The End is Near

Foreign Service Life
March 3, 2014


Remember this shot from May of 2012?  Nia was only 7 months old and Nick and I were still pining for the Philippines.  Fast forward 2 years later and we’re closing up our time here in Peru.  WOW, right?  Is it just me or did that go REALLY FAST?

Curious about what’s next?  Of course you are!  Here’s the rough agenda: Nia and I are flying out in 3 weeks to spend some time in Minnesota because Nia’s getting her first cousin!  Nick will be leaving Lima in early May and we’ll all regroup in Bend, OR to spend a few weeks with Nick’s parents.  Around mid-May we’ll hop a plane and the 3 of us will have some time with my parents in MN (including Memorial Day Weekend at the cabin – YAY).

After a month of bonding time with our fams we’ll be getting our butts on yet another plane and flying to our new home, Washington DC.  We’ll be staying in temporary housing in Northern Virginia for June and July while we look for an apartment.  Maryland, DC and Virginia are all on the table for housing, though much of it depends on what preschool Nia gets accepted to (we’ve applied to 10).

We’ll be squishing into a 2 BR/1 bath apartment in DC due to the high cost of living there.  Unfortunately, this means that about 1/3 of our stuff needs to go so we can fit.  I’m cool with this, as I like being forced to live a more minimalist lifestyle.  The less attached to stuff I am, the better!

To do this we’ll be having – YOU GUESSED IT – a garage sale!  It is ridiculous how much joy I get from this simple pastime.

After the garage sale, the remaining 2/3rds (which they’ve estimated at 4000 lbs) needs to be split between suitcases (hand-carry), air freight and boat freight.  Hand-carry stuff obviously needs to get us through March, April and May.  The air freight will arrive in early June, so that needs to have toys, clothes and electronics we’d need those first 2 months in DC.  The bulk of it, the boat freight, won’t be delivered until August when we’re moved into our permanent housing.  We are required to pull all our stuff out of gov’t storage for domestic tours, so God knows what will show up from the warehouse.

The hardest part of this all is how time consuming it is.  I literally have to go through every item and think about when we need to use it.  That’s not all though – on moving day I need to make sure that the air freight and hand-carry stuff don’t accidentally get packed (don’t laugh, it happens) and that they don’t pack up Embassy furniture as well.  With a 6 person packing team that’s hell-bent on getting everything in boxes as fast as they can, it can be quite difficult to keep an eye on it all.

Another part of our downsizing has been digitizing everything paper that we had, including all our recipes/cookbooks and all of my coaching binders and notebooks.  Just to give you an idea, in the last month I’ve scanned in over 2000 documents (not pages, mind you, but documents), some of them close to 100 pages long.  It was a monumental task but WOW does it feel good to have everything online. We’re also in the process of digitizing our old photos as well and doing away with photo albums for good.

By the time we get all that done there’s not a whole lot of time left over for good-bye parties and last visits to our favorite local haunts.  It’ll be a whirlwind, no doubt.

Send us good energy peeps, we need to stay calm so we can get our Peru chapter all wrapped up.  Stay tuned for more updates!

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  1. The Novak's says:

    Hey, it all sounds so familiar to us but everyone else I assume is shaking their heads. Minimalizing? Packing out? What? Time does go fast and 30 years was gone and so were we. You’re getting a lot out of this voyage in life and you will look back at it and wonder if it was a book you read. And it will be the best thing you ever did in life. But for now keep on plugging away and keep up the good work. We love you a lot.

  2. Dana says:

    Moving is now on the tops of my world’s least favorite things. It sounds like you have a master plan for tackling this though! I would love to see the spreadsheet!

    Good luck! (Let’s connect by phone soon– k?)

  3. Katrina says:

    I can’t wait to see you when you stop in MN. We will have to hit up Caribou for sure. Hugs!!!

    P.S. We need to talk about they “doing away with photo album thing” as a scrapbooker I feel it is my duty to discuss with you before you toss them out.

  4. Sarah Novak says:

    Yes, I know you can relate… let’s touch base once I get settled in MN. Too much to do at the moment.

  5. Sarah Novak says:

    Yay – I’ll be there real soon. We can discuss my potential future blunders then. :)

  6. L A Cochran says:

    I find I sometimes fret about giving things away and then, after it’s done, I rarely regret it. It’s good to trod lightly.

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