Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.

5-Weeks Until Departure

Transferring my own bag from one plane to another. – Zanzibar, Tanzania

Yes, five weeks left so I might start thinking out loud here more and more and bore you with the logistics of preparing a move overseas. But I’m doing it to clear my own head as well as to beg for your moral support. It’s a lot to think about even though everything is essentially being “done” for us, still daunting to keep track of who’s doing what without anything falling through the cracks of interrupted conversations (insert two toddlers here) or not crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on important forms. Gone are the days of throwing on a pack and traipsing across the world without a care as long as I had a passport and credit card. Even when we worked for NGO’s packing two bags was enough to get us through a year in the field. Maybe it’s the fault of luxury that we can arrange for all our worldly possessions to come along with us. A curse that blinds us to what’s really essential and makes me feel materialistic.

But over the years, perhaps it’s age or because of the children, I’ve come to know that the little things that feel like home become important in the most unexpected moments of our time abroad. We are creatures of habit and we like normalcy even though it is completely at odds with our wanderlust.

So here we are making the best of both worlds, living abroad and having our “home” come with us. I’ll take it, along with all the lists and checks required to get it all done…

  • DC-Vientiane tickets purchased – check!
  • Transit hotel in Bangkok booked – check!
  • Movers scheduled for pack out – check!
  • Housing assignment in Vientiane confirmed – check! (one word: HUGE)
  • Extra carry-on wheelie bag purchased – check!
  • Last visit to dentist for everyone – check!
  • Schedule pick up date for car shipment – in progress (can’t find engine number for forms)
  • Insurance for car shipment – still researching
  • Insurance for shipping other belongings – big ? (did we do this already in Mexico?)
  • Lao visa applications submitted – in progress (held up by Lao government bureaucracy)
  • Vaccination shots for everyone – two more to go
  • Purchase consumable goods for shipment – on going
  • Change healthcare coverage – pending

I’m sure I’ve left off some things that my husband is bound to remind me of later tonight. If you think I’m forgetting anything, please let me know. Thanks!

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4 comments on “5-Weeks Until Departure

  1. 5th Grade Teacher
    May 31, 2012

    Wow. Car shipment. I can only imagine trying to arrange that. I have to sell the car and narrow everything to a couple bags before I leave abroad.

    • Wanderlustress
      May 31, 2012

      Believe me when I say that yours is the best way. It’s almost strange to have the benefit of doing this, but I guess it’s one of the perks of working for the US gov. I’ll have to catch up on your blog about where you’re going. How exciting!

  2. Karyn @ kloppenmum
    May 25, 2012

    Good luck. The logistics made my head spin…:)

    • Wanderlustress
      May 25, 2012

      My head is spinning alright. Just got back from confirming our car transport insurance followed by stocking up on first aid supplies and meds. The trouble with going to countries without legitimate FDA-like oversight is you never know what you’re getting. I hate to say it but especially meds produced in China, which what is mostly available in Laos. That said, there is a lot of work to be done to help Laos improve it’s public health system and I hope to get involved in maternal and child health projects when I get there.

      Have a great weekend!

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This entry was posted on May 24, 2012 by in Tanzania and tagged , , , .

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