Everything is Awesome! … if you’re out of the country when the movers arrive

All of our worldly belongings (minus the items left in storage-purgatory nine years ago: ladder, first generation Tivo, beige computers) have left Hong Kong and are on a cargo ship bound for Europe.

As luck (or convenient planning) would have it, I was absent from this pack-out. In fact, while my husband was dealing with the movers, I was in America staring at this:

Photo via my mom, Linda Brown.

While he was sorting through kitchen cabinets, I was watching a pair of Bald Eagles fish from the large tree above.

While he was shutting off automatic utility payments, I was sorting shells from stones on the beach and pretending to be a billy goat tromping over a forest bridge:

While he was holding conference calls across time zones and amongst these boxes, I was eating ice cream.

Expat move _ expatlingo.com

Note that half of the boxes marked “this way up” are in fact upside-down.

During our last international move two years ago, I dealt with the movers while also trying to get a one-year-old to nap.

This time I enjoyed every single moment of not dealing with anything other than choosing our next outing in the Pacific Northwest.

Photo credits: All of the photos above are via my mom, Linda Brown. Well, except for the one filled with boxes. That one is via my husband.

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23 responses to “Everything is Awesome! … if you’re out of the country when the movers arrive

    • Oh, I would so love to know that trick.

      No, actually, scratch that. Last time we moved the husband did start the unpacking for us and it’s not only a hassle to have to remove everything from everywhere in order to start all over again but a depressing reminder of how little knowledge he has of household functioning. Must be his turn to stay home next.

    • That will depend on the vagaries of sea currents and customs agents, but the odds of me getting out of unpacking are heavily in my favor. In fact, I might be visiting Vancouver Island, Canada the moment the movers arrive at our new place in Utrecht.

    • Simply think of something that absolutely must be done in two weeks time on a completely different continent. Renew your driving license? Jury duty? Reunion of some kind?

    • Certainly arrange to be gone next time! For this time: best of luck being present for the tedious process of watching your whole life packed away in boxes! Perhaps entertain yourself by packing up something odd for the unpackers on the other side to discover.

  1. What a great idea, being out of the country for the move! We’re dreading the idea of moving countries again though imagine it will be even more difficult with a small child in tow this time round,,,sigh. Would love any advice you have AND to pick your brains about shipping etc!

    • Yes, everything that goes into boxes, little ones seem to want to take right back out again… Best advice: have one of you take your wee one to a hotel for the day/night and one of you do the packing/supervise packers. As for shipping we’ve been fortunate and have always had my partner’s company arrange (and pay for shipping). We’ve ended up with Sante Fe a few times and it’s always gone well. No matter what you do, it’s worth it to air freight a few critical items ahead of the bulk! Happy to chat more when you’re closer to the time.

  2. Sounds like the ideal way to move out. If only I could have sent someone else when I was moving out after college… Then again my dorm room was much smaller than your apartment so I guess I have nothing to complain about.

  3. Now that’s the way to do an international move, Jennifer – from a distance. 🙂 And it sounds like you really deserved the break. Props to your husband for handling it. For all our international moves, James always had to go on in advance, so I was stuck with all the upside-down boxes, many of them labeled “barskets” by the movers. (We later learned that was code for “stereo gear.” Jeez!) Hope the rest of the move goes as smoothly. ~Terri

    • I (happily) missed the pack-up, but am now in Utrecht and have just finished pulling all of the kitchen things out of boxes and finding places for everything. It sure feels nice to be “home”!

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