Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Big Move - Preparation

My flight is this Saturday, my bags are packed, and I am almost ready to go. It is pretty exciting and I am really looking forward to arriving in Sweden and settling in. There are challenges that await me and a few organisational hurdles that remain, but I am ready and it is almost time to go.

Moving internationally is fairly complicated, there are a variety of shipping methods, customs forms and insurance required and despite having a number of coworkers who had made the move from Europe to Australia we had a surprisingly small pool of advice to draw from.

We knew that we did not want to send everything, and that we didn't want to try to tackle that kind of a logistical burden. Instead we used a shipping service a couple of our friends recommended after using them to move to Switzerland. They had a pretty good experience with them, unfortunately for us, it was not replicated.

I should note that I didn't do much of the organisation for this move. My fiancée did the bulk of the organisation, she did not have the formal work hours I did, and so was better able to organise quotes and the like. The quoting process for this service actually involves sending someone to your home, discussing your plans with them and showing them roughly the kind of materials you plan to move.

The biggest advantage of using a shipping service is that we didn't have to pack most of our stuff ourselves, organise boxes, packing materials, helpers, removalists and cleaners, the service we used did all of that for us. We were actively discouraged from packing, as if they packed then they could sign off on the manifest for customs and insurance, and since they are a trusted company, they are less likely to be delayed by customs.

Our move was slightly more complicated than normal, because we conveniently were able to send most of our furniture to one of our friend's houses for safe keeping, they had the space and were happy to get free use of furniture in exchange for providing free storage. In order to keep things a little simpler, we organised that aspect of the move through Grace as part of the whole operation.

This meant that our task was to go through our house put things into the following categories:
  • To be sold/thrown out/donated to charity
  • To be sent to our friends
  • To be sea freighted to Sweden
  • To be air freighted to Sweden
  • To be taken with us
  • To be stored with family
Selling  and donating things was specifically my job, the furniture our friends did not want went up on eBay and 2 items sold. The rest went out onto the street for the council to pick up. The clothes and books we weren't keeping were taken to the Salvos in Glebe and donated.

Our sea freight was arranged to be picked up and shipped about a month ahead of the actual move. We knew were going to be quite busy post Christmas and sorting it out closer to my fiancée's flight would have been simply too difficult and my parents were happy to have us stay with them in the meantime.

We packed some boxes and suitcases for the things we needed, our air freight and the remaining items that weren't to be shipped and took them to my parent's house. All that we had left in the apartment was  pretty much ready for the furniture move and sea freight pick up, which I will leave for next time.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Still Miss You 4 Years Later

Today marks 4 years since you passed away.

I find it amazing that 4 years has gone by and just interacting with those memories brings fresh tears. Especially at this time of year, which is always difficult despite the proximity of my birthday.

At the right times, in the right contexts I can talk about what happened less abstractly. But never in too much detail, because that brings back the more vivid feelings, the tense waiting, not knowing when things would be over and the terrible blow of the awful news. Especially the gap between the report of a death and the report of who died. The maths was terrible, and the implications of that desperate desire that the one who died was not one of your family.

I am sorry I don't talk about you that often, and that when I do it mostly is about your end, because there was a lot more to you than that. Unfortunately it really is hard to focus on the good times.

Regardless, I miss you Nick and I wish you were still here.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Birthday Musings

Today is my 28th birthday and I thought it was a good opportunity to dust off this blog.

I remember on my last birthday I was exploring Amsterdam with my partner with a fairly uncertain year ahead of me. I was unemployed and faced a job search, likely followed by a housing search when I returned home. My girlfriend shared the housing problem, and would also need to find work once she finished up her thesis later that year.

Now, on my 28th birthday I find myself in a completely different position. I am living at my parents place and soon will face a job search, followed by a housing search, but this time in a new and exciting locale! On the 1st of February I move to Sweden to be with my fiancée, who starts her new job there in a little over a week.

I can't say I am looking forward to my new job and home search, but it does set us up for a fairly different year. It will be interesting adapting to a new culture, learning a new language and living in a place where it snows; snow without travel just seems weird.

I also intend to start updating this blog again more regularly. While most posts will be about games, because I do play a lot of games, I will also probably include some slice of life posts too.

Here is hoping that this trip around the sun is as good as the last one.