To begin the journey of being a foreign service officer, it begins with A-100. But first we have to get to A-100. The trek from OK to DC is roughly 1,212 miles and about 18 hours long. We are driving so we have our car available to us immediately and so we can pack as much stuff into it as we can. We will be in corporate housing for the time we are in DC. Which means a fully furnished apartment with all the major things we will need like furniture, bedding, and a few housewares. So, all we need to bring is a few extra things to make it feel more like home. Which for me means my favorite knife and cutting board, my cheesecake pan, my rug, all of my millions of blankets, and lots of decor. Also enough clothes, shoes, and cat food to make it until the rest of our stuff arrives. The rest of our stuff will be in different categories and different places. To prepare for our pack out, we have to organize and separate our stuff into the different categories.
UAB (unaccompanied air baggage) – The stuff we will want to use while we are in DC. These items will be sent to us via air and should arrive in around 10 days of us getting there. So things like the rest of our clothes, shoes, toiletries, extra sheets, towels, and in our case, most likely a cat tree.
HHE (household effects) – The major items we won’t need with us in DC but we will want while we are overseas. Such as our personal furniture, TV’s, the rest of the kitchen items, and any other large and/or decorative items that didn’t make it into the UAB category.
Storage – Stuff I’ll probably never need or use, but don’t have the heart to throw out. Such as all the wedding decor I still have, nostalgic items from both J and I, pictures, and knick knacks.
Our pack out date has already been set. It’s about 9 days before we have to start driving to DC to make it in time for A-100. Movers will come in and pack up all of our stuff for us and send it to where it needs to go. In the meantime, we will be basically living out of a suitcase. The last 9 days will be hotel living for us. We will just have the things we can fit into our car and need for those 10 or so days before the rest of our stuff makes it to DC.
I’ve been thinking about the fact that I will have no keys for a while. I’m used to having a whole set of work keys and then my house and mail keys. But I won’t have or need any of it. No ties to anything. I’ll be done with work, keys turned in. We will be completely out of our apartment, door keys and mail keys turned in. I will only have my car key for a while. For a moment it scared me, but then I felt extremely excited about the fact that this is it, from here on out we’ll be on the move.