It has begun.
Without even thinking about it, I have made the transition from thinking about my upcoming move to planning for it.
First thing I plan for, as always, is the pets.
My parrot has to have a permit to be "exported" if I ever plan to "re-import" her again. I didn't know this the last time I went overseas, and there was a period of gut-wrenching panic when I was told that if I didn't get the proper permit before coming home, even though she is a domestic born parrot (she's a native of Mississippi), they would put her down at the border.
Seriously gut-wrenching. I have had her since she was 4 months old...and she is 15 now. She is my baby.
So I have started the process of getting the proper permits. They tell you to give it at least 60 days. I opted for 90 to be on the safe side.
I also know that pet food, while widely available in Estonia, is also expensive. And I don't want to switch their foods. My dog has a sensitive digestive system and my bird is on a very healthy, varied diet that includes pellets she likes that have everything she needs.
I got a coupon in the mail for 10% off at Petco, and thought I would buy a bunch of food and put it in my HHE. Then I went to the website to compare their prices with Petsmart's and discovered they were having a 20% off sale at Petco with free shipping. So I bought a bunch of dog, cat and bird food. I will mail some so it will be there when I get there, put some in my UAB and most in my HHE. This should cover me for a bit.
I also bought myself a new suitcase. I knew this was coming. I have one decent Samsonite that my dad bought me a while back, plus a pretty cheap set of luggage that has seen better days. I am planning on using my trusy old Samsonite and the new Samsonite I just bought for my trip to Estonia. I am also eyeing a Swiss Gear 20" carry on that has a laptop sleeve. I think that would be easier than the backpack I normally carry on. And the sleeve means I can pull out my laptop quickly at security.
I have also begun tossing things, trying to pare down what will need to be packed. I have lists of what I am taking in my UAB, in my HHE, and what needs to go to storage. This would be simpler if my wife wasn't staying behind for six months.
There is still much to do. I have started the process of getting my orders, and I need to send that off tomorrow. I need to go ahead and get travel to purchase my ticket, even though they won't want to. But purchasing it now means guarenteeing a spot on the plane for the pets.
And I need to finish up language. I have 30 days until my final test, and another eight until the official end of my training.
Then I need to prepare my grandmother's house to be rented, squeeze in some vacation and retake the Security Overseas Seminar (required every five years I believe if you are going overseas, and I last took it in 2005).
And then I leave. In 78 days.
I'll be ready by then, right? Right?