JET Pre-Departure Preparations
First, I would like to report on the results of my competition this past weekend. I got second in my adult silver freeskate, and I got first in my adult bronze showcase dramatic (the penguin program). I am really happy with the results and hope to continue my competitions in Japan. Also, I should mention that I did indeed pass my skating test and am now officially in the silver level. Which makes me so proud!!! I will be posting the videos of my performances this week on my youtube channel, so please be patient with me. I have a lot going on at the moment.
I have been packing non stop for this move to Japan. I keep packing and unpacking my luggage. Once I get everything in the suitcase just perfectly, and under the weight, I realize that I have forgotten something, like my shoes for example. I feel like all I am taking with me is clothing and nothing personal from home. No pictures, nothing. It's like my house has caught on fire, and I need to repurchase everything. They don't tell you this when you prepare for moving countries. So, in light of all this frustrating packing, I would like to compile my list of things they don't tell you when moving to another country/Japan.
1. You have to compile your entire life into two 50lb suitcases. It is nearly impossible, to take everything you feel is important. You have only room for clothing and other personal items that are important to health and sanity. Anything else, like movies, books, etc. are just staying behind.
2. You can ship items ahead of time but you will basically be paying for them again. I shipped ahead most of my movies and all my gaming consoles and basically paid for them again with the high shipping costs. It cost me $250 to ship those items ahead to my school I will be working at. I got word that one of my packages has arrived but the other has not. Which almost makes no sense as I sent them at the same time. Anyway.
3. You will end up throwing away or selling half of your clothing. You start off packing your stuff, then realize that it weighs too much so you unpack and get rid of more stuff. You may be thinking before you start packing, that you don't have enough clothing and may need to buy more, but then when you start packing, you suddenly cannot part with now beloved items. Unfortunately, you are gonna have to. Just buy new stuff when you get to said country.
4. Cloud drives, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and many other online programs are not supported in most countries. So don't waste your time uploading music or movies onto some cloud device, because it won't work. And the cloude devices that do happen to work in the new country, don't work in your home country. It's a catch 22. You are better off sending your home DVD/CD player ahead along with the corresponding discs. If you just cannot live your life without these online programs, then you are going to have to change your ip address via VPN. If you do choose this route, be weary because there are many VPN programs that are sketchy. So do your research.
5. If you have apps on your phone that you have downloaded to use while abroad, you might not be able to use them unless you pay to keep your number active. For example, I use Line to make free phone calls and texts to my friends in another country. If I cancel my phone service, then I loose all my contacts and cannot use any of the apps. Most people are alright with that, I just want to keep my number active. Cell phone providers charge a small fee per mounth to keep it active. It's pretty resonable.
6. Friends you have not spoken to in years, as well as friends you are no longer friends with, suddenly become interested in you and desparately want to see you right before you depart. I have several friends who are suddenly so interested in what my new life will be like and really want to see me before I leave because they think we won't see each other for a long time. We haven't seen each other in a longer time than I will be away but whatever.
7. Everyone, and I mean everyone, EVERYONE, will know you are moving to a foreign country, and their very next response will be "It is good you are doing this while you are young." Maybe it is because I am young in many peoples' eyes but I fail to see how a married person with no children is unable to move countries in their 30s or 40s. I mean, I understand anything above 50 but I fail to see the "specialness" of it in my 20s. Also, somehow everyone will know you are moving. I don't know how, but I can't tell you how many people I have never seen or met before, know I am going to Japan. It's like everything in life is super boring and I suddenly became a superstar.
8. Your items are much heavier than you think they are. It doesn't matter if you weigh all your items individually to find the perfect combination of things to pack under the weight limit, somehow when you pack them altogether, they magically gain 10 pounds. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many times I add just one book and suddenly the weigh increases. So I remove one item and it goes down by one ounce. What the heck!?
9. If you are a girl, your shoes, and dresses, and make up, and hair products become loathed items. I can't tell you how many times I think, if only I didn't have this item, or if only I wasn't so vein to believe that I need these things. Those items take up like half your suitcase and you still have shoes to pack!
10. Sure, they say you can take 3 suitcases and a carry on AND a personal item. But no one is going to help you to carry them. Luggage straps. Luggage straps save lives.
That's all I have for right now.
Also! I have my address for my new appartment in Japan. If you would like to send me things then send me either an email or a private message via twitter or facebook.:D