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The Reality of Moving Abroad

There is a great appreciation for people in your life that celebrate your success in reaching your goals and dreams. Celebrate those people in your life because it is far and in between who truly recognize your efforts. That being said as I know these individuals are wanting to celebrate with me, but can I say there is nothing to celebrate just yet. I feel like I am losing my mind and I haven't been this stressed out in a long time.

The first step was finding a trust worthy shipping company and then one within your budget. That combination is hard to find. I cannot complain, the company I chose has been thorough and professional; but there is this sick feeling knowing you are handing your whole life, that you worked so hard to create over to strangers. You might say I am being materialistic, or why didn't just sell everything and start new over there? Wouldn't that had been easier? The answer is yes on one hand, but I am a visionary and I see how I want my last home to look and feel. I have always thrived to make my home welcoming, safe and a peaceful place that my guests want to visit again, but also a place I want to live in. I am not rich, and I am just an average person that has worked hard over the years to accomplish my toys (Photography, art, memories, etc....) over the years. When I left Greece to move back to the USA I left my ex everything and literally had to start all over as a single mom of two kids, tried to give us a good life, and survival. So, the short answer is "I already did it once" and the last 18 years of my life I stood on my own two feet and gave a fabulous life to my kids and I just don't want to start all over again like that, I deserve to carry those memories into this last phase of my life (especially when my loved ones are off living their lives afar).

It has taken me almost a full year to pack and purchase the must haves and I finally put everything in a room and called it ready to go, until..... I signed the contract. I had forgotten how tedious this process was when my ex and I moved from the USA to Greece. I did remember all the issues on the receiving side. Maybe this time it will be the other way around. Fingers crossed! Like I said this company has been very thorough, starting with proving my residency, let's just say it's like refinancing your home. ALL the documentation, in chronical order and no lapse, arg..... this helps customs determine where you fall when it comes to duty fees. Then the one that killed me this week, was the email for insurance on my belongings and was asked to have an itemized list of EVERYTHING I am shipping. I think I died for a second. Yes I know this is the best thing to do, but the thought of opening up the door to that room and start unpacking everything AGAIN to make a list. Halfway through, this to will pass, but I can say this is not my favorite week.

I am excited to get everything out of this house and to envision it all in the new house and how they will bring life into the new home. Mr. Dracu keeps telling me to try to enjoy the time I have left here, but how can you when you know the things I do. As I mentioned I am Greek and my family is from an island where the majority work on cargo ships and the stories I have heard from the weather they endure and the lives lost, you are not just hoping your things make it but have worried thoughts for those individuals bringing your stuff. When I lived in Greece one of my neighbor lost her husband who was working on a cargo ship just off of Canada, while I was visiting my family in the USA. When I got back to Greece the company had sent her documents of the events they found had happened, but everything was in English. She had asked me to translate for her. Though I know she was looking for answers particularly about her husband, but it was a general description and I just remember us crying a lot and still left with no answers.

Then the anticipation of what challenges will arise on the receiving end? When we shipped to Greece back in 1999 I was just shy of 23 and we were poor and had saved everything we had for our tickets there and to ship the items we were able to purchase in our time in the USA. We left, BROKE! I became a stay-home mother to my son upon our arrival and my ex was only DJing at the time. We had to remodel that home as well so we were in a tight place financially. We had shipped around October and somewhere between January-February we got the call our stuff had arrived in Athens but we had to pay fees. Now when we handed our stuff over to the company we specifically asked if we owed anything more; and we were assured that we were all paid up. We had the documents from the embassy stating we didn't have to pay the duty fees but long and behold we got slapped with a fee before our items could be released. There are a list of countries that are notorious for doing such things and Greece happens to be one of them. Now I haven't heard anything horrible about Spain but we will learn sooner than later what quirks will come with this adventure.

Now we are doing door to door meaning they will get things through customs (keep in mind, each situation is different and the company packs everything so they are fully aware what they are passing), un-load our container and have a moving company bring everything to our home AND un-pack everything and rid of the carboard and wrappings. Now here is what I foresee, for starters just to drive up to my house is going to be the first challenge. To get to our home is very steep and narrow (European narrow streets). Secondly, I am not sure where everything is going, so how am I to expect others to know where to put things. I do like the idea of them taking all the packing trash, especially when I have seen the neighborhood trash bin (tiny!)

If you are looking to move abroad; I will be more happy to give a full review once I have completed the receiving portion. I will do a follow up article on the company (name) and my experience of the process. Up to this point the company has been very professional and thorough as I mentioned before. I am not choosing to take TV's, appliances, electrical, etc.... it makes no sense to do that since the electricity is different. I am however bringing fragile items and Mr. Dracu wants his motorcycle. There will still be some challenging items for the company, to see the results will be interesting. Once everything is shipped out I will be starting the planning the shipping my dogs Ziggy and Crash. Stay tuned, for that mess of madness as well.

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