The Devil and the Details

We were at the airport at 5am this morning. Emilie is back at school, so I’m getting down to less trendy concerns. Putting all this together has become a puzzle. And the pieces like to change shape as we go. Making for some interesting days. I’ll confirm my overseas shipper on Monday and arrange to do a FaceTime audit to get a more solid estimate.

Throughout this process, I’ve surprised myself. In the beginning, I thought 20 medium sized boxes sounded like torture. How would I ever leave all my favorite things behind? But as we’ve gone through it, I find letting go of things isn’t quite as hard as it was a few months ago. And I’ve gotten more savvy at finding ways around little problems we’ve encountered. Getting creative can save us time, money and headaches.

Today, I packed all our favorite Crate and Barrel dishes into carry on bags. We aren’t going to ship those on the water – we’ll be eating on our own plates the first night. Sure, we’ll have to drink water out of bowls for a few days, until we buy glassware, but we won’t be completely camping.

I’m bringing my good Sur la Table cookware in checked bags too – layered with my clothes. And our flatware and some very edited cooking utensils will come with us, so we can eat at home out of the gate. Sure, we’ll be ‘roughing it’ a bit but it will be so nice to having our stuff with us.

Our new home is unfurnished and will be completely empty, so we’re bringing two twin inflatable mattress that we’ll put together with our king-sized sheets (also packed in checked luggage) and we’ll be fine until we buy a bed. And I wrapped the dishes with our pillow cases so we’ll even have those ready as we lay down after a full day of travel.

I admit, I was freaking out over the shipping of Jeff’s motorcycle. I got bids from $2500 – $6000. with additional costs to crate it of $600-$1000. This did not include duty or VAT, or all the ‘port delays, demurrages or storage charges’. Jeff was pretty worried that his beloved would be held hostage with mounting fees.

So he started doing some research and now he’s shipping it with a guy who does it all the time for riders from the US, via air, and it’s only going to cost $1400, no crating fee. Still duty, etc. but that’s so much better than I thought. It means our stuff won’t have to include the motorcycle – which I had been told complicated things significantly. As of now,  we’ll be able to get the costs of our household goods waaay down!

We’ll be spending plenty in Spain to do our part to boost their economy and keep the capitalist engine of our new country humming. We’re only shipping my favorite couch from here, so we’ll have to furnish our new home. And we’ll need to buy a car and a scooter for me. But it all seems doable now.

We’re taking nothing superfluous to new life we want to lead.  Now, I see 20 boxes as the goal instead of the enemy, and we might just make it. Perhaps this process has changed us for the better, in ways we didn’t anticipate.