Follow 

Attachments, Part 2 of Stuff Series

Monday, I started talking about the effect that possessions have on some people's decisions to move, especially abroad. Today, I want to touch on my own personal attachment to things. 

For me, I have never been terribly sentimental. I don't look at photos from my childhood that often and I prefer to look towards the present rather than the past. I think that people tend to equate stuff with having it all and want people to know that they do. For me, my show items were always my cooking, art and books, I wanted people to know how well read I was.

I think my upbringing has a lot to do with they way I feel about things. My mom has collected flamingos for her entire life. Every time there is an occasion which calls for presents, she gets something with a flamingo. Because of this, I think I have decided never to collect anything. My grandmother is also a borderline hoarder. Don't get me wrong, I love her and I inherited her messiness, but I have no problem throwing stuff away. If something of mine gets ruined, I either don't replace it, or I get a new one. I'm also incredibly cheap, unless it comes to food. So I never want to spend my money on too many things.

Of course, there are things that I love and have felt like they were worth packing away in boxes to move across town. Books mostly. But with the high cost of shipping things to Holland and the constraints of air travel, I have had to make some serious choices. As I mentioned on Monday, when I was in Holland, I left 4 boxes worth of stuff at Loek's current apartment. I took with me a bunch of clothes and boots that I knew I would not wear again before it was time for me to move. What also made the cut: All 7 seasons of my favorite show, Gilmore Girls,  a peacock print I got in Venice,The New York Times Essential Cookbook by Amanda Hesser, Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Like I said, I love to cook! 

Of course the Lorelei's made the cut. 

As of now, I have packed one of the duffels I mentioned in my last post. (The smaller one), In it, I have packed my mother's jewelry box that my real dad gave her. (We don't have a relationship and this is the only thing I have that he gave anyone) As well as, my K stamp and calligraphy pen that I got in Italy, the new bike bedspread I bought, some clothes I won't wear in the 76 days I have left here, and my copy of The Chronicles of Narnia, by CS Lewis. 

My next post in this series is going to be about what else made the cut. Stay tuned. 

 Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let's Talk About Stuff Baby!

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=809

 

It always takes me off guard when more often than not, I tell someone I am moving to the Netherlands and marrying at Dutchman, they ask me not about my upcoming nuptials or what I am going to be doing once I move there. Instead they say “OMG, I could never do that, what about your stuff?” As if their possessions weigh them down and are therefore I am supposed to be weighed down by mine.

 

Let’s talk about stuff shall we? Currently, my fiance lives in a one room apartment that is about the size of my current bedroom. It works for him, but we are moving into a brand new apartment that is currently being built in Utrecht. It is about 65sq meters or for those of you use to American, 699sq feet. Not big, but not really bad for a one bedroom apartment. There are going to be two of us living there. Loek already has a sofa, desk, entertainment system and coffee tables. As well as, an oven the size of a microwave, a 4 burner stovetop and a washer. (You get a box when you move into most apartments in NL, it is up to you to add the floor and appliances) We are buying a new bed because something in the apartment has to be my style as well as a new closet or two because Loek’s is falling apart and I love me some clothes.( Very Undutch I know.)

When I leave the States in October, I will be taking Atticus as my personal Item, a carry on doctors bag by DVF, I die, I got it for 60! Then I am checking two rolling duffels, one is the biggest suitcase per cubic cm I could find.( A Kaitlin packing tip: Duffels fit more than traditional suitcases) With these three bags, I plan on taking all the stuff that matters to me in the world. Okay, maybe that is not entirely true, I left 4 Albert Heijn sinaasappels (oranges) boxes of stuff in Loek’s apartment when I visited in April.

My DVF Bag

 

In the next week, I am going to do a series about how I chose what to take, how I freed myself from my possessions and how I learned that stuff doesn’t really matter, it is the experiences you have and the person you love that make you who you are. I would love to hear back from you as to your struggles with stuff, or how you were able to purge your junk.
 

Section: 

Loek and Kait, An Engagement Story

Loek and I got engaged in April while I was in Holland. We had talked about wanting to be engaged before I made the big move across the ocean, so I had an inkling it was coming. Before I left, both Loek and my mom were acting a little suspicious. I spent the entire time in Holland waiting for it to happen.


On Saturday the 9th, we decided to go to the Keukenhof. The Keukenhof is this huge flower park in Lisse, the town where Loek grew up. It is a popular tourist attraction in Holland that is only open from the beginning of April until Mid May; when the flowers are blooming of course. (Seriously, it is beautiful.) It is also the most crowded of any place I went in the Netherlands. In my mind when we were traveling to the Leiden Train Station where you catch the bus to the Keukenhof, I thought that this would be the perfect place for Loek to propose. Then I saw the crowds. For those of you who have actually known me for a long time should know that I have no problem with being the center of attention, but I am very much a private person, unless you know me very well. So the thought of Loek proposing in front of all these strangers, made me very nervous. But still, the Keukenhof is beautiful. We spent about 4 hours walking around the park, I ended up lobster red!  

Flowers at the Keukenhof

After we finished looking at everything, Loek announced that it was time to leave. Leave! Maybe I was wrong, it doesn’t happen often. Loek then informed me that he wanted to show me more of Lisse. We had already been there earlier in the week to see his parents, but had really only seen the street where their house is. Loek took me up the street to the opening of the forest. The trees were pretty spaced out and while I have an obsession with trees, after the beauty of the Keukenhof, this forest was slightly disappointing. After about 5 minutes, we came to a clearing where there was a quaint little farm, complete with ponies and two giant pigs. I remember thinking to myself at the moment we came upon it, that it was an odd place for a farm to be, in the middle of the wood. We walked a few minutes more and suddenly standing in front of us was a small castle. Kastel Keukenhof and we had the grounds all to ourselves. Loek suggested that we sit and rest on a bench for awhile. It was there that he got down on one knee and proposed. That’s right at a castle! Apparently, I asked Loek if he was serious. It all happened really fast, but was the best moment of my life thus far.

It seems that, Loek and my mom had been conspiring because he had asked her permission to ask for my hand. A few weeks before I left for Holland, my mom and I went ring shopping just for fun. I had seen the perfect ring and my mom had apparently taken a picture of it and sent it to Loek. My mom went back, got it and sent it to him. I mean he paid her of course. Now let’s talk about this ring.It is a cushion cut peridot, my birthstone, surrounded by small diamonds. It is unique enough that I love it, but also not very ostentatious. Which is good because, the Dutch are not very ostentatious. I love it. And, it didn’t break the bank.

I am very excited to be getting married to quite possibly the sweetest man on the planet who I know loves me, . Loek and I have not started wedding planning yet, because we have so many other things in the immediate future to figure out. All I know is that it will be taking place in Holland, and I promise to keep you updated on the plans as they unfold.

 

Preparation Tuesdays- Atticus Edition 1

I am bringing my cat to The Netherlands with me. His name is Atticus, he just turned a year old and he thinks I am his mother. Not in the normal way that people claim their pets are like their children. You see, I got Atticus when he was very young, too young in fact to be away from his mother.


I found Atti on Craigslist, yes I know, I should have gone through the ASPCA or Humane Society, but really I just skipped a step. Atti was up in Braselton, a good hour away from Atlanta on a good day. I drove up after work to see this kitten when he was about 5 weeks old. I feel in love and was told that they would hold Atti for me until he was old enough to be away from his mother. ( His mother was a stray cat that had her kittens in the peoples bush). I had just made it to my exit when I got a call, saying that the kittens were being taken back into the woods by their mom and that they had managed to grab Atticus, if I wanted to come back and get him.

I drove all the way back to Braselton, stopping along the way to get some cat milk substitute at the pet store and a syringe,(he wasn’t on solid food yet) I came home on my lunch break everyday for 2 weeks to feed him his fake milk in wither the syringe or in a bottle. You can see why Atti thinks of me as his mommy.

When I decided to move to Holland as opposed to having Loek move to the States, Atti was a huge factor. I could not imagine leaving him, but I did not want him to have to be quarantined for 30 days. Luckily, there are ways to get him to the country without having to do that process.

If you are planning on moving a pet. Your first call should be to the Consul of the Country you are planning to move to. They can provide you with the necessary forms you need to have completed by an USDA accredited vet.( It would also be a good idea to ask about any fees you will have to pay at customs for your pet, thank you Holland for being 0!) The Netherlands requires an EU Form 998 Veterinary Certificate. Atti will have to get a rabies shot as well as a few more vaccines and a microchip. This has to been done 90 to 21 days before we depart. Be sure to check the specifics for where you are moving. You then have to get the form certified by the USDA. You should send this in at least 2 weeks before departure.

After looking into what is required to bring your pet over by the country you are choosing to move to,you should then start looking into what airlines will actually transport your pet over. For me, I did not want Atti to have to transfer planes, so I choose to go with either Delta or KLM, as they were the only ones to offer a direct flight from Atlanta. In the end, I chose to go with KLM, even though really they have a partnership with Delta, so it isn’t a huge deal. I choose KLM because they are in charge of pets at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, and also because they had the best flight time. I will be landing in Amsterdam at 1:05 pm , local time on October 5th.

The last thing that you have to decide, is where to keep your pet on a flight. I debated for a long time about where to keep Atti, with me or in the cargo. In the end, I decided that with such a long flight, Atti, myself, and the other passenger's would be happiest if he was not in the cabin with us. You see, I was on an hour long flight on my way back from Philly after my layover from Amsterdam and there was a dog on the flight. Worst flight of my entire life. I also have to purchase an airline approved car carrier.

So far, I have not gone through the process of getting Atti moved, but I will keep you updated as I move through the steps.

 
Yes, that is my fiancee in the picture, and no, Atti is not actually that huge!

Section: 

I Have My Ticket!

I just wanted to stop in for a quick moment to say that I have my ticket! I am leaving Atlanta on October 4th at 10pm. Everything is happening so fast! I am leaving in 83 days! I miss Loek soo much so I am super excited that in 84 days I will get to see my fiancee again! I never want to be in another long distance relationship again, it is really hard. So freaking excited! 

This amazing flickr photo was taken by: caribb

Section: 

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed