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Family on the Move — A family of four. A world of possibilities. — Page 2

    Finally things have slowed down enough that I can catch up on blogging again.  The last month has been very busy with the mechanics of the transition.  Ramping up on my new job and looking for an apartment and a car have soaked up most of my free time for the past few weeks.  I’ll pick up the story of our move at the point where we left Portland.

9-1-2010 100We had a rude surprise as we checked in for our flight from Portland to Honolulu and Manila.  Hawaiian Airlines charged us extra baggage fees for our Portland to Honolulu leg.  This is the first time we have ever been charged extra for luggage on an international itinerary.  Thankfully I was able to add the additional charges to my expense report.  But I’ll definitely have to keep that in mind for future trips.  Other than that I liked Hawaiian well enough. 

We arrived in Honolulu as expected, but made the mistake of walking to baggage claim rather than riding the shuttle bus.  We got there just fine but it was a bit of a trek. 

We found out that we couldn’t check our bags through to Manila from Portland, so we had to get our overstuffed bags out of baggage claim, drag them to the Hertz shuttle bus, and keep them with us overnight. 

That proved to be a problem as we had reserved an intermediate car.  There was no way that three big rolling duffels, a large suitcase, a smaller suitcase and 3 carryons were going in the trunk of a Nissan Altima.  Thankfully Hertz was able to upgrade me to a Ford Flex on the spot.  Everything fit into the Flex just fine.  I have been wanting to try the Flex, as I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.  I found that it compared very favorably to our Explorer.

9-1-2010 075One great thing about being married to a Filipina is that she has friends all over the world.  Due to the lack of opportunity in the Philippines, many Filipinos emigrate to elsewhere in the world in search of better employment or business opportunities.  Marissa has friends in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai, Israel, Italy, Spain, the UK, most states of the US, Canada, and more.  9-1-2010 049It’s truly a global community.  For our stopover in Hawaii she tracked down college classmate Joelle Anne.  Joelle Anne totally hooked us up with a hotel room right on Waikiki Beach at an employee discount rate.  We spent some time hanging out on the beach, let the kids play in the surf, and caught up with old friends.

9-1-2010 089Later on we went out to dinner.  The funny thing was that we ended up going to Todai, a seafood buffet restaurant that also has a location in Portland.  It had been a long time since we went to the Portland Todai, so it was nice to have an opportunity to go there again. 

On Sunday morning I got up early and enjoyed some quiet time on the beach watching the waves and the surfers.  I even saw a couple practicing tandem surfing.  It looks hard enough doing lifts on a dance floor or ice rink.  I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to do acrobatics on a surfboard while riding a wave.

All too soon it was time to head back to the airport for the next leg of our journey.  For the most part the flight was long but uneventful.  We were definitely thankful for Nintendo DS.  My seatmate for the long flight was very congenial. He was headed to the Philippines for both business and personal reasons.  I suspect that the personal side of his trip will work out, but there was more uncertainty around the business side.  But my guess is that he will do well.

I know it has been a while since I posted. But given the amount of change and chaos that have happened over the past few weeks I think that’s understandable. Let’s recap.

  • Committed to a new job based on a few phone interviews.
  • Left my job at Intel after 12 great years.
  • Sold or gave away a huge portion of our stuff including our cars.
  • Packed everything we decided to keep into a 3000lb sea cargo shipment and what we could take as airline checked baggage.
  • Said goodbye to friends and family.
  • Got on a plane, flew halfway around the world.
  • Started the new job knowing nearly nothing about what I was getting into.

In my previous post about the move I discussed the considerations and decision process behind choosing my new job. Once we made the decision and worked out the timeline, the next step was figuring out when to leave and what to take with us. I was prepared to be all minimalist – sell everything that wouldn’t fit into checked bags and start over. But my new employer included a full relocation in the package that they offered me. I asked if they would give me additional cash instead of paying to move my stuff, but they would not. Too bad, I would have rather had the money. In the end we decided to move a selected subset of our furniture in hopes that we would be able to save money by renting an unfurnished place.

8-23-2010 029Once we decided to go forward with the sea cargo shipment it occurred to us that we should go to Costco and stock up on items that are hard to find or expensive in the Philippines. $800 later we had a big stack of goodies in the family room when the movers showed up.

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8-23-2010 024 It really started to sink in that everything was changing after we sold our beds and the movers picked up the sea cargo shipment. We ended up essentially camping in an empty house for our last week.

Our last week was a whirlwind of last minute preparations and saying goodbye to family and friends. It’s one of life’s ironies that after you’ve made the decision to move away that you renew and refresh friendships with people you haven’t seen for a while. I was really reminded of what a great group of friends we have around the Portland area. Thankfully social media lets us stay in touch virtually, but of course it’s not the same.

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I’ve come to realize that this story is very long, so I’ll leave off here and pick up next time with the details of the flight itself and our stopover in Hawaii.