We Moved!! Our Danish Adventure!
Life update from across the globe! Hello hello!
As you all may know, Ryan and I recently moved to Denmark in January! It’s been a crazy process getting here and I realized I haven’t shared our experience with everyone yet. This move has been a long time coming, 2 years in fact! Ryan and I had many conversations before getting married on what we wanted out of life and one of my top top really important things was to live and experience life somewhere outside of North Carolina just ONCE - even for just a short amount of time, but still, just once!
Ryan [the hubby] is from New Jersey and has lived in a few different places before relocating to NC for his career. Myself on the other hand, have only ever lived in North Carolina. I grew up in Charlotte and have lived in Raleigh for the last 10 years [so crazy how fast time flies]! I always knew North Carolina was incredible but I also knew I needed an adventure. With this in mind, Ryan and I discussed his company’s potential opportunities for relocation and devised a plan. Ryan went to his company and brought up the idea of us moving to Denmark. [His company is in the pharmaceutical industry and is based out of Denmark while also having several plants in NC] At the time of Ryan asking, we had been together for almost a year and a half and had just gotten engaged. A lot was happening in our lives and even more was changing! Over the course of that year, in the middle of planning a wedding, every few months we would remind his company we were still interested in moving. No assignments were currently open in Denmark but his company saw the benefit of us living there for a while. For an entire year we didn’t hear any news. A year after the first discussion, right around the time of our wedding, his company told us we were moving! It was so exciting! Only problem was, they had no idea when we would go and for how long. Talk about a cliff hanger!
Another 6 months went by [painfully so] and we kept asking for more details. It’s really hard to put your life on hold for something you never know when it’s going to come. We were newly married and were ready to come up with a family plan! We wanted this move soooo bad! We have an absolute love for travel and our list of hopeful destinations to see was a mile long. And most importantly, we wanted to live somewhere else before starting a family. We do love Raleigh, NC and would love to raise a family there someday soon! But for our first year of marriage, we wanted to travel! And then comes September (2018…6 months ago) when we got THE news!!! It was official!!! His company reached out and told us we would be moving to Denmark the first week of the new year! We had 4 months to plan and luckily we had a lot of faith in this move happening so we had already set the gears in motion for this move even before the official green light.
To get ourselves ready, we knew the best decision for us would be to sell our townhome in Raleigh. We didn’t want to deal with having renters or just leaving it sitting there, selling was our best option! So SOLD it went! We couldn’t have been more blessed for the house to sell the first weekend we listed it too. We moved all of our belongings into 4 storage units and we moved our bare necessities into an Airbnb for our last two months in the country [November & December]. I’m not going to lie, this was extremely stressful and hard. They say that moving and/or buying/selling a home is one of the top 3 most stressful things you can do in life and boy are they not wrong! On top of selling our home, we had to find somewhere to live temporarily that allowed our German Shepherds, the amount of time we needed, and was furnished! We look back now though and we are soooo blessed that we sold the home 2 months before moving to Denmark. It’s much easier to deal with 1 crazy life change at a time!
Pictures from our townhome listing! We loved this house and it was so perfect for us!
Then without warning, we had a bomb drop on our little family. One of our beloved pups, Rocky, was diagnosed with cancer. Rocky was no ordinary dog, as I’m sure most say about their fur babes but he was truly special. See, Rocky was already a special needs boy that I had rescued 5 years ago. So special in fact that he had to eat in a highchair every day of his life in order for his body to process food, he had a paralyzed esophagus. I built his highchair specially for him, his throne as we called it, and we even designed and built a travel highchair that folded into a suitcase to go with us on our journey to Denmark. [I’ll go into more detail of his special life on a later day once I have the strength to share] For the impending move, we were busy making arrangements for both our sweet sheppies, Sasha and Rocky, to make the journey with us. Paperwork, crates, laws, regulations, and Rocky’s travel chair. We only saw this new life in Denmark including both Rocky and Sasha. So when Rocky lost his battle just 2 weeks before us moving here our entire family was devastated. I haven’t been able to truly talk about it yet, even being 3 months later. I was able to channel every ounce of my love for Rocky into making sure Sasha completed her travels to Denmark 1000% safely. We are so blessed that Sasha is so sweet and goofy, she’s really been the light in our lives through all of this.
The time was upon us to make the move! I’ll go into more detail later on all the items we packed and brought with us, the items we wish we would’ve brought and the items we have safely stored back in NC! Our plan all along was to try to have as little amount of flight travel for our pups so after doing our research [full blog post coming on how to move your pets internationally] we decided that flying out of Washington, DC was the best option for our family! We used SAS Airlines and we took a direct flight from DC to Copenhagen. To get to DC though, we had to figure out how to get all our stuff up to DC from North Carolina. So we decided to leave Ryan’s car in Raleigh with a friend and eventually we were going to leave my car with my family back in Charlotte. To make this happen, we rented 1 SUV and we took my SUV, loaded them down with all our luggage, Sasha’s crate and ourselves. We drove from Raleigh down to Charlotte to pick up my mom for our first leg of the journey. Then us 3 and Sasha made the 6 hour drive up to DC. We arrived on a Friday in DC and enjoyed a nice weekend catching up with family and friends before our flight left on Sunday.
We absolutely could NOT have done this without the help of my incredible mother! She’s always been a huge supporter of us following our dreams and especially if that has to do with traveling. She’s always been the first person to offer to watch our dogs when we take off on an adventure and even when Rocky was diagnosed with cancer just 2 months before moving to Denmark, she selflessly offered to keep him for me. She’s been our absolute saviour and we’re so thankful for her huge heart and lending hand!
All boarded on the plane, puppy and all! ready for take off!
The flight over to Denmark was scary. [Unfortunately the biggest down side to flying your dog on a plane is everyone’s awful “warnings” about how dangerous it is to fly your pet.] This was particularly upsetting having just lost Rocky. So we definitely had a few drinks to calm our nerves! The 7.5 hour flight went sooo smoothly and we’ve never in our life experienced a more calm landing, we barely knew we had even touched down! We got off the flight and headed down to baggage claim to collect our FIFTEEN duffle bags and our “odd-sized luggage”, aka Sasha’s massive crate. Everyone and everything was safe and sound! Phew!!!! It was the biggest relief we had felt in months! Almost 8 months of researching and planning to make Sasha’s experience the best it could and we could officially breathe a sigh of relief! Best feeling ever! We rounded up two rental mini vans and made our 1.5 hour drive to our precious town of Kalundborg, Denmark from the Copenhagen Airport. Our landlords met us at our new danish house and as soon as they left, we passed out asleep! Having now been awake for over 24 hours, we were basically zombies. We awoke later in the afternoon to return our rentals back in Copenhagen. ANOTHER 1.5 hour drive back to the airport to switch the two mini vans for our permanent rental car….to THEN drive another 1.5 hours right back to Kalundborg for more sleep. The whole trip over was one of the most exhausting things we’ve ever done but we are so proud of ourselves! Looking back, there’s nothing about the move we would have done differently and looking forward, we feel like we can accomplish anything!
And now, our Danish adventure awaits!