Orchestrating the construction of a house from overseas has been relatively easy. When you hire a volume builder, part of what you pay for is the project management. 10-15 years ago it would have been a different story. Most items can be viewed online these days and most people can be contacted by email. Our requirement to “be there” really only involved one visit for “pre-start selections” – checking out the tile, lighting and internal fittings in person before making selections. This end of the process, as we are nearing house completion (and I use the term “nearing” loosely), is a bit awkward. The non-binery date for completion makes the logistics of returning back to Australia kind of tricky. I won’t harp on the issue of short-term accommodation again, but I do want to mention local storage. Our furniture will be packed up this week, some of it destined for a plane ride to Western Australia but most of it will go on a long, slow trip on a ship. And for once, the incomprehensibly long process of exporting and importing our goods may actually be in our favour, saving us storage fees in Australia.
But this post is inspired by another aspect of our move. It’s a kind of ode to my parents, and all parents in Australia who have strapped beds, tables, refrigerators, sofas, etc., onto a trailer and driven hundreds of kilometres to “help the kids move”. My parents have been doing this for over 20 years. With my sisters located in Sydney and Melbourne, they know the Hume Highway like the back of their hands. When we unexpectedly moved overseas 4 years ago, we’d just recently bought a new camper trailer and we didn’t want to sell it. Similarly, we needed to buy a car in Australia 2 years ago to tow the van for a couple of months. Buying and selling cars all the time is irritating, so we decided to keep that too. My parents have kindly kept our van and car for us in their garage all this time.
So as we plan our intercontinental move (5 flights, 48 hours, 3 kids, oh, the pleasure!) my Mum and Dad are planning a cross-continental move. They’ll drive our car and van across the Nullarbor (5 days? 48 driving hours? No kids, phew.) If that’s not dedication enough, my Mum has also packed all the things we’ve left or had delivered to their house over the last few years. Travel souvenirs, gifts intended for the new house, kids Christmas presents that didn’t fit in suitcases, material won as a prize and a few purchased items for the house that I couldn’t resist buying early when they were on sale.
To all the Mums and Dads around the world, and especially mine,
thanks for adding “removalists” to your already long-list of occupations.