Chapter 3: Return of the Fergusons

When we moved to the UK in March of last year the official plan was to stay 10-12 months. When we moved, we didn’t know how long we would stay, as 10 months seemed like a long time. But as December approached, we knew we weren’t quite ready to quit our adventure. We choose to extended our stay another 9 months through to August 2018.

We’re excited to announce that, while we aren’t coming home to Seattle in August, we have set a date! Our last chapter in this book will wrap up at the end of this year.

We still have some things to cross off our UK bucket list but feel our hearts being drawn back home. Friends in the states are expecting babies, getting married, and making big life changes and we believe it’s important to be around for such events — especially after missing out on some of these things while we’ve been abroad. We’re also missing our Seattle church family and community. And finally, while Andrew could continue with his current position with work in the UK, he has accomplished much of what he came here to do.

We’re also feeling ready to get back to “real life”. Life in the UK has not been without challenges, but it has felt like a dream filled with constant travel and and will always be a period of our lives we will treasure.

 

Several questions remain:

  • When will we return? We have not decided on an exact date but are targeting between the end of October and the end of the year.
  • Will Andrew take a new job? We don’t know what Andrew’s role will be at work when he returns, but there are many options, which we are thankful for.
  • Where will you live? We’re coming back to Seattle and hope to return to the Ballard area.

There is still time to visit, British summers are wonderful 🙂

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We’re Moving to the UK for a year!

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.

FAQ

  • 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 131 weeks, 6 days ago.

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28093 Miles Later

Late last month, I made Alaska Airlines MVP. To make this membership level, I accrued over 25,000 miles on Alaska/Alaska Codeshare since January 1st. I currently sit at:

Activity Miles
Flown 28093
Bonus 3715
Parking 400
Total 32208

This entitles me to exciting things such as:

  •  Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades
  • Preferred Seating
  • Priority Boarding
  • Checked Baggage Fee Waiver

However, as I look at my status, I see that I also only have 19533 miles to Gold! And I think I might be able to make it. Here’s the forecast for the rest of the year thus far:

  • Return trip from Huntsville: 4022
  • Trip to San Diego: 2100
  • Trip to Maryland: 5820

That’s 11942 miles, 61% of the miles I need to get to Gold. The remaining 7591 miles could easily occur if I fly to Maryland and San Diego again, which is possible.

Non-work related, a round trip to Honolulu and back is only 5354 miles, so I would still need to travel San Diego again and even that would leave me a few hundred miles short.

If I do make Alaska MVP gold there still remains the fact that I would have flown over 50,000 miles this year, which is enough to miles to fly to Moscow (via Frankfurt) and back almost four times.

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