7 years. Today is the day we literally thought would never come. We had been told, repeatedly, and by those who should know, that 7 years at the IAEA was the absolute, no questions limit for anyone without a permanent contact (and those are incredibly rare). It was one of the few things that everyone KNOWS about working in a place where do much is fickle and uncertain. So, we were SURE we would be “home” by now. Well, 7 years, and a few small rule alterations later, and here we STILL are.
I don’t have an answer yet to the question — when will we be home? I’m not sure. I can’t rely on the rules and regulations to tell me, because those seem to be oddly flexible at the moment. We will come back, but I don’t know when.
In the meantime … we’ve built a beautiful life here in Austria. We’ve made this our home. We’ve adjusted to so much — the language, the culture, raising a family in another country, being at “home” in two different places while also feeling like we don’t quite fit in either. We’ve made wonderful friends, had incredible experiences, and continue to enjoy this big adventure.