AN ENTIRE YEAR – in preparations to be in this position, at this place; to realize the shared dream of life. And this does not only mean travelling. Also to have the freedom to give birth to our child in the wide world and to be free from any suggestions and recommendations of others, no matter how dearly they are meant. That’s how long it took to eliminate our existing world around us and reduce it to the minimum. What to think about? And what we have forgotten – now we are sitting in Auckland, and think back to last year.
The organization started already in the beginning of 2019 and was a huge task. It was not only about terminating various insurances, selling the cars, the motorcycle, the bicycles, terminating the work and the apartment contracts. Further with selling any kind of furniture or textiles at various second hand markets, or signing new contracts for overseas health insurances, it was more about the fact: “What do we really want to keep and where can it be stored? Everything has to be in a logical order, because without a car and a motorcycle you can survive in the city – without a bike you can’t. Also good planning regarding money is necessary, train tickets or rental prices for cars and vans have to be considered to get to family and friends or to bring the “last things” for storage and safekeeping. It is a logistical masterpiece to plan until the end: What can be sold, what should be kept, and what has to be taken to the recycling yard on the day we leave our apartment.
To consider, the things just listed was only a small fraction. Trying to learn a new language, canceling longstanding memberships in successful sports clubs and being “sport-free” until December, following our daily work routine. As well as, and this was probably the hardest part, saying goodbye to all family members, friends and beloved pets. This also includes being aware of the fact that you might never see one or the other of them again. Not to mention the fact that we only gave our two cats to family members, where they live a much better life than with us. With garden time and with two pensioners, who take care of them lovingly. Reading every wish from the cat’s eyes, and buying extra ham from the butcher :).
We were always only available after work in the evening for playing and cuddling.
The biggest question was the planned pregnancy. We both can insure: “Not every decision was easy”. After the test was positive, we even thought about canceling everything and staying at home – well, maybe for one second :). As the initial: “Oh shit, we are pregnant – shock” was over, it became easier. Already at the first check-up we informed the gynaecologist about our plans and after she noticed how carefully we planned everything, she was enthusiastic and supported us very well. Further appointments went smoothly and without complications. It was clear to us that we needed almost no care.
So if you are as lucky as we are, if you decide to travel pregnant and give birth abroad, we can say: “If you dare to do so, we strongly recommend it! The time spent together, enjoying this way of life in the middle of the world is one of the most beautiful experiences we have had so far.
The pregnancy of course made the organizational effort a little bit higher! We were helped by a schedule, that included what we had to do and when. Keeping to deadlines for terminations, telephone and Internet contracts, subscriptions, making appointments at various offices, preliminary apartment inspection by the landlord or independent search for new tenants is only a small topic. For weeks, our bedroom was almost wallpapered with spreadsheets. Tables in which each of us entered what was done or what was still outstanding. To reduce the apartment and your belongings one after the other, which you have built up in your life, and then to sleep the last weeks only on a mattress and surrounded by an empty apartment, is a big deal.
We continued with: “Where can we be for the first few months, and then from the 30th week of pregnancy onwards, find a place where the buba can be born. Do we need a visa for this and if so, which one? What documents do we need to carry? Because one day bub will need a passport! How is the medical care in the country? Are there birth centers or hospitals in the area? How do we get there? Would there be work nearby? It would be senseless to spend our entire travel budget on it. Does the international health insurance cover the costs of the birth or not? Which airlines take pregnant women with them and which do not? Do I have to go to a check-up during this time? How do I find a midwife on site? And and and and …
There were thousands of questions and things to organize! And despite this – it was worth it
With every second hand market we joined, clothes, furniture and other decorative and interior items were reduced, so that the apartment quickly became emptier. Already in November it was almost empty, even though we set off in January. In the time starting from November we were able to paint and renovate everything again for the new tenants. Finally, on December 27, right after handing over the apartment, we left the city in which we lived- probably forever. We left it in a van full of waste, which we still took to the recycling center.
And now, almost 10 month later, we look back on the past time and our old life and do NOT regret anything! Everything was right! Without exception! It was already worth it! We are currently a thousand times happier – probably as never before. Even if it is hard sometimes – and it is, and it always will be – talking to each other, developing plans, having understanding and enjoying the world together helps over all. We can only give advice to anyone who is struggeling with him/herself. Go, pack your things and don’t let the time and experience run away from you.
All material things we thought we were attached to, have already disappeared from our thoughts!