When my mother and father moved to Canada in the 60’s, they brought five suitcases and 22 boxes of stuff. They went by boat and train. It took a while.
Here we are at the Skytrain station less than 24 hours before arriving in the Isle of Man.
I’d like to say we kicked my parent’s butts on the packing of stuff, that I rolled up 27 pieces of clothing in a carry-on plus a few cloth diapers for Henry, and we were moved. But that wasn’t the case. Those three suitcases were heavy. The official count was 75 kgs of baggage plus our carry-ons that held three laptops (Chris has a work and personal one), one Kindle, and one iPad (Chris bought one as he weans off the iPhone and considers selling his personal laptop). If you could see into that suitcase a wireless router, a lot of cables and adaptors, and even a few sets of silverware would be carefully tucked away in the t-shirts and suit jackets.
We had a small delay leaving Vancouver from the volcanic ash cloud but other than that it was really smooth sailing getting over here. Henry was asleep before take off and only woke up about an hour before we landed because the person he was sleeping on, me, needed to use the bathroom. For a nine hour flight with an in-arms-toddler it doesn’t get any better than that.
The UK border guards were nonchalant about our arrival and with a few stamps in our passports they sent us on our way. More moving of heavy luggage and the dreaded car seat into a big cab, a dreamy hour or so ride to Gatwick that left us all sleepy, and we were on to our second and final flight.
If you ever move to an idyllic island in the Irish Sea, I highly recommend arriving at sunset on a clear day. Chris generously gave me the window seat (or maybe he wanted the aisle because he needed the leg room) and I was treated to a breathtaking view of the Isle of Man as we approached. Nonstop postcard worthy views of lush green country and Oceanside cliffs. Made me feel like I can get past the whole no Starbucks thing.
So… we’re here. Getting over jet lag, finding a new home and familiarizing ourselves with a new city. I think my puffy crying eyes are almost healed from the departure farewells. By far this is the hardest move I have ever had to make emotionally. And I’ve moved plenty: to university, leaving university, leaving an old boyfriend and family to pursue an Olympic dream. All those moves were challenging, some a bit sad, but I got over it pretty quick. It’s so much easier to be the one leaving than to be the one left behind.
The day before we left Henry played for hours with his cousins, big and small ones. With this move, he’s missing out on nine cousins, seven aunts, six uncles (five of the six of these uncles are legally named David – crazy!) and two Grandmas. It really hurt to say goodbye to them. Even with the excitement of the move and the certainty that we want to take this opportunity to live in the UK, it was really hard to leave. I know there are bouts of homesickness just around the corner.
I’ll hopefully have a bit of time this week to upload some pictures and lists of what we shipped and what we stored. Feels like we got rid of a lot, all of our furniture plus a load of stuff to donations before we left. But when it came time to pack Chris and I were just plain tired of all of it. Moving is an energy suck. Having a lot of stuff to move is an even bigger energy suck.
Even if you’re not moving overseas, you can still live like you are. Check out this piece by the amazing Tsh Oxenrider of SimpleMom.net that was published a while back on CNN. Some great tips here for decluttering and paring down the in the framework of moving overseas. Very helpful even if you just signed a 1 year lease or took out a mortgage.
Oh, and Tsh got down to 15 boxes to ship before they moved to the Middle East 4+ years ago. We got down to 14. Proud to be in the same ballpark as The Simple Mom.