Thursday, August 22, 2013

Waiting to Depart

Well... I made it to the airport with my two suitcases, a carry on, and a tote bag. The past few weeks have been absolutely crazy trying to pack and see everybody before leaving. Here are a few of the things I've done:

Getting my documents ready - This wasn't really a time consuming process. Since I had already created my travel binder when I first got the job, all I needed to do was go through everything again to make sure it was all there. Two things I was missing that I needed to get were 10 passport photos and 20 color copies of my passport. From everything I've heard and read, I probably won't need that many but it's better to be safe than sorry! I got my passport photos taken at CVS Pharmacy for about $12 and it only took 5 minutes. Then I headed over to the UPS store to get the color copies of my passport. Easy!

Technology - Thank goodness my dad is great with technology or I would be so unprepared! We also used the help of a Teacher Tech Facebook group that is designed for teachers moving to Abu Dhabi. The "tech specialist" created easy documents to tell us everything we needed to buy and set up to have internet/TV/phones in the UAE without all of the restrictions. I bought the suggested Buffalo router and a VPN with Astrill and got them all set up on all my devices. I also purchased an Apple TV to stream Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other Apple features. I chose the Apple TV over the Roku because I am bringing an iPhone, iPad, and Mac Book Pro so the Apple product seemed like the best choice. Plus, I can stream my music, pictures, and anything on iTunes wirelessly through the TV! When I get to Abu Dhabi, I will purchase a prepaid sim card with data to get my through the first month or so until I learn more about the cell providers and what I will need.

Packing - This was very challenging! I was limited to 2 checked bags and a carry on which may sound like enough... but trust me, I barely fit all my clothes and shoes! The bags needed to be under 50 pounds to be free or between 50 and 70 for a $50 charge. I was able to get one of my bags to 47 pounds and the other to 69.5 pounds. Yes! 0.5 pounds to spare!! So considering I'm moving across the world, a $50 charge isn't that bad. My priority when packing was my teaching clothes and clothes that respected the culture (long skirts, no tanks, etc.). After that all fit, I packed my workout clothes. With having a gym in my building, I'm hoping to get back into great shape (if my back doesn't start hurting again!). After all that got squished into the bags, I packed a few outfits that I could wear if I traveled to Europe or anywhere outside of the Middle East. Overall, I'm pretty proud of my packing skills! 

Goodbyes - This was the hardest part about the whole process. As I'm sitting here in the airport waiting for my first flight, I'm still sad about having to say goodbye to friends and family. I cried the whole way through security and got some very interesting looks from the people around me... but oh well! Last week, my parents hosted a small little going-away gather at my house so I could say goodbye to my friends and extended family. I also made a trip up to Pittsburgh to see grandparents and family up there. All of that was fine - I was very sad to say goodbye - but saying goodbye to my parents was the worst. I know I'll be Facetiming and Skyping them a lot, and I'll be home at Christmas, but its not like just going away to college. I can't just come home if I get homesick or want to visit. Thank goodness my Dad will be coming to visit in October! 

Next stop - Chicago! Then I'll be boarding my 13 hour and 55 minute flight straight to Abu Dhabi! I can't wait to get there and start this adventure! 


1 comment:

  1. Wishing you safe travels and great adventures! I look forward to following your journey. Bon voyage!