Retrospective: The lead-up to leaving

T-5 Months: October 2015

Having found what we hoped would be a suitable boat in September we started to the process of selling our apartment. We didn’t want to sell too late in the year as the market is quite flat over winter so we had to get it ready quickly. Selling property is Norway is a fantastic process, the only real downside is that the bar is set incredibly high for how your property should be presented at the viewings.

We spent most of October getting ready for the ‘visning’ which in Norway is a two day showing of a property with the hope of selling it. The goal is to make it like a show home where potential buyers can picture their own things, so basically we spent three weeks of long days stripping the place of its/our personality.

In theory this would be the perfect time to sort through our belongings and decide what we wanted to store, sell or sail with. The reality was that the ‘sorting’ process was too time consuming and we simply had to get the place ready to view. The solution? We borrowed an attic storage cage from a neighbour and dumped everything upstairs to be sorted later. Not very elegant but we were ready for the photographer and the place looked great. The ‘visnings’ were very busy, with 50+ people over the space of two 1h showings.

At the end of the month, in the same week, we sold our house, became the owners of a Hallberg Rassy 39 in Palma de Mallorca, we put in our notice at work and Mia became a Norwegian citizen.

That week deserves its own blog post… watch this space!

T-4 Months: November 2015

Jon and Teo and Mia went down to Palma to visit Itchy Foot (formerly known as Pollux, that name HAD to go!) and spent a glorious week in the sun. Our new home is perfect for us :))) <3 Itchy Foot was based at RCNP (Real Club Nautico Palma) right in the heart of the city of Palma de Mallorca, with a new view of the cathedral. The marina was perfect for us, with excellent shower facilities a few steps from the boat and a short walk into town.

Teo loves zooming around on his Micro Scooter so we bought adult scooters and became the scooting family, we can cover a pretty long distance and even do our shopping. Our best ‘afternoon’ of scooting we’ve covered 10km (6 miles) and for short trips around the city they are perfect for helping us all travel at the same pace.

We also met our neighbours at RCNP (Real Club Nautico Palma) marina and made some friends 🙂  the marina has quite a lot of people who live aboard, it feels a little like Eastenders at times but everyone was very friendly and Mia’s fluency in German was incredibly useful. It was also nice to start exercising our Spanish again, rusty but quickly coming back.

Back in Oslo we spent our time making Christmas presents, cards and decorating for our last Jul at Maridalsveien 50. We also continued to make our preparations to move onto Itchy Foot in the new year. We were lucky enough to be able to borrow a second attic cage from another neighbour – giving us three storage units upstairs.

T-3 Months: December 2015

We continued to chip away at our belongings, sorting, boxing and mostly selling at this stage. We have a website called Finn (like ebay) in Norway which is good for selling some things, less good for others. Initially, Jon was sceptical about how much money we’d make and how much effort we should make to sell stuff but in the end it proved more than worth it. I think we were still in denial about quite how much work we had ahead of us and tackled a lot of the easy jobs first. And the month was busy so we didn’t have a lot of time to apply ourselves either…

Michael and David (Jon’s cousins) came to visit us in Oslo, we had lots of fun and laughs! Teo loves to play fight with them and and they love him so much I even heard them all being cats in the lounge one morning…  (if only we lived closer to each other!) Also Teo insisted on showing them the Opera House and we had a shadow photo shoot. We even bought a Christmas tree to decorate and the apartment was looking lovely and festive.

And the next weekend, Jon and Mia went to Helsinki for BB, a good friend’s, birthday while Grandma and Granddad came over and looked after Teo. Grandma and Granddad are super true fantastic heroes and we love and appreciate them to the moon and back. Teo did not mind at all when we left, we think he really just wants them all to himself <3

Then all three of us left for Christmas in the US quite early. First we went to Chesopiean Pt. in Virginia and saw Mia’s aunty Mossa, Oke and Lillemor. Mia’s brother, Mark & Daniele and John Adam came down and we had a lovely time together all of us for a few days.

We went to California a few days before Christmas and stayed for a little over two weeks but it never seems to be enough time! A few highlights are of course spending time together, Grandpa teaching Teo to putt, Mormor playing with magnetic trucks with Teo and took him out in the golf cart to see the wild life (both in and out of the clubhouse), NYE in Santa Barbara with Sarah & Jason and Kether & Joe and of course, the day before we left the Wright trio spent a full day at Disneyland.

T-2 Months: January 2016

We were mostly in denial, “we have plenty of time!” – even though it was becoming increasingly clear this wasn’t the case. Being Norway in winter it was very cold, especially in the attic and basement where we had to do much of our sorting of stuff. It was very hard to get motivated, feeling tired from the work done earlier for the visning and it felt like mountains of stuff caving in on us. When you sell a property in Norway you agree a price and a handover date in a binding contact – our handover date was set for the end of February which was rapidly approaching. But even armed with this information and with our move to the boat also within our grasp, we still found ourselves in the situation where one of us would wander upstairs, look at our cages of stuff for 20 minutes and then come back downstairs looking quite pale. One afternoon Teo went to visit his friend Ludvig for a couple of hours and that is when we actually managed to get started. Thanks Marie, I am pretty sure we would still be in the attic without you!

We had to start somewhere and so we started putting as much as possible up for sale on and quickly realise that getting rid of our stuff was going to be a full time job. It was hard to decide when we could part with stuff and dealing with a coordination of people agreeing to come and standing us up or changing the time or trying to barter. We preferred guys to girls (the guys would just show up when they said they would, for the most part and pay the agreed amount. It was really frustrating when you were even giving stuff away and people didn’t show up to collect things at the arranged time. Every time we sold something, the money went into a jar in the pantry.

Work got busy for both of us, probably they are realising we will be gone soon. Mia was running two projects and Jon was hiring to replace himself.

And it was flu season and we all were sick and in bed at some point that month.

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