Day 10: Reflections on Moving Internationally, Part 2

This is Part 2 in a post dedicated to my reflections and learnings after our most recent international pack-out.

If you were able to read Part 1 on this subject, then you know that some important strategies for our moving include hiring a reputable company, giving from our personal excess, and letting go.  There are 3 other things that are key in this process that I’d like to highlight today.

Organization is Key

our whole lives packed and organized into two shipping crates - destination Tashkent, Uzbekstan! See you in August...
our whole lives packed into two shipping crates – destination Tashkent, Uzbekstan! See you in August…

This seems like a no-brainer, but actually, there were a lot of details involved with our move.  We had items in 3 different categories on every single floor of our house: shipment to Tashkent, shipment to the States, and staying in the house.  In order to make sure that the right items ended up in the right place, I wrote labels on colored pieces of paper with instructions about what category everything was in.  Yellow went to Tashkent, Red went to the States, Blue stayed in the house (for the landlord, who will be moving into the house in the fall).  The unfortunate truth is that organization is not difficult, but it takes time.  Making time for organization is one of the last things you want to do when you’re leaving and you’d rather hang out with friends.  That’s why, when friends invited us over for an impromptu dinner party on Friday, we said yes.  It’s also why we spent Saturday at a winery and with our neighbors.  The point is that come Tuesday, one day before Pack Out #1, we had a FULL day’s work ahead of us, and dinner plans with other friends.  What we ended up sacrificing in order to accomplish the level of organization required was sleep.  We may have slept 4-5 hours on Tuesday night.  Is that the ideal?  Absolutely not.  Was it necessary? Absolutely!  As a result, our Pack Out #1 with the items going to Uzbekistan was as smooth as you could possibly imagine a pack-out going.  We may have had a few of our trash cans packed, but other then that, everything got in the proper shipment.  The point is that organization is necessary, sleep or not.

Looking Forward is the Only Way

It can be both rewarding and emotionally draining to look around at an empty house.  The Type-A, left-brained part of me gets a surge of energy when I see all of the progress that’s been made in the clearing out of the house.  But the other part of me can get a little emotional.  Tears may have been shed as the first moving van pulled up yesterday.  Tears may have been shed today with some neighbors at the door today.  That is all necessary and part of the moving on process.  Come Saturday, we will have one week left in Italy exactly, and the grieving part of moving on may continue as we say our goodbyes and enjoy our beloved neighborhood.

Part of the moving on process, however, is being excited about what the future will hold.  Once we leave Italy, I will make it a point to look back fondly.  When I miss people, I will think of fond memories that I had with them.  What I’m looking forward to also has value: it will be the very first move that Drew and I have gone through together, it will be the first time we’re choosing a house or apartment together, and it will be the first time that we start in a new culture at the same time.  There won’t be Drew showing me around Toscana and me showing Drew around Kiev.  Instead, there will be us experiencing new things together at the same time.  These are all really important and interesting things to go through as a couple, and I’m looking forward to all of the things that go along with that!

as much as we will miss waking up everyday to this, we know we will return
as much as we will miss waking up everyday to this, we know we will return

Plans to Return Help

Where is home really to people who meander internationally through life?  To us, Italy has become home.  For me personally, I would prefer a permanent address in Italy to a permanent address in the States.  Drew has lived in Italy for 6 years, a large portion of his post-college adult life.  Logistically, it is easier for us to get to Italy from Tashkent then it is to get to the States.  So we have decided that during the summer of 2016, we will be spending some time in Italy.  We don’t have dates in mind or tickets booked, but we have the plan that we WILL return to Italy.  Knowing that helps us look forward to our new life and leave more gracefully.

What are your thoughts about moving internationally?  What are your experiences with the packing out process? Let us know at

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