Expat: moving day

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The day of the move itself dawned, we left our house at 4.30am having not slept at all. The house looked like there had been a tornado (a lingering memory is the pile of orphaned odd socks that were left in the middle of the dining room floor…).

We met my mother at the airport (thank goodness she was able to travel with us, I will be forever grateful). We checked in our 14 (yes, 14) pieces of luggage (thank goodness for BA, I will be forever grateful!). We flew to London, then on to Boston. The children were all wonderful and coped with the journey remarkably well. The same cannot be said for the adults, who still had not slept.

We finally arrived at our hotel having survived the interminable wait at immigration, the interminable wait for the baggage, and the interminable wait while my poor husband loaded all 14 (yes, 14) bags into the hire car, having first unpacked the car seats so that he could load all of us into a taxi… I am still amazed that this journey did not end in divorce.

We got to the hotel, fed the children and went to bed! It may have been 7pm local time, but it was midnight in our heads and we had now been awake for about 40 hours!

For the next week I didn’t even have the energy to put make up on, that’s how bad it was! After a week, when I finally came out of our room one morning with my face on, my mother said ‘at last, you must be feeling better’…

The hotel could not have been more perfect for us for those first couple of weeks. Great breakfasts, kitchen in the ‘suite’ (it was a Residence Inn, so it was all small apartments rather than just rooms), dinner four nights a week (‘student food’ as we described it, but great for the kids – and exhausted adults!), a pool which the boys used every day and some very friendly long term residents who adopted the kids – we have subsequently been back for two birthday parties and spent thanksgiving with a family we met through one of the residents!

The first week was spent recovering, the second week was spent shopping… We had a house to furnish (we didn’t ship any furniture) – and that was actually quite fun – and the shops loved us! Thank goodness for IKEA – we went in and essentially furnished the whole house in one go :) Mind you, I haven’t really stopped adding to it since – what was that I said about acquiring so much stuff… But it is amazing how many small things you don’t think to ship and then discover you can’t survive without. Honest..! Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it :)

We moved into our new house two weeks after we arrived, and the adventure really began!

[Update 9 October 2014: I’m linking this post up with the lovely Chantelle from Seychelles Mama, for her Expat Family linky. I linked our Part 2 of our moving story last time, so I thought I should complete the story with Part 3… It ends with us moving into our new house, and we felt surprisingly at home, right from the start. We have since moved again, into a bigger, more permanent house and are in the process of making it home too. Relocating overseas gives you a new perspective on moving house. I don’t think any subsequent move could ever be as hard, or traumatic, as that first one and I am certainly far less phased by the prospect now!]

Seychelles Mama


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8 thoughts on “Expat: moving day”

  1. Ahhh Sara this is like the ‘happily ever after’ section to your story so lovely to read.
    I remember when I moved to America with my parents (I was 17 we were there for almost three years) and the IKEA shop we did to furnish the house……ahhhhh the most fun ever!!
    The house we moved into here in the Seychelles was already furnished which as you can imagine has it’s highlights and lowlights!! How I long for an ikea here!!
    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely post for #myexpatfamily

  2. This is very real for us at the moment – we moved from the UK to Australia two weeks ago! We struggled with 15 pieces of luggage as we had to check our buggy in to the hold too. Moving abroad was honestly the hardest thing we’ve ever done but I can already see it is completely worth all the effort. Life in Brisbane is shaping up to be fantastic! I’m looking forward to reading the next part of your journey. x

    1. I’m so pleased that your move has gone so well. It really is the most difficult thing at the time, but it is worth it x

  3. Great to read a happy ending! These three posts have been like looking into the future for me – I’ve moved house (and countries) several times before, but never with kids. The next we move will very much look like this, IKEA and all, I expect! How great that you had your mum with you to help though. I must try to wangle that too… x

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