Prepping for the move

Lots of things going on with us this week! For starters, we officially purchased our plane tickets for our big move! We are flying on one way tickets to Bucharest on July 31. It’s crazy to think how quickly that date is approaching. Next, Jethro’s flight is confirmed which is a huge stress off of our backs. Finally, we submitted our paperwork for our daycare facility, so Isaac is all set for his fancy British academy come September.

The arrangements to move abroad are about to launch into warp speed. When we return from Seattle this weekend, we will be putting the wheels in motion. The plan–for now–is to bring about 5 large duffle bags of clothes for all three of us including our winter gear and any other household items we want to bring. We intend to buy as needed in Bucharest, but it’s nice to have some creature comforts that will make our apartment feel more like home. We are renting a furnished apartment so we will not have to buy too much stuff while we’re there. We were lucky enough to find a place by Herastrau Park. My commute to SNSPA (my university) will have me walk through the park every day. Tough life!

Our rent and daycare costs are less than what we pay here but are still not relative to our salaries while we’re away. Combining our salaries, we’re making about 50% less than we do in the U.S. That’s a huge hit but we are willing to take it for the experience that we will gain. I’m pretty certain my tombstone will read, “Did not make wise financial decisions due to travel bug.” Both of us have always wanted to live in another country for a year and we’re beyond excited for the opportunity that the Fulbright Commission and PwC are providing.

So far, the most difficult area of planning has surrounded Jethro’s transport. Arrangements for Jethro have been a nightmare. I think that if anyone wants to set up a business where you charge $250 just to explain all of the rules that airlines and countries impose regarding dog travel, that you’ll be rich. There are services that will help you, but they do everything for you and are really expensive (upwards to $3500 one way). They are also meant to help people who do not want to move the dog themselves. We have to get a dog passport for Jethro that is issued through the USDA. We also had to get him a new international microchip and an updated rabies vaccine. Additionally, our vet has to fill out about 10 pages of paperwork regarding Jethro’s health and we have to drive up to Des Plaines to have it approved by the USDA APHIS office. The vet visit and the APHIS paperwork must occur within 5 days of our departure. No early planning will work here. Another hurdle that we encountered is Jethro’s kennel’s height. Only two airlines– KLM and Lufthansa– will let dogs travel in a pressurized and temperature controlled cabin. And of those two airlines, only KLM will fit Jethro’s kennel. Lufthansa is off by 1.5 inches. We had to purchase the Petmate Vari Giant kennel because Jethro, our (almost!) nine year old Treeing Walker Coonhound is too tall for any of the normal sized crates.¬†Anyway…. at least all of that is handled now (well, except for the paperwork).

We are in the process of paring down all of our things so that we can put the remainder in storage. It’s tough deciding what we want to keep, what we want to take and what we want to part with. In many ways, it’s rather liberating to be free of everything. So much of me wants to throw everything in the dumpster. ¬†However, speaking from experience, it’s also the most costly option. But it’s only money, right??

I’ll keep you all posted on our happenings.