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Abstract

As I look back to those weeks before moving overseas, it seems like a total blur. I remember piles of boxes, a continual chaotic mess, and lists upon lists of things to do. It was an experience to get through rather than something to enjoy — sort of like studying for a major exam!

It was incredibly easy to get lost in the tasks and not appreciate the momentous occasion the move actually represented. We were excited about going overseas and looking forward to the experiences. Yet we were also very sad to be leaving our family and friends.

One memory that truly stands out was when the movers had loaded the last box onto the van. As they closed up the van and drove off, I had the sense of all our belongings except the clothes on our backs disappearing into the sunset. I walked over to our neighbor’s house to get my children (then aged two and six). We all went into our house for a final check. My children stood inside the house, their mouths agape, and then broke into tears. Their home, which represented fun and security to them, now stood as an empty shell with only memories. It was at that moment that I truly understood what a major undertaking we were about to embark on.

Preparing to pick up and move an entire household to another country can be a daunting prospect. It is usually a very hectic period in which there is much

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