Expat Update: Month T-1

In just under a month I’ll be arriving in Australia to start my brand new shiny life as an expat. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway, to get through all the stuff I have to do to get there. Which has been a lot. Let me fill you in on what’s happened since my last update post, where everything started.

This post will cover getting rid of our stuff, my unexpected visit to Australia, and unexpected car grief. Let’s go!

The Good

Visiting Australia ¦¦ I made it to Australia! A little earlier than planned but the visa came through (the temporary one, not my main transfer visa) so off I went. I managed to take out almost all of my clothes in my luggage allowance on that trip, which cut down on shipping costs and means I don’t have to wait for my boxes to arrive to have something to wear.

I really enjoyed my brief trip out to Australia. It was hard work but I had a great time and, although I’m still nervous, I’m glad to have enjoyed it so much. Yes there’s still a lot to think about, but overall I think we’ve made the right choice. It was just weird being there without S so I’ll be very happy to have him with me next time.

Selling stuff ¦¦ We’ve sold all our furniture! And our car! I’ve also approximately halved my wardrobe – some stuff has been sold on eBay, some given to my sisters. The rest have gone to the charity shop and the really ratty stuff has gone in the clothes donation bin.

I’ve given away my entire craft stash to a very enthusiastic sister, who is now texting me pictures of things asking what on earth they are for.

Shipping stuff ¦¦ We have sent our boxes! All 16 of them have been waved off onto a lorry and hopefully we’ll see them in 6-8 weeks time in sunny Sydney. That’s the plan. It was quite an effort to get them all packed so hopefully we won’t be going through them on arrival thinking “whyyyy did I pack this junk??!”.

Parties ¦¦ We have had some great bon voyage bashes; at home in Bedford with a few folk, with the in-laws, and with work.  My colleague picked a very fitting venue for my work leaving drinks:

I’m done! ¦¦ I’ve officially finished work! I have handed over my projects and today I’ll hand over my laptop so I’m officially out of here.

The Bad

Time ¦¦ I now have just 4 days left in the UK. Arrrrrrrrrrrggghhh.

Nerves ¦¦ I’m nervous. My trip to Australia made things REAL and it’s SCARY. Again it’ll be less so when I’ve got S with me, but still. Yikes.

Emotional times ¦¦ The goodbyes have been rough, it goes without saying.

I have been surprised at how weighty some decisions have been, though. For example, selling our car. It’s just a piece of machinery and I’m not at all a car enthusiast, so this shouldn’t have been a hard thing for me. But it was. Buying our car was very tied up with everything that happened with my Dad, and things all came full circle and hit me around the gut area when it came time to sell.

I can’t explain it better than that, safe to say I wasn’t expecting to feel the way I did when I drove that car back to the dealership.

Leaving my company ¦¦ The last few days at work have made me realise how lucky I am to work for my company. I’ve had a great time these last 3.5 years and have worked with some amazing people. Yes it has its challenges, as does any company, but they are extremely minimal compared to what I’ve experienced in the past. Despite moving within my company, it’s a completely different operating company I’m moving to, and things will be different. During my trip out to Australia my eyes were opened as to just how different it will be. I hope I will have just as good a time in the new company but… it’s still a leap of faith.

Planning ¦¦ We haven’t planned much for our pre-pat trip, other than booking flights and hotels. I guess that’s a good enough start, but it’s making the over planner in me feel quite jumpy. Still, I have to remember that the primary objective of this holiday is to relax and disconnect, so perhaps jam packing our days with activities is not the way to do it.

I reckon if we plan to eat a lot (like this amazing gluten free Vietnamese food I found in Sydney) then we can’t go far wrong. Right?!

The Ugly

As before, I’ve decided that I’ll be sharing The Ugly side of things via email. That way, I can share a bit more honestly on things like work and personal matters that I don’t want searchable on t’internet. Seeing as you’re all my friends, I’d just feel a bit happier doing it this way.

So if you want to know The Ugly, just put your email address in the box and I’ll add you to the list. You’ll get mail from me 2-3 days after you see this post, just to give everyone a chance to sign up who wants to.

Catch you in your inbox!

-Rachel

P.S. I’m handing my laptop back in today, so I’ll be slow to respond to comments and I may not post for a little bit aside from those I’ve got scheduled. I’m planning on doing some electronics shopping in Bangkok (reclaimable tax yesss) so if you’ve got a laptop recommendation come at me.

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19 Comments

  1. 23rd March 2017 / 18:05

    I can’t believe that your move is already so close! You’ve got a lot of things done already, and in just a few short weeks you’ll be moving to Australia, that’s so exciting and scary I know. The planner in me would also be freaking out a little about not having things planned for your trips, but that just means that you’ll have more time to relax! You can totally make it through the next few weeks until the move!

  2. NCM
    23rd March 2017 / 18:08

    Yes, I’m the lucky recipient of many of your stylish items of clothing! I wore a rather lovely dress and jacket combo to an evening networking do last week and was complemented on my jacket by a complete stranger (not a man either!) So many thanks for helping me ascend a peg or two in the high fashion stakes.

    Trying to focus on things like this rather than how much I’ll miss you both!!

  3. Jen
    23rd March 2017 / 19:04

    Hugs friend! Goodbyes are certainly the worst but I know everything will be worth it in the end.

  4. 23rd March 2017 / 19:58

    Ahh so exciting! I bet you’ll have the best time – the sunshine awaits. Can’t wait to hear about how you settle in down under!

  5. 23rd March 2017 / 20:05

    Good luck Rachel! We are at the packing boxes stage! Can’t wait to catch up with you in Oz! Have a great holiday on the way enjoy it all!

  6. 23rd March 2017 / 23:27

    Getting so close! I think not planning activities for your pre-pat trip is the way to go. Just relax and enjoy cheap food and massages ☺. You will love living in Australia!

  7. 24th March 2017 / 00:24

    Good luck and lots of love! You are going to ace this move 🙂 It’s true that the goodbyes are rough, but the hellos will be great! 😀

  8. 24th March 2017 / 02:36

    So close! I loved reading this because I actually just resigned from my job here in Okinawa and we’ll be moving back to Australia at the end of June! I’m now dealing with trying to figure out the cheapest/best way to move things home, send our pets etc, all while dealing with Japanese bureacracy! Argh! On the other hand, i’m so excited to be moving back to Melbourne and starting our life there again!

    Looking forward to the ugly email

  9. 24th March 2017 / 04:44

    Good luck with your move and I hope your pre-travels are wonderful. Becoming an expat is both super exciting and incredibly daunting, but give it a bit of time and I’m sure you’ll settle in.

  10. 26th March 2017 / 03:11

    I can’t imagine the excitement! I just know you’ll be glad you made this (figurative and literal) move.
    Also, can’t wait to read The Ugly 🙂

  11. 26th March 2017 / 04:30

    Ahhhhhh! SO exciting!

    If it feels like this has come so quickly for me – I can only imagine how you’re feeling!!! xo

  12. 26th March 2017 / 06:05

    That’s come round so quickly! I hope that the good points continue to outweigh the bad and that you have a lovely trip before you arrive in Australia and enjoy settling down here! 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

  13. 26th March 2017 / 09:38

    I just found your blog through Kelly at Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes! I moved to Sydney back in November, and although it’s super scary, you guys are gonna have the best time here! Goodbyes are the worst, just remembering them makes me feel all teary. But the true friends will always be there for you and whatsapp makes things SO much easier!

    Let me know if you need a chat or someone to show you around when you get here 🙂

    C x | Lux Life – Luxury Travel & Lifestyle Blog

  14. 27th March 2017 / 00:50

    Have a fantastic adventure. I’ll catch you when you get settled in on the other side of the world!! Enjoy and be safe. Hugs!!

  15. 27th March 2017 / 21:09

    holy mother of all emotions, letting go of my car was the hardest thing i did. seriously. it was so final. of course yours being tied to your dad is different, but seriously. i did everything else like a piece of cake but i cried handing over the keys to my car.
    i hope you’re doing okay though. big virtual hugs to you.

  16. 28th March 2017 / 02:35

    I definitely know how emotional all the various ordeals involved with leaving can be. And even parting with a few ‘things’ was hard. Getting rid of my sewing machine after wanting one my whole life and only owning it for two years was sad. But now I have a new one. 🙂 I gave my car to my uncle, so I should be seeing it again, maybe even driving it again, this summer while we’re back! I did love that car though we’ve been through some hard times together. We’ve never shipped anything overseas for a move…I wouldn’t even know how to do it or it the expense would be worth it. The one thing that I would really love to ship if I ever become rich is our bed. My brother in the USA sleeps in it now but we bought the most gorgeous cherry wood bed early on in our marriage–custom built by local Amish woodworkers where we lived and it’s just my dream bed….I still think about it often. I know it’s just a bed but I loved that bed. The one nice piece of furniture we’ve ever had. 😛 Here, I don’t even want to buy anything nice, even if I could, because of the risk of leaving it again.

  17. 29th March 2017 / 19:17

    Eeeep so exciting! Hope you enjoy the pre-pat trip… I 100% agree that planning around eating cannot possibly steer you wrong. I was pretty lucky when I moved over here as I didn’t have too much stuff to get rid of – the joys of having a flat rather than a whole house. But I just moved flats again and am now in the midst of unpacking – with a little bit of the “WHY OH WHY did I move that?!” regrets! Hope you don’t have the same – you sound much more organised 🙂

  18. 12th April 2017 / 16:00

    Hugs and love from the US regarding the move and adjustment in Sydney. I can’t even imagine what it’s like becoming an expat and moving to another country. I am so excited to hear all about your new life in Australia, though!

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