Tag Archives: relocation

Our Next Adventure

31 May

I recently mentioned that Ben and I were waiting for confirmation of plans for next year as our visas will be expiring at the end of August. Well, we now know what we’re doing and it’s not what we expected a few weeks ago.

An opportunity arose and after much discussion, we decided to go for it. I am happy to say that we are moving, but our Russian lessons will not be wasted since we’re heading to St. Petersburg!

STP_07_1_scaled

In some ways this decision required more discussion and consideration than when we decided to move to Russia three years ago. I was offered a promotion that required the transfer and it’s an amazing opportunity, but since we’ve both been pretty happy with life here in Moscow we had to consider how much would change. Ultimately, I accepted the offer and we are moving our home to St. Petersburg. Ben will keep his affiliation with the Moscow campus of his employer, making regular trips back down here throughout the year. We are fortunate that his job allows this flexibility so that we can still spend the majority of our time together. This also means that I will come back to Moscow throughout the year to visit friends (and favorite restaurants).

SPB-Pt3_07We’ve both spent a good amount of time in St. Petersburg as tourists and Ben has been there many times for work. It’s a beautiful city and I’m looking forward to exploring it more. I’m super excited about my job and can’t wait to get in there in a couple months to get started.

We’ll be moving up in August, which I know is going to be here sooner than we expect given how busy the next couple of months will be. It will be a much easier move this time around as we do not have a townhouse full of furniture and eight years of stuff hanging around.

For those concerned about Nebbie, she is, of course, coming with us and will be adding a train to her list of transportation used, even though she would probably rather not.

We’ve definitely learned over the years that things do not always happen the way we want or expect them to, but sometimes we can take a chance and be really happy as a result. I truly hope that this is one of those chances and I’m looking forward to finding out.

до свидания!

Wish I Brought: Oven Thermometer

9 Aug

Prior to our move, we knew that there were adjustments that would have to be made with regards to standards in the States versus Russia. We considered power converters and adapters for our electronic devices and recognized that we would have to learn to think and speak in terms of metric measurements. Figuring out temperatures in degrees Celsius opposed to degrees Fahrenheit would help in checking the weather and being appropriately dressed. But that’s what the Internet is for, right? Cooking wasn’t supposed to be a problem because if I want to cook something at 450 degrees F, all I have to do is type “450 degrees F to C” into Google and it gives me the answer!

What I was not prepared for was an oven that does not have temperatures, but rather the numbers 1 through 8. With a general idea of low to high I was able to roast veggies and warm foods up, but this was definitely not going to work for baking or anything requiring specific temperatures.

After a failed attempt at making cookies, I tried to buy an oven thermometer at a few locations here. Admittedly, it can be difficult to figure out exactly which specialty store (or street corner table*) carries what you need, but I kind of felt that if I could not find it at Aшан then it was a lost cause.

This was a big item on my “to buy” list this summer and picked this one up at Target. While I wish we brought the nice electronic one that beeps when ready and has a built in timer that is currently in storage, I am glad that I had the opportunity to grab this one. It should get the job done for now. Bonus: it has Fahrenheit AND Celsius temperatures on the display!

до свидания!

* This will probably one day have its own post.

Glad I Brought: My Backpack

5 May

This is the first post in the “Glad I Brought” category which will highlight items that I brought from the States when we moved that have proved to be useful here. There will be two companion categories, as well: “Sorry I Brought” and “Wish I Brought.” I’m not sure if anyone who is preparing for a move will read this, but these are bits of information that I would have liked to have known when packing.

During our pre-move research, Ben and I learned that backpacks are not that common here. One of the major reasons is that they have pockets on your back, making it difficult for you to keep an eye on them while riding on a crowded metro car. I considered replacing my Jansport with something larger and more luggage-like if it was only going to be used for travel, but ultimately decided to stick with what I had.

This has turned out to be a great decision. While I rarely take my backpack with me when I commute to/from work, I frequently use it for grocery shopping. Even if we go to the store multiple times in a week, sometimes it is nice to pick up many things in one trip. We don’t have a car to load up, so we have to carry everything that we purchase from the store. It’s only a ten minute walk, but on the days when we buy a few cartons of milk and beer, the weight can add up quickly. I keep a crocheted shopping bag and old plastic bags inside my backpack, as well, so we can easily distribute the items.

I do think it is safer to avoid carrying anything important in a backpack, especially on the metro, but I would highly recommend having one here.

до свидания!

We Made It!

27 Aug

Just a very quick post to say that we made it to Moscow!

We had a very busy few days, but thanks to our AMAZING friends we managed to clear out our apartment just in time to catch a ride to LAX.  We had a direct flight to Moscow and surprisingly the 12 hours went by pretty quickly.  Nebbie was highly medicated and although she was scared out of her little kitty-mind, she was a trooper and made very little fuss on the plane.  She is currently staying at a vet’s office until Ben and I can find a long-term apartment here (we found out just recently that the HSE Guesthouse does not allow pets).   Continue reading

Getting Things Done

17 Aug

The past week we have been able to check a lot of items off of our to-do list. Last Friday was an extremely productive day in which we accomplished renting a storage unit, getting HIV tested (apparently it’s a visa requirement for Russia – who knew?), having a gift engraved for Ben’s adviser, getting Ben measured for a groomsman’s tux, picking up a storage case for one of our bass guitars and dropping of the classical guitar for a pre-relocation tune-up. Since then we have been getting things taken care of here and there including having a moving sale, dropping off donation boxes, and taking the first carload of boxes to the storage unit.   Continue reading

Home Furnishings

25 Jun

I just sold our dining room table in a transaction that didn’t last more than thirty seconds. What’s amazing is that I remember it taking closer to thirty days for us to get it in the first place.

Just shy of seven years ago Ben and I packed up a car-full of my stuff and moved me to Irvine. Although Ben had been living here for almost a year, a mattress and box spring were the only real pieces of furniture that he had obtained since his roommate had everything else. So, we had an almost empty one-bedroom to decorate. Most of our furniture came from Ikea, but it was what we picked out for our first home together. I still love what we decided on and how it worked in both apartments we have lived in here. Continue reading

Tough Decisions

22 May

The decision to move to Moscow was a surprisingly easy one. However, this relocation requires us to sell or donate most of the stuff that we currently own. Fortunately, our furniture is not anything fancy so that is not a problem and most of the other knickknacks that we have can be disposed of with little emotion. Continue reading