August 1, 2018

And so the story begins...

We have been planning this for years and now it will come to fruition. We had to decided to live overseas ever since I can remember. We actually planned to buy a home somewhere overseas and just move there and live. We actually bought some property in Panama a several years ago and thought we would build our retirement home there. Instead we decided to be gypsies of the world for a few years first. You never know, we might find someplace we like better to live. 

Now comes the hard part after we made this decision. You don't realize how much “stuff” you really own until you get ready to live out of 4 suitcases and 2 backpacks. My husband and I have lived around the US in various 3000sq foot homes for the last 15 years and of course we had a 3 car garage too. That is a lot of crap to get rid of. The first move of our journey was in 2014 from Albuquerque, NM to Kansas City, MO when I accepted a job with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Before moving we gave away, sold and donated a lot of stuff especially a bunch of furniture.

Once we got to KC, of course we bought more stuff, it’s the American way. We were only there for 2 1/2 years when we found out my job was moving us to Fort Worth, TX the summer of 2017. This time we had 2 garage sales to get rid of as much as we could. My husband actually sold all of his tools and yard equipment. You don’t know how hard that was for him to get rid of his man items. I purged more things too such as a bunch of craft projects and supplies I had been carrying around for years. By this time we both knew things were getting really serious. Of course there was another huge decision, what to keep and what we were going to store for the next 4-5 years. We went through the entire house picking out what was most important to us before moving to Texas. 

We moved into a 2 bedroom apartment since we knew we would have company and I was planning on retiring the end of 2017. When we moved to TX, we were down to 2 bedroom sets, a sectional (we bought in KC) and of course my husband’s precious 65” HDTV. As the old saying goes, things don’t always turn out the way you plan. Well you know what, they offered me a bonus to stay until June 1, 2018 which was 6 more months. However at the end of December we would be homeless since we already gave notice on our apartment. So I offered for us to move to Headquarters in Washington, DC until the beginning of June when I would retire. Moving to Washington, DC for the last six months of my career gave us another opportunity to do some more purging. Again, we had to decide what to take from Ft. Worth and move to DC. All of the furniture ended up staying in TX along with a few things we sold on OfferUp. 

This time we moved into a 1 bedroom apartment. We slept on a queen size air mattress, purchased a small sectional from Craig's list and only brought a few kitchen items with us to use while we were there. Everything else that was going in storage when we got back to Michigan was left packed in boxes stacked around the apartment. After I finished my assignment there in June I donated all of my work clothes to Dress for Success and we moved back to Michigan where we were originally from. We hauled back the remaining things that would go in storage in Michigan. We rented a room that was actually a small suite in a house near our daughters for a few months to visit with family and friends before our big adventure would begin. Before I officially retired I had also found out I was eligible for an early retirement but would have to stay yet another 2 months. So I ended up not retiring until the beginning of August 2018 with a nice bonus to start our new life.

During our last “transition” is when we decided to start our journey by taking a repositioning cruise for 30 days from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia. 
We had about 7 weeks before we had to be in LA so we decided to drive across the US and visited places out west we have never been to such as Mesa Verde, Arches NP and Joshua Tree NP just to name a few. Of course we made a stop in Vegas for the last time in a while. Once we reached California we went and got an appraisal on our car at Carmax and we sold it the day before we left. 

The ship will be leaving on Sept 23 and will arrive in Sydney Oct 22. We have rented an apartment about 2 miles from downtown Sydney in an area called Glebe for a month to start out. It’s both exciting as well as sad. We will miss our families and friends but we will be thinking about everyone all along the way. Please follow us on our adventure around the world as we live and eat like the locals.

P.S. Don’t be jealous of us since it’s not as easy as we may have made it seem. See you soon from wherever we may be!
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