I'm going to state something really obvious: Moving to a foreign country is a lot of work. Moving in itself is exhausting, but when your new home lies thousands of miles away and includes a language barrier, things get a lot more daunting.
With our plane departing in 23 days, we are in the thick of it right now.
We've miraculously been able to pare down our things into a small stack of relatively manageable boxes for packing and shipping. Whatever doesn't make it into our suitcases now will stay in storage or arrive on our doorstep in a couple month's time. It's remarkable how, even when trying to live a minimalist lifestyle, stuff accumulates so fast. Packing is always fun until I get to the inevitable last smattering of miscellaneous stuff that I don't want but can't throw out. Where does that stuff even come from?
Aside from the packing and sorting there have been numerous Craigslist ad postings, haggling, and no-shows, and one wildly successful yard sale. (The shoppers stampeded 45 minutes before the yard sale started, while we were still setting up. It was terrifying. Next time, I'm hiring a bouncer.) Oh, and anyone want to buy our cars?
Now we are stationed at my parent's house, occupying a guest room, while my brother and sister-in-law, Jeremy and Joanne, occupy the other guest room. Why, you may ask? Well that's a funny story.
Jeremy and Joanne are moving to Australia.
Jacob and I are moving to Austria.
My brother and his wife are in the exact same situation as Jacob and I, the one difference being that Australia does not pose a language barrier. (Though you could argue their slang is foreign language unto itself. Did you know that they call minivans "people movers"? I don't get it. Isn't any vehicle a "people mover"?) Though Joanne is Australian, they are moving to Sydney, far away from where Joanne grew up.
Just as Jacob and I are doing, Jeremy and Joanne are taking a leap of faith and trusting the details to shake out as they go. In preparation for that move, they sold everything they owned, packed up their car, and drove across country from Washington D.C. As soon as the final details line up, they'll be off for Sydney.
In the meantime, here we are, a lot of suitcases, big personalities, and a naked mole rat named Eggs (Jeremy and Joanne's pet) crammed into one house. It's been quite the party.
I never imagined that as an adult, my family would fly back to the nest with spouses in tow for anything more than a family reunion. Instead, it's been summer holiday all over again, with days of work punctuated by impromptu lunch dates, game nights, and jumping from the diving board of the neighbor's pool.
Perspective is valuable, though sometimes difficult to maintain. I am continually reminding myself how short this time is, and how much everything will change in just a few weeks. How this chance for us all to be together is a rare opportunity, and not one I want to let slide by too quickly. I know that when I'm old, I may forget the challenges of moving, but I won't ever forget that summer when we got to be children again.