Making Progress

It's been a couple of months since we made our decision to move and we have been busy applying for visas and donating clothes and furnishings to charity.

A list of what we've accomplished:
- Checked out towns in New Zealand online - parks, fun stuff, roads, crime, etc.
- Wrote to NZLocums and some clinics directly to see about available jobs
- Narrowed the job field to three options in Waihi, Rotorua and Warkworth
- Compared the schedules and towns and chose Waihi for its location and the clinic schedule
- Negotiated the contract for time off, salary and moving expenses

- Sarah at NZLocums started Rick on his path to a visa and privileges including telling him he had to have an FBI evaluation done
- Joined multiple online groups for physicians in NZ, expats in NZ and international travel
- Talked to and emailed with multiple expats in NZ from the US including physicians and asked about life, work, school... everything!

- Made multiple lists of things to keep, things to donate and things to do using the Internet and brainstorming
- Started donating the obvious extra "stuff" in our house and weeded out things we won't need to bring with us like trinkets, wall hangings, duplicate pots and pans, old linens, broken toys and lots of clothes
- Donated 10 bags of stuff to Goodwill and left another 45 bags for the Veterans charity
- Gave away furniture and clothing to friends and coworkers

- Figured out the blue book values for our cars and wrote up plans with goal dates for selling them
- Investigated buying a car and insuring it in New Zealand
- Ordered our credit reports to carry with us in case home renters or auto lenders request them
- Renewed our drivers licenses
- Photocopied our drivers licenses and ordered our DMV reports to prove we've been driving for more than three years as is required to get a license in NZ
- Closed credit card accounts other than our main accounts
- Read about NZ and international banks and how to open an account

- Wrote an itinerary for our drive from Minnesota to California and then from Auckland to Wellington
- Registered Rick for his physician orientation course in Wellington
- Bought airline tickets from LA to Sydney to Auckland ($989 each! Nonstop tickets cost $1500 each)
- Made sure we had current passports

- Took all of our photos off the walls and out of frames and piled them up in the hopes of putting them into albums
- Talked to our realtor about selling our house and set up a timeline
- Had everyone see a dentist and all of our doctors
- Asked for 90-day prescriptions for our medications
- Rick and I had eye exams and bought new glasses

- Bought 3 voltage convertors for $50. each
- Narrowed the list of electric appliances we plan to bring with us down to our blender, Cuisinart, KitchenAid, hair trimmer, fan, one TV and one DVD player

- Found homes for our other TV, coffee maker, toaster oven, ice cream maker, PCs and monitors, printer, makeup mirrors, hair dryers, curling irons, clothing steamer, iron, crock pots, hand mixer, coffee grinder, waffle iron, chopper, 15 lamps, nightlights, vacuum cleaner, space heater, stereo, treadmill, elliptical trainer, sewing machine, toothbrush bases, holiday lights and decorations, lawn tools, power painter, paper shredder, extra freezer, power sander, drill, Instant Pot, can opener, electric razor, clock radios, portable stereo, heating pad, electric blankets, extension cords and USB-to-wall charging cords for portable electronics

- Researched the schools in the area near Waihi
- Decided to wait until we are certain of our address before we contact the school or register
- Talked to international moving companies and learned the basics of timelines, pricing and customs requirements
- Taped out the size of a 40-foot container on our living room floor with masking tape
- Made a list of the furniture we really want to bring and the stuff we'd like to have if there's room
- Unframed our diplomas and stored them in tubes
- Did hours of CME to ensure we are up to date for our board certifications and licensing

- Looked into mail services in the US
- Figured out we will need an address in the US, but haven't decided what to use
- Learned about bringing pets to NZ - quarantines, costs, etc.
- Found new homes for our dog and cat
- Researched rental cars in NZ

- Got some ideas for hotels to stay in in Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, California and NZ
- Made reservations for our first night away in Omaha and for three nights in Auckland in an apartment hotel with two bedrooms and a kitchen one block from a grocery store
- Created a budget for our move
- Created a rough budget for our new life in NZ
- Figured out our health insurance coverage which ended up requiring Rick to work one day in January for us to have coverage for the month of January. This delayed our departure by a week.
- Investigated online telecommuting jobs - tons of options! Decided to not worry about it for now.

- Planned parties for our kids to see their friends before we leave
- Planned dinners for us to see our friends before we leave
- Gave our plants away
- Bought clothes, linens and other staples that we have heard are expensive in NZ
- Canceled subscriptions and memberships like the YMCA
- Rick submitted his resignation

- Scheduled carpet cleaners to come after we move out
- Bought space bags
- Packed clothes I had in large sizes for the kids into space bags
- Found a new home for our baby grand piano
- Updated our resumes
- Went mountain biking at a park two hours from home because we'd heard it was beautiful
- Got flu shots
- Rick scheduled his colonoscopy
- Made a list of utilities to cancel

- Rick sent a letter to his patients telling him of our departure and talked with many of them
- We made sure we used as much of our variable/optional benefit money as possible, especially before Rick left his job
- I scheduled my last teaching session for about six weeks before departure
- Ordered business cards with our email addresses for Rick, Gretchen and Grant to distribute (I used moo.com and am very happy with our cards)

- Introduced our kids to rugby (they love it!) and watched the All Blacks do the haka
- Discussed our journey and new home with our kids using maps and photos
- Notified our kids' schools of our moves
- Consolidated our retirement accounts
- Closed our dependent spending account
- Investigated tax implications of moving to NZ (very shallow investigation so far - it's complicated)
- Learned that we need to get into our container when it arrives and to look for sunshine coming through cracks. If we see them, we are to shove steel wool into them to prevent water and rodents from invading.

- Bought the kids a road atlas and iPads for the trip
- Made sure the van doesn't need service
- Printed immunization records for every member of the family
- Collected all of the loose change in the house and cashed it in
- Updated our revocable trust and wills
- Talked to our homeowners and car insurance carrier about coverage during our move
- Requested quotes for car insurance from NZ carriers
- Investigated baggage allowances on Qantas
- Inspected and cleaned our luggage and decided which bags to bring

- Made arrangements to donate our cooking spices and food to the kids' cooking school in town, since they're not always allowed into NZ
- Bought three different sized thick plastic zip-close bags on Amazon to store photographs, games, puzzles, magazines, keepsakes and anything else we want to protect from water
- Took our board games and puzzles out of their boxes and gave them new homes in bags
- Sorted through our crafting materials and donated most of it to a friend who runs a day care
- Set aside camping sleep pads, towels and a few dishes for our journey since we will live in Minnesota for two weeks after our container leaves and in NZ for up to four weeks before it arrives

- Unboxed our DVDs and put them into a single book
- Gave away our CDs
- Sorted our tools, screws, hooks and hardware, made one big divided box and donated the rest
- Disposed of all paint and aerosols
- Made sure our college-age kids will have health insurance coverage after we leave
- Requested letters of recommendation from coworkers and friends for work and home rentals

I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of it. I still have a lot of things on my list - this is cathartic and exciting and scary and fun. I know I will feel better when we have a place to live lined up. For now, I'm taking one bite at a time, enjoying the autumn air and snuggling with my boys.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Difficult Reality to Accept

Contagious Enthusiasm

The Big Purge