This is our fifth move with the military. Our fifth move in 13 years. Our third international move. Our first intercontinental move. A total of 15 259km once we finish this move.
All this to say, we’re not newbies. This ain’t our first rodeo.
And we don’t have it all that bad. Military moves may be more frequent but they’re not the hardest moves ever- they send packers and everything is (supposed to be) paid for along the way. We don’t have to make car trip after trip and pack and unpack endless boxes that we pilfered from the local liquor store. In that respect, we’ve got it pretty good.
With each move, I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned what to keep out of the way and have in my suitcase- then to have those suitcases in the car the morning the packers arrive so we don’t have anything mistakenly misplaced. I’ve learned little tricks like having extra-large size Ziploc bags handy through the pack (for screws and assembly pieces), and to plan to keep the children busy through the day, and to keep the packers and movers fed (order pizza!).
But what I’ve mostly learned is that no matter how much you plan, how much you think you got this one, think that this time it’ll be a breeze… It never is. Ever. No matter what, at some point, some sh*t is going to hit the fan and be out of your control.
Maybe your truck full of belongings floods or gets in an accident en route. Maybe your house doesn’t sell and you’re faced with some really crappy financial and family decisions (this was us last time). Maybe you made some credit card charges thinking they were covered but aren’t and now you’re on the hook for them.
Maybe you’ve done everything right and are stuck in limbo waiting for bureaucratic files to be handled, like we were this time.
Waiting for UK residency visas was the most stressful and exhausting procedure. It took months from start to finish- applying for our special passports, waiting for the posting message, going to Vancouver to apply for the visas and then waiting almost 2 full months for the passports with visas to arrive.
Let’s just say, we’ve been a bit stressed.
But today, they arrived!!! We now all have visas and can legally enter the UK for purposes to live for the next 3 years!
We are busy now trying to book flights and hotels and car rentals, and plan out our final week in Canada!!!
No matter how much you think you got this move in the bag, you don’t. Don’t ever turn your back on it, think it’s safe and over now… It’s not. We may have our visas and passports in hand now, but this is all far from over.
Sorry to sound pessimistic, but yeah, when it comes to moving (and military moves in particular) your best bet is to assume that if it can go wrong, it will. Murphy and all his laws are against you, this time. Just go with it, accept it, and always have the email addresses handy of your moving coordinator, or anyone in charge who can help with the inevitable sh*t storms.
And when you feel all alone, like how could this possibly happen? To you, who was so prepared and ready for all of this? Know you’re not alone. That something unexpected happens to everyone, everytime.
Because moving is hard, no matter what.