Tag Archives: relocation

6 Packing Tips for International Moves, Acquired through Trial and Error

I read a lot of travel blogs in my spare time, and a lot of my favourite blogs are written by serial nomads who move to a new country every few months or so. However, whether you move to a new country several times a year or just once in your lifetime, the question still remains — what do you do with all your stuff?

Many nomads and long-term travelers solve this problem by opting for a minimalist lifestyle. Now, in my situation, I admit that adopting a more spartan lifestyle would certainly decrease the hassle of moving internationally. However, because we work in the video game industry, certain possessions which would be considered frivolous to some are necessities for Edu and me — our growing library of reference books, all of our game consoles, our game collection, anatomy figures, our television, and our custom-built desktop computers.

And also, let’s be honest: I like having stuff.

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Sayonara Santa Monica, Hello Tokyo

It didn’t really hit me that we were moving to Tokyo until we actually stepped off the plane at Narita Airport.

I’d spent my last few days in Santa Monica dealing with the logistics of our move, frantically selling our furniture on Craigslist, attempting to pack our entire lives into however many boxes could fit into 150 cubic feet, and then throwing away the rest. I’d slept maybe eight hours in three days. There was simply no time to get excited or scared or even emotionally acknowledge our move.

Even during the 11-hour flight from LAX to NRT, during which you’d think that I’d have ample opportunity to pause and reflect on the situation, I managed to keep myself distracted with movies and sleep. It really wasn’t until we stepped through the jet bridge, luggage in tow, the hot, humid air enveloping my body in instant sweat, that it finally hit me:

HOLY FUCK. We’re moving to Japan. No — scratch that — we’re in Japan. To live here.

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Getting a Japanese Work Visa

So, with all of this scuttling around between Brazil and Los Angeles and Vancouver and back, you’re probably wondering whether Tokyo is still on the table. Rest assured, it still very much is.

We’ve pushed our move to mid-July, which, at a month away, still does not seem like enough time to settle our affairs here. I’ve looked up advice online, and while there’s plenty of information out there about how to move to Japan, there’s practically nothing that tells you about how to move out of the U.S. That is, selling your car, what to do with your 401k, and a slew of other things that I’m probably not thinking of.

Thankfully, we’ve been able to take care of at least one necessity — we’ve just picked up our work visas from the Japanese consulate.

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