Some fitting and welcome fortune cookie wisdom from dinner the other night.
We are constantly answering questions about our upcoming move, so I thought it might be a good idea to address all the details here. Then I can just refer people to the blog when they ask me. 😉
We are not selling our house, we’re renting it out while we’re gone. We are using a property management company who will handle all the details and work with the tenants if any repairs need to be made while we’re away. It’s just so much less stress than trying to be landlords from one thousand miles and five time zones away.
We are selling both of our cars and buying used cars once we get to England. Although Matt’s company would have shipped a car for us, we decided against it. I think it will be hard to learn to drive on the wrong side of the road sitting on the wrong side of the car, but I think it would be even harder to REMEMBER to drive on the wrong side of the road if I get in my same old car that I’ve been driving for 6 years, with the left-side steering wheel. At least when I get in the car with the right-side drive, that will be a reminder to drive on the opposite side of the road as well.
We are shipping most (but not all) of our furniture and household goods, and Matt’s company is handling all that. We are able to have all our stuff moved for us, and we can’t even pack our own household goods–the movers will do that for us. This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great obviously because I don’t have to pack every little thing. But it’s a pain in that we have to basically sort every item in our house into one of three categories: Ship, Store, or Purge, which is really complicated and exhausting. The other good thing is that shipping all our stuff allows us to rent an unfurnished house, which are much easier to find.
The kids will be going to a private school in the fall. From what we understand, public schools in England can be quite good, but the best schools fill up very fast. But unlike in the US where you go to the school that your home address falls into the district for, in the UK, even if you live in the “catchment area” for a great school, if that school is at capacity you have to find another school that does have space. Rather than deal with that complication, we decided to put the kids in a private school. They are pretty excited about it; I think B secretly believes she will be going to Hogwarts in September.
We don’t have a rental home selected yet. It will take about 4-6 weeks for our household goods to arrive in England, during which time we will live in temporary housing. We will use that time to look at and pick a rental home; we don’t want to rent sight unseen, and can’t get there in advance to scout anything out. Temporary housing could be a hotel or a small apartment, we aren’t sure yet.
We aren’t taking our pets. We could have, but the process for moving with animals was complicated and expensive and once we arrive in Europe, we plan to travel as much as we can. We didn’t want to constantly have to board the cat and dog when we went away, plus we thought the move would be pretty stressful for them. Our cat Lael has gone to live with a friend of Matt’s from work, and Oliver the puppy is living with my parents in Massachusetts. We already miss them, but know this is the best option.
I will keep working at my job from England. Luckily, my job is really flexible and I can do it from anywhere I have access to the internet. So I get to keep working even though we’re moving, for which I am very grateful. I like what I do and I’m glad I get to keep doing it.
There is no Little League in England. At least, not near where we will be living. So the boys will have to try some new sports. Their new school has football (soccer!), rugby, cricket, tennis, swimming, and many, many other options. They are sad to be missing out on a few seasons of baseball, but they’ll live and get to try something new. And we’re shipping their gear –bats, balls, gloves, catcher’s equipment, etc — so they can still play together in the yard. Maybe we’ll teach some of their new friends how to play American baseball!
We are going for at least a year. But we can, and probably will, stay for longer. We don’t know how long yet.