Friday, January 13, 2012

Me and Charlie Brown: Good Grief!

Just had to put this out there...I am having a Charlie Brown moment.
The paperwork is flying's, health checks, schools, moving company.
I have looked at the shots required to move and decided that
we will be walking pin cushions when we are done.

As I write, I wonder. This time next year, I would have already lived
in Ho Chi Minh for six months. I wonder what I would have to say?

This will serve as a reminder...
to be continued, same time next year.

Monday, January 9, 2012

188 days and counting...

This is what you pray does not happen to your containers... a collision. :)

and so it begins...188 days and counting

The afternoon was spent pouring over the calendar. It is January 8th and I marvel how a year can go by so quickly. It is always like this when you are planning a move. Everything must be calculated with precision. Family, schools, pets, vacations and the most baffling of all....the transport of household goods. We arrived in England with two 40' containers. We plan to move to Vietnam with one container heading to Ho Chi Minh and the other to Sydney. I have to decide and divide. This one is new to me. When I think it through in my mind, I foresee an empty container gliding across the sea to Sydney. Well almost, there are one or two very large artifacts from Papua New Guinea in our garage that are still sitting in the crates they arrived in two years ago. I will gladly put them on the empty container to Oz.

Mr. H suggested we take all our artwork and ship it to Sydney so that we can start anew in Vietnam. I am still processing this idea and am wondering if he is delirious. Our house in Sydney will most definitely not be able to contain what we have picked up since leaving Australia seven years ago. In addition to the artwork acquired in New Zealand and England, we have two rather large marble elephants on their way from our trip to India in October. It's a wild, wild, world we live in.

Mr. H has started his journey. He left today for Vietnam, returning to the UK in two weeks. We then set off to Morocco for a holiday. We return to the UK and he sets off to Vietnam again. All this in the span of three weeks. It makes my head spin. His return to Vietnam will be permanent. I will stay in the UK to allow the children to finish the school year.  This is a very common expat drill. It is the hard part as we will most likely seem every 8 weeks or so until we move on 14th July. I have done this before, for a year. I shudder as I recall the family 'group hug' we had before he drove off to catch his flight to England in 2009. We saw him every 8-12 weeks for a year. I feel for military families who know this as a fact of life. It is difficult, but we are seasoned and it is only for six months. We have faith.

So...Mrs H is running the ship..solo. The last time she ran the ship solo, she started a blog and stayed up into the wee hours of the night, giddy with delight. Oh dear, oh dear...what will she get up to this time?? :)


Escape: Evason Ana Mandara, Vietnam

One of my favourite parts about moving is planning holiday destinations. My job has just begun. The Evason Ana Mandara in Nha Trang, Vietnam is looking promising. 

The website says...

Nha Trang is the coastal capital of Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam. Its legendary pristine beauty is known throughout Southeast Asia. A place of soft white sand, surrounded by warm, turquoise waters filled with an abundance of sea life and dotted with islands. The 7 km long, palm-lined sandy beach makes Nha Trang one of Vietnam's most popular destinations for Vietnamese and visitors alike. A backdrop of mountains to the west and north not only provide picturesque scenery, but serve to protect Nha Trang from the rest of the country's weather patterns.

Nha Trang enjoys the well deserved reputation of having the best climate in Vietnam, with an estimated 250 days of sunshine a year and temperatures between 24 - 38 c. The rainy season starts at the end of October until January lasts towards the end of the year. As for the rest of the year clear blue skies and a mirror like sea are almost guaranteed.

images and info here

Even better... I found it via an iPad App, the Conde´ Nast Traveler 2011 Gold List App. A great way to travel the world!

image as noted above

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tika travels the globe...

It's a dogs world...

I am not sure which is more stressful, moving your family and household contents or moving your pet across the globe. I would have to go with pet. Our beloved springer spaniel, Tika, was born in Victoria, Australia. We were living in Sydney at the time and were in search of the perfect puppy for our family.
We had recently jumped off the 'expat express', bought a house and were staying put for a while..or so we thought.  A few years on, we moved to New Zealand...a relatively easy move for us all. 'Like for like' is what I would say, although, I know many Aussies and Kiwis who would beg to differ. Let's just say we were in the same hemisphere.

A few years on...England, oh dear, now that would be a change...and it was. The photos on this post were taken, one snowy cold morning, on the day she was dropped off at our home in Surrey. Her New Zealand dog tags were dangling from her collar as she looked upon the vast whiteness around her. Let's just say, there were lots of giggles from our family as she discovered snow for the first time. 

And here we go Vietnam. This one is is not a dog friendly nation...or so I hear. On top of which, rabies is common. I have been in deep consultation with the pet moving company to sort this all out. My biggest worry, is her age. She is nine years old. I know she can make the journey to Vietnam...but what about the next spot? There will be strict quarantine laws leaving Vietnam to our next home. Vietnam is a 'Non-Approved Country' in the eyes of many countries. Quarantine will be at least three months. At 12-13 years of age? Will she make it? If you are a dog owner, you can see my concern.

Even thought she drives me mad sometimes, 
I can not imagine life without her. I will have faith.

If you are moving your pet around the world, speak to your Veterinarian first. They can find out about vaccinations shots etc... I suggest you get as early a start as possible. We had to start Tika on vaccination program, nine months before leaving New Zealand. Every country is different. At the end
of the day, you are putting the welfare of your dog into the pet transport company. You want to be sure
it is one you are comfortable with. We can only imagine what our dogs must feel like, you will want to
ensure it is the safest and most comfortable transition possible.

Here we to get another stamp in Tika's pet passport. 
I have been meaning to write a story about Tika for our family.
'Tika Travels the Globe'. I must put that on the 'To Do' list when
we settle in Vietnam. :)


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Gear Vietnam..loved it!

Several people have asked if I had seen the BBC production, Top Gear: Vietnam Special. It is not a show that I follow and the thought of watching men talking about cars did not exactly run my motors... :) couldn't resist. Saying that, I added it to my Christmas wish list. I received not one but two segments for Christmas. The Vietnam and Botswana specials.

I sat down yesterday in an attempt to tackle paperwork that has been accumulating in great masses this past month. I decided to pop the DVD in to watch while I worked. Well...let's just say, that I did not get any paperwork done and absolutely loved watching the show. I laughed, I smiled and then decided that perhaps moving to Vietnam wouldn't be such a bad thing after all. There is hope. :)

You can view the show HERE.

My thanks to Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond
and James May for a fabulous show.

Richard Hammond
James May
Jeremy Clarkson

From your newest fan. 

Images and Video via Top Gear