Preparing to Move Abroad- Part Two

Back in August I wrote about the many preparations we were taking to move abroad at the end of October. Well the end of October is here! It’s hard to believe but we leave for Bologna in just three days.

This means we’ve been super busy lately getting ready for the move.

Getting the Dog’s Paperwork Done

Picture of Leo - Preparing to move abroad

A lot of people have asked about how difficult it is to take Leo to Italy with us, and the truth is, it isn’t too bad. He had to get an EU microchip and a new rabies shot, then the vet filled out a (very expensive) EU health certificate. Then we took him for an appointment at the USDA in Tacoma to rubber stamp everything and now he’s good to go.  Leo is prepared to move abroad!


We will be joining Italy’s national health service but we’re not sure how long that’s going to take. So, everyone has been to the doctor lately. We’ve stocked up on all our prescriptions and everyone got their flu shot. Marcella got the last of her vaccines at her 15-month pediatrician appointment, and won’t need any more for a while.

Offloading the Rest of Our Stuff

Marcella is prepared to move abroad!

I’m typing this in an almost entirely empty living room. Our apartment is currently an Everything Must Go Liquidation Sale. We sold everything we could- from our dining room table  to our air conditioner to Mike’s gaming keyboard. Our friends took some of it and the rest we sold via Facebook Marketplace.

Everything we couldn’t sell we’re giving away. Some of it, like the baby books and toys, went to friends, some of it I listed in my local Buy Nothing Group (I even got someone to come take our bed away), and the rest is being donated to Goodwill.

Just a couple boxes of things are being sent to our parents for safe-keeping. Stuff like wedding photos, favorite books, and an afghan my grandmother made.

I think this process has been a valuable lesson for us: in the past 3 years we have managed to acquire SO MUCH stuff. And now it’s all gone- at a fraction of what we paid for it. Hopefully this will remind us to be more mindful in our purchases going forward.

Buying Things We Might Need

Marcella receiving some Amazon packages - Preparing to Move Abroad

We have been shelling out a lot of money lately. Certain things are much cheaper here than in Italy, like clothing and electronics. All three of us got wardrobe overhauls (and Marcella has clothes to last her basically until we come back to visit next summer). Mike got a new phone and I upgraded my laptop- I didn’t want to risk it dying on me abroad.

I’ve also been stockpiling a few things I’ve learned are difficult to find in Italy. Mostly food related: my favorite loose leaf tea, certain spices, fish sauce and curry paste. Mike thinks I’m being a little crazy but hey, I need my comfort food. I’ve also stocked up on ibuprofen, children’s Tylenol, Nyquil etc.


The Chaos of Packing - Preparing to Move Abroad

We are currently in full on packing mode as we prepare to move abroad. We’re not shipping anything to Italy so everything we’re bringing we are carrying with us. We’re bringing 4 large checked bags, two smaller carry-ons, the dog crate and the stroller.  Fingers crossed everything fits!

Tying Up Loose Ends

A Hearty Bowl of Ramen before We Move Abroad
Eat all the asian food asap.

Then there are all the small administrative tasks to be done. Cancelling our cell service, informing our banks, and getting back our apartment deposit. Closing accounts like Zipcar and the gym, cashing in all our loose change, mailing back the internet router. These are the things that are truly stressful because we don’t want to forget anything but…. We probably will as we prepare to move abroad.

Saying Goodbye

Our Group of Friends in Seattle - Preparing to Move Abroad

Definitely the hardest part of our move abroad is saying goodbye to our friends and a city we love. Over the past three years Seattle has really become our home and, because Leo and Marcella joined our family here, in a way it always will be. As time ticks down I’ve gotten sadder and sadder about leaving, even though I am so excited about making Bologna our new home.

It’s been a lot of work, but we’re almost ready now. Psychologically we’re definitely ready to get a move on the next chapter of our life. Now we just need to survive the plane ride…


We’ve arrived in Bologna!  Check out what it is like:

A Piccolo Italy Update

We Really Live Here! Italy Update #2

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Preparing to Move Abroad

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4 thoughts on “Preparing to Move Abroad- Part Two”

  1. I love this article because it reminds me of when we picked up and moved overseas! Looks like you’re managing to bring a lot less stuff than we did haha. Good luck and have fun! I’m sure you’ll have a blast. It’s really an indescribable experience.


  2. Aww it must be hard to move so far away, but don’t forget, for things you can’t get in Italy, there will be alternatives!


  3. Good luck!!! It sounds like you guys are totally prepared! And good call to get all the vaccines and buy things like baby Tylenol (can’t get that here)! We are on the local heath care system (it takes awhile to figure out and get set up), so feel free to message me if you run into questions about it. Have a safe trip!

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