and where I was going with my life. And the country was absolutely stunning geographically and culturally with so many amazing natural resources.

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Me (far right) and the group of travellers I met on the road. Together at Jökulsárlón glacier lake.

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Me at the Arctic Circle sign on the island of Grismey (left), checking out one of the many geothermal vents on the tourist trail (right).

I had wanted to bid on Reykjavik the minute I saw it on the projected bid list. But preliminary conversations with the school informed me that they were dropping their kindergarten program, so my son would have no school. And they don’t have much for EFM jobs because the embassy is so small.

But then my husband found a position that he is now actively pursuing as a direct hire, so he might be away from post training at some point anyway. And we’ve heard of a few other possibilities in Reykjavik if that doesn’t pan out. And a new international school opened up with a kindergarten program that would accept my son’s “late” birthdate. So Reykjavik was suddenly back on the table!!

The bidding process was predictable yet stressful at the same time. Not necessarily because of its lack of transparency but because it took so long! We “lobbied” for five posts including Reykjavik and submitted our bids the first week of August when bidding season opened. But it didn’t close until the middle of October. Who needs the better part of three months to submit a bid list??

In the meantime, I contacted the posts I was really interested in and sent them my materials and the NINE references some of them requested. I had several phone interviews and one in-person as the hiring manager was in London for a conference. Two of the posts I didn’t hear a peep out of the entire time.

Three of them expressed interest in hiring me but forced me to tell them how they were ranked on MY list of priorities, which was probably the most stressful part. What if our #1 didn’t want us after all, and now #2 and #3 weren’t interested because they didn’t think we were?? In the end, I just went for utter honesty to keep things simple. And we were blessed with our first choice. So thanks to the Universe for keeping it all together!!

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