Expat Life: Moving Day

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It’s moving day. So, I am sitting on the floor in my empty bedroom in England right now as I type this. The movers are here, and I think I had expected to have more to do while they were here, but now I realize that I am just in their way anywhere else. So I’ll write about this process, in case you’re interested!IMG_3164Have you ever wondered about the actual logistics of moving to another country? It’s a bit like a puzzle.

Although we don’t fly out for two more days, we are saying goodbye to our home here today. We are so lucky to have a  moving company as part of our new contract. So we packed our suitcases last night– anything we think we’ll need in the next two weeks, and possible longer. The movers are here, and will pack literally everything besides anything that stays with the house, or that we have in our suitcases. Jeff keeps making runs to the recycling center and to charity shops that take donations.

I walked Amelia to school this morning, and even though we’re moving out of our home today, she has two more days at school.

Once the movers are done, we’ll make sure everything is as it should be, and I’ll pick Amelia up from school. We’re sleeping at the home of one of Jeff’s co-workers tonight, so we’ll bring our suitcases over there, and go out for dinner.
IMG_3210In the morning, I’ll walk Amelia to school again, and meet a friend for a last cup of coffee. Tomorrow we have an intensive cleaning scheduled before the final walk through with the letting agency. Jeff will let the cleaners in here, then go to work and take care of all sorts of final business. IMG_3233Here’s a very particular piece of the puzzle of moving: transportation. We figured out that it’s cheaper for us to rent a car locally and drop it off at the airport, than it is to take a train or shuttle from Bury St. Edmunds. So he is returning the current rental car, getting picked up at that rental place by another car rental company, and taken to rent the last car in another town.

He’ll drive back to Bury in time for the house inspection by the letting agency. That’s about the time I’ll pick up Amelia from school, and we’ll gather our luggage again, and drive to the airport hotel, where we’ll have dinner and spend the night.

Our flight is Saturday morning, and there will be little stress on our travel day– no traffic to worry about since we’ll be right there.

The travel day is a long one, considering that we’re only hopping over to Spain. But it’s split into two flights, with a lengthy layover in between. The airport we’re flying to is not far from our destination, so that’s nice. Jeff’s new boss has sweetly volunteered to pick our family up. (We would otherwise just rent a car at the airport to get to our hotel.)  And it looks like we’ll be at one hotel for one night, and another hotel (with an apartment, which is great!!) for the following two weeks of lodging that Jeff’s company provides. We’ll rent a car after the first couple of days.

In the past, our whole family has had to head straight to the base as soon as we arrived (even coming from the USA) for in-processing. This is kind of rough, I have to admit! But this time we’re arriving on the weekend, and Monday is a holiday. So we are pretty thrilled to have a few days off after we arrive this time around!

Our travel plans were made at the last minute, as we have been waiting for months on the visa for Spain, which we applied for five months ago. So we are going over on a tourist visa, while the long-term one should arrive any day. This does make things a little more complicated, though– there are a lot of things Jeff can’t do for work, and we can’t enroll Amelia in school. So hopefully that will come in the next couple of weeks, and we can get everything squared away.

We’ll resume our house hunt right away– we are planning on seeing at least three properties on Monday with a new agent. Here’s what I’m hoping will happen:

  • We’ll get our visa very soon, in the next couple of weeks.
  • We’ll find our home within two weeks, so when our paid-for hotel stay ends, we can move into our home instead of more temporary housing.
  • Along with our home, we will find a great school for Amelia to attend. (This is a major factor as we look for a home, as she has to be within a certain distance of the school we want in order to be able to go there.)  The fact that she is entering halfway through the year makes everything much trickier– she might have to go to a temporary school for the rest of the year, and then hopefully we’ll get our top pick for the the following year. She is a huge trooper.

And that’s about it! Including last night, we will sleep in five different beds in five days. Then two more weeks at a hotel, and then hopefully HOME. I have incredibly strong nesting urges kicking in as I dismantle our house here. I can’t wait to make home again.IMG_3180I don’t know if this is interesting to you or not– but as a future expat, I know I would have wanted to know what the details of an international move look like. We’re on the hardest part right now (including goodbyes) but soon we’ll be on the other side, exploring Spain, looking for our new home, and pinching ourselves.

We’re so excited.

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20 Responses to Expat Life: Moving Day

  1. Joanna February 12, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    I really wish I had read that nearly 12 years ago now for us. It is hard work but it is also such an adventure too I think.

    • ariana February 13, 2015 at 11:22 am #

      Yes, the adventure part is really fun! This closing-down part is hard work that you just get through, so you can get to the good stuff. It reminds me of having a baby. 🙂

  2. Pam February 12, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    I love reading about your expat adventures. It’s actually made me add places to my “must visit one day” list. 🙂 Here’s hoping everything goes smoothly for you during this transition.

    • ariana February 13, 2015 at 11:22 am #

      Thank you, Pam!

  3. Girl Named Allyn February 12, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

    We’ve moved from TN to NYC, then NYC to OH all in the past couple of years, and I can so identify with the insanity of rentals, transportation, moving somewhere without a place to live, moving from bed to bed.. it’s exhausting, but so fun! Can’t imagine the added visa issues too. Looking forward to seeing your life in Spain!

    • ariana February 13, 2015 at 11:23 am #

      Yes– exhausting and exciting. And add foreign languages to the mix, and it’s a real adventure!

  4. Connie Saunders February 12, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    Very interesting to me! Hoping to be in those expat shoes in the next few years! Absolutely LOVe following your adventures. Wishing you the smoothest of transitions. Happy travels.

    • ariana February 13, 2015 at 11:24 am #

      Thank you, Connie! And wishing you well as you pursue your own expat adventure!

  5. sherry February 12, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

    I actually had wondered about the logistics of your move. Thank you for sharing….totally interesting. I had thought you owned a car? So you have always had to rent one for your adventures in England? Or, did I miss something? ~Sherry

    • ariana February 13, 2015 at 11:25 am #

      Sherry, we weren’t planning on taking our old UK spec car to the mainland, so we needed to get rid of it. We had inspected before we planned to sell and it turns out that it was in terrible shape– so we sold it for scrap and Jeff has been driving a very old rental car for the last month. It worked out, nice not to have to bother with repairs and selling. But even if we had sold it, he would be in a rental car now anyway. 🙂

  6. Abby Jo February 12, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    I’m loving all the details, looking forward to seeing your new home and life in Spain!

    • ariana February 13, 2015 at 11:39 am #

      Thanks Abby!

  7. Christina Thomas February 12, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    Loving all the details. Keep them coming… when you have the time. 🙂 Tell Amelia I said hello!

    • ariana February 13, 2015 at 11:40 am #

      Will do, Christina! Thank you!

  8. Liene K February 13, 2015 at 2:32 am #

    How exciting!!! I remember those days – trying to fit our entire life into a couple of suitcases, not knowing when we would see the rest of our shipment next – and I don’t envy you right now. Although I am sure that will change in a few days 🙂

    • ariana February 13, 2015 at 11:40 am #

      Ha! Thank you Liene!

  9. Pat February 13, 2015 at 2:49 am #

    Best of luck, Looking forward to hearing your adventures in Spain.

    • ariana February 13, 2015 at 11:40 am #

      Thank you!

  10. Anna February 13, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Thanks for a great post Ariana! I’ve done the move from Sweden to London and then, not too long ago, London to Boston (USA) and there are a lot to plan for and think of on the way.
    I am slightly looking forward to the next move but also like being able to nest a bit before that happens.
    Looking forward to reading more about lovely Spain – certainly warmer than Boston at the moment 😉


  1. And Here We Are... In Spain! - And Here We Are - February 20, 2015

    […] we are in Spain now!  We made it!  It’s been just over a week since our moving day, but it honestly feels more like a month.  We’ve been a lot of places, slept in a lot of […]

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