Somewhere in Italy

californians figuring out life in italy one day at a time

packing up our lives

Nov 25, 2018

Wild. Mind-blowing. Excited. Sad. A few words that describe how we’re feeling these days.

Less than 60 days until the big move. We still don’t know the exact date we’re leaving the USA. First, the military told us our flights wouldn’t be booked until 20 days in advance, now it’s 10 days in advance. Sounds about 100% US Navy. Jaime has less than 30 days left attached to his current command, my official no-fee passport and visa came in, and of our house is packed up and on its way to Italy!


We have moved a total of 10 times in the last 10 years, but packing and moving with the military is unlike any of our other moves. The biggest difference is that we aren’t responsible, or really allowed, to pack things on our own. The movers are responsible for the entire pack and shipment of our household items, so they don’t allow us to pack anything for liability reasons.

When I first learned we’d have zero control over the move, I had a flood of anxiety worrying about how other people would manage our valuables. But as moving day quickly approached, I was so thankful for all the work we didn’t need to do. We cleaned up the house, separated what was going in our four different shipments (you can read more about the four different shipments in our previous post), and just waited for the movers to arrive. We heard stories of movers packing everything in sight, including packed luggage that people were planning to fly with and trash cans filled with garbage. The night before the movers came, we walked around the house and taped “DO NOT PACK” signs on all the things we didn’t want the movers to touch. Signs went on the trash can, our luggage, spices, certain cabinets, and majority of our kitchen gear.


The movers, two young men, arrived promptly at 7AM. With absolutely nothing in our house packed, they broke down all our furniture and packed up the house in less than 5 hours. So, what do we have left? For the next month we’ll be sleeping on a mat bed (channeling my inner Japanese) and living mostly within that room. We kept our winter clothes, a few towels, blankets, linens, cosmetics, toiletries, and enough kitchen utensils to continue cooking homemade meals every day. Jaime’s last day on the ship is a few days before Christmas. After that, we go home for a couple weeks to visit family until our flight to Italy in January. We have both our cars, but those will be sold before we head overseas.


Living with nothing probably sounds unsettling and uncomfortable, but it’s made us reflect on how simple life can be because it’s honestly not as difficult as we thought it would be. So many of our belongings made life convenient, efficient, and comfortable, but majority were not necessities. The only thing we really miss is having a place to sit down that isn’t the floor. Many times we find ourselves wanting to sit down on the couch to work, watch TV, or read a book only to realize we have no furniture. The day our house was packed up, we walked into what used to be our living room and had to turn around to go back to our room when we realize nothing was there. This happened multiple times and it’s a weird thing to realize. Thankfully, the dogs are easygoing and adjust to any situation. They’re happy, humbling, and help keep us in good spirits.


We have one more shipment for the items still at home that won’t be coming in our suitcases (towels, blankets, linens, toiletries, kitchen supplies, etc.). The movers will pack up and express ship those items the day before we leave San Diego. Once we’re home for the holidays, it’s a waiting game for our flights from the military and then we’re off!



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