In just ten short days, Rachel, Ezra (our cocker spaniel), and I will board a plane with a one-way ticket to the UK.
If that sounds dramatic, well… it is! Life was chaotic in 2016 and there’s lot of chaos happening now as we prepare to move!
I ended up spending almost 180 days abroad last year for work (most of that in the UK) on a challenging three-weeks-in-the-UK, one-week-in-Seattle rotation. We ended up tapping out of that in November because it wasn’t working for us to do life in two different places; I was also physically and mentally exhausted from all the flying (100k+ miles flown). The plan for 2017 was to reduce my work travel to two weeks trips every 6-8 weeks but in December I was offered the opportunity move to the UK for 10-12 months in my current role!
While we were excited about the prospect, there were a lot of emotional and logistical things to think through, so we took time over over Christmas break to process everything. In mid-January we officially accepted the offer!
So, what’s on our to do list? It includes getting life squared away for the next year, tidying up some logistics, and packing…lots of packing.
- Visas: I received mine at the end of last year in anticipation of my continued travel to the UK. Rachel received her visa last week
- Ezra’s Paperwork: Ezra needs to get a vet checkup, and his paperwork has to be signed-off by the USDA Veterinary Services Office in Tumwater, WA. The catch is that the paperwork has to be completed in a window of 24 hours prior to departure, but no more than five days before.
- Stuff we are taking: Sorting and packing everything we need to take with us. We are allotted 750 lbs to ship via air, plus a total of seven suitcases. We’ll be in a furnished apartment, but we don’t know which one yet.
- Appliances and Electronics we’re taking: There’s the issue of the electrical grid being different (120V/60Hz vs 230V/50Hz). Many consumer electronic devices are actually capable of working both the US and UK, thanks to switching-mode power supplies, so we just need socket converters. However, appliances that have large motors or heating elements usually aren’t capable.
- How long is Ezra in quarantine? There isn’t one anymore! It takes a couple hours to clear his paperwork and then he’s released!
- Where are you going to be? Bournemouth, a wonderful sea-side resort town about two hours southwest of London.
- Can I come visit? Yes, absolutely! We’d love to have visitors!
- How long are you gone? 10-12 months.
- When are you leaving? We fly away on Thursday, March 9th.
- If I want to send you a postcard, where do I send it? Email us at both@AndrewAndRachel.com for our forwarding address
The countdown is on! We leave 173 weeks, 5 days ago.