5 MONTHS UNTIL ROME
Another month down, five more months to go. When we received the news, we still had nine months left in San Diego. It’s unbelievable how fast time flies. As we continue the countdown, we want to share with you our big updates, what we’re most frustrated with, and what we’re most thankful for every month. There are so many moving pieces and things change every day with the military, checking in allows us to regroup and focus on what’s important.
Is moving to Italy exciting? Yes. Is this process easy? No.
The most frustrating thing is trying to figure out when we’re packing up and shipping out everything in our house and when we’re arriving to Italy.
We’re most thankful for our FPO address! The FPO address allows us to purchase and receive items we would otherwise have to pay international shipping for or would not be able to receive in Italy. This includes: Amazon, Target, Overstock, Macy’s, Joann Fabrics, Old Navy, and a few others. The downside? FPO addresses aren’t trackable. Once the shipment leaves USPS, we just pray to the mail gods that our package arrives. Every day can feel like Christmas when an Amazon order arrives, amirite?
Photo by Christopher Czermak
We are slowly getting answers to the questions we had when we first received the news, crossing things off on our to-do list, and researching life in Italy.
- Instagram has become our go-to to discover all the places we want to see and all the food we want to eat. To follow our journey, follow us on Instagram and Facebook!
- TACO BELL EXISTS IN ITALY. We found out there’s a TB located on the base in Naples. Yes, Naples is an hour train ride from Rome. Yes, TB is worth it.
- T-Mobile recently came out with a HUGE discount for military personnel — 50% off plans! T-Mobile ONE plans receive unlimited data and texting in 140+ countries and basically all of Europe is covered! No more worrying about Italian phone plans or having to deal with getting a new number.
- Active duty, veterans, reserve, National Guard, or Gold Star family members qualify. If you haven’t switched over to T-Mobile, you can find more information HERE.
- Since Jaime is traveling for government work and because I get to tag along, we both need official passports. Once our official passports come in, we can process our visa paperwork. The official passports take 4-6 weeks and the visas can take up to 3 months. The military processes all the paperwork for us, thankfully.
- I still need to complete my overseas health screening. I’ve never been to a military facility for medical care because I’ve always utilized civilian insurance. This is literally me trying to figure out what needs to get done.
If this process didn’t vary so much from branch to branch and where you’re relocating, this process could be so much easier. A streamlined process to tell you what to focus on every month, where you need to go for appointments, what paperwork you’ll need, what number to call, etc. instead of having to research where to find all these resources. There are resources out there and tons of helpful blogs, but when it’s your first PSC experience, how do you even know what resources to look for? When I drove on base for my official passport appointment, I asked the guard where I could find the office and even she had no clue. We are preparing for the upcoming months to be more stressful, which also means more wine.
Dreaming of carbonara. XO.