Kylie’s Top 11 LDR Songs

Looking for songs to entertain you while you wait, separated and apart from your long distance partner?  I’m sharing a few of my favourites below, or you can find them in our Spotify playlist.

11.  Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

The song opens with this tell-tale line:  “Oceans apart, day after day…” and “If I see you next to never, how can we say forever?” And a lot of us have those uncertainties at the beginning.  You can never really be sure if a long distance relationship will work out, or for how long.  It depends on whether you met them before or after becoming long distance, how often you see each other and how well you click when you’re in person, along with a whole hoard of other factors that close distance relationships may resolve earlier on.  But song goes on to say it doesn’t matter, no matter what happens, no matter how long it takes, I won’t give up on us.  I won’t give up on you.  I  will always be here for you.  And it’s beautiful and sincere.

10.  Wintersong – Sarah McLachlan

It’s late and morning’s in no hurry
But sleep won’t set me free
I lie awake and try to recall
How your body felt beside me

If you’re not interested in sad songs, you can completely skip over this one.  But sometimes the distance gets you so down, that sad songs are all you feel like listening to.  This is also a Christmas song, so I would listen to it a lot when I was missing Johan around the holiday, to strangely make me feel a bit calmer and a bit better.  It has a very soothing sort of affect with the piano and it got me through a few hard nights.

9.  A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton

And I need you
And I miss you
And now I wonder

How many times have we said to our partner, “I want to get on a plane already!!”?  For some of us, walking a thousand miles is literally impossible because we have oceans dividing our paths, but without being too literal, the desire is still there – no matter the distance, no matter how long it takes, you just want to do anything in order to see your loved one again.  It doesn’t matter how crazy it sounds, because the distance is driving you crazier and you miss them so much that a thousand miles won’t stand in your way.

 8.  Vanilla Twilight – Owl City

The silence isn’t so bad
‘Til I look at my hands and feel sad
‘Cause the spaces between my fingers
Are right where yours fit perfectly

Owl City’s electronica “Vanilla Twilight” has a very mystical daydream quality about it.  Once again, it focuses on the thoughts of missing someone, and those little things that aren’t the same without that person.  Thinking about that person helps the feeling of loneliness to subside, but it can never truly go away.  This is most evident in the silence of the evening, trying to sleep but the thoughts keep rushing through, and we’ve all been there at some point.

7.  Christmas With You – Jason Chen feat. Joseph Vincent

I don’t want to wait another day
You’re way to far away
I’m gonna pack my bags and fly to you
There’s no place too far to keep me from my boo
I’m on my way, see you in a few
All I want to do is spend my Christmas with you

This is another festive song, that starts off sort of slow and sad, but then gets motivating and happier.  Because they decide instead of sitting around they’re going to do something about it.  And we can’t all make that decision whenever we want, but the lingering thought is always there.  And who am I kidding myself?  I can’t wait to be able to sing “I’m gonna pack my bags and fly to you” and actually mean it!

6.  Jet Lag – Simple Plan feat. Natasha Bedingfield

You say good morning
When it’s midnight
Going out of my head
Alone in this bed
I wake up to your sunset
It’s drivin’ me mad
I miss you so bad

To break from those sadder, slower songs, we have a much more fast-paced, upbeat one.  This song talks mostly about the struggles of timezone differences and trying to coordinate calls and things when you are at opposite ends of the day and night, and it messes with your body clock and drives us all crazy at times!  It’s worth a listen to, though the song can get repetitive at times, sometimes our lives feel like that too – an endless cycle of “good mornings” and “goodnights” because with different timezones and work hours, sometimes that’s all there’s time for.

5.  Shanghai Breezes – John Denver

I can’t remember when I felt so close to you
It’s almost more than I can bear
And though I seem a half a million miles from you
You’re in my heart and living there

At risk to completely embarrassing myself here with my Mum’s music, comes this song from 1982.  But the imagery in this song makes it gold – “And the moon and the stars are the same ones you see”; “There are lovers who lie unafraid of the dark”; “And your face in my dreams is like heaven to me”; “Shanghai breezes soft and gentle remind me of your tenderness”.  It is so easy for me to imagine pictures that go with these lyrics and, naturally, to relate to the distance.  It’s a very heartfelt song that talks about the loneliness of a long distance relationship in a very positive and warming way.

4.  I Will Always Return – Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron OST – Bryan Adams

I can’t stand the distance
I can’t dream alone
I can’t wait to see you
Yes, I’m on my way home

This is more of a childhood favourite that I rediscovered when looking for songs about LDRs, and yes, the movie is depicting two horses but the song has no mention of horses whatsoever.  And at its core, it’s about having to be separated and that journey to get  back to the one you love because you’ll keep coming back to that love, to that person, because that’s where you belong.  For a song about being apart from one another, it’s very uplifting – it’s a song of determination and loyalty.

3.  The Dancing and the Dreaming – How To Train Your Dragon 2 OST – John Powell

I have no use for rings of gold
I care not for your poetry
I only want your hand to hold
I only want you near me

Okay, maybe a little cheesy, but I’m not sorry.  I absolutely fell in love with this song when I first heard it in the movie.  And there have been some amazing, delicate covers of it too – take a listen to Erutan Music and Peter Hollens.  However, personally, the original is still my favourite.  It starts off slow and sad and beautiful, but then it just becomes fun and funny and tremendously happy and joyful.  For those who haven’t seen the movie, viking chief Stoick is seeing his wife, Valka, for the first time in years and they are both very hesitant to interact with each other because it’s been so long and there’s mixed emotions going on, but Stoick begins singing her this obvious pasttime favourite song and dance, and through this they are able to rekindle their love as Valka joins in with the song and so it becomes this burst of laughter and joy as they as they become used to one another again.  Stoick sings of travelling the seas to be with her, he would do anything for her, but actually Valka doesn’t care for the additions he offers her, she just wants to be with him and be near him and hold him in her arms again and isn’t that what we’re all wishing for when we’re apart from our significant other?

2.  Bring Me The Night – Sam Tsui and Kina Grannis

But when I close my eyes
The miles melt away
Like your here in my arms
At the end of the day

This lovely song is all about that longing feeling we all have in LDRs.  The constant dreaming of being with one another which is sometimes the only thing keeping you sane, knowing that in time, that dream will come true.  But before that can happen you have to wait it out and for the time being, the dreams you have while you’re sleeping have to make-do, because that is sadly the closest you’ll get to feeling like you’re with them for some time.  And so we yearn for the day to end so we can sleep for a chance of getting that physical feeling that we long for again, and this song discusses that passionately.

1.  Even The Winter – Audrey Assad

What if we find ourselves beneath the snow?
Our warmest words are frozen in our throats
And all we feel is left out in the cold
You and I

My top pick may be a little biased on my part, what with my love of winter and snow and all.  And strictly speaking, this isn’t necessarily a song about LDRs at all, but when I first heard it after visiting Johan for the first time and after playing in all that snow I wasn’t used to, I came home and I was like omg this is our song, this is so us, and you’ll notice I used it in our first meeting video.  We had just said our goodbyes and it did feel cold and alone once more.  The song uses all of these beautiful metaphors about how tough situations can get and it’s full of all of this uncertainty and it constantly asks “what if…?” but in the chorus it says, well, even if this happens, nothing’s going to change our love for each other, it’s only going to grow and grow and that bond with strengthen and we will become stronger because of it.

Even the winter won’t last forever
We’ll see the morning, we’ll feel the sun
We’ll wake up in April, ready and able
Holding the seeds in the soil

Even the darkness cannot disarm us
We’ll see the morning, we’ll feel the sun
We’ll break up the earth because we know that it’s worth it
Sowing the seeds in the soil of our love


After more LDR songs?  Check out these others that didn’t make the list!  They’re not all 100% about LDRs, but hold many relevant themes.

Internet Age – Jason Munday and Alex Carpenter
Long Distance – Bruno Mars
I Will Wait For You – Mumford and Sons
Never Met You – Tom Law
Life After You – Chris Daughtry
On My Way – Phil Collins
Red Lights – Tiesto

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It’s Been A Year

One year ago today, we submitted our application for my Swedish residence permit, a little earlier than expected, and so began this emotional journey.  Thinking back now, I’m glad we didn’t delay the process any further because here we are, 12 months later, still waiting and worrying and hoping.  But the decision has to be close now, any day.  We’re now in the estimated decision time frame, which is so exciting and terrifying.  Although most rejected applications hear back in a much shorter time frame,  you still can’t help wondering, “what if…?” And as much as we really want that decision so we can start making solid plans and book our flights before they get even more expensive than they already are, I’m also glad we haven’t received it sooner.

Once we have a decision, I am allowed six months to move over.  Of course, one can apply for an extension on that, but it would probably look better if you moved over as soon as reasonably possible. And as we’re still hoping for a July moving date after Johan finishes his course in June, this is still 4 out of those 6 months into the future.  In fact, I even mentioned this in our application, so the fact we haven’t received a decision yet isn’t worrying me as such, but it has started to get more nerve wracking and stressful these past couple of weeks, knowing that we will soon have that answer.  Another Brisbaner received their decision just this week, and they applied just after us and received their interview invitation at the embassy a day after us.  So it’s all very exciting!

Meanwhile on top of stressing about the decision, packing, the cat, where we’ll be living, where we’ll get jobs, when we’ll get jobs… I’m also stressing about how much I’m trying to get done before the move, and preferably,  before the decision.  Because I feel as soon as we get a decision, everything else will be blown from my mind and I’ll be in moving-prep mode.  But that also includes finishing half-started projects for our Etsy store, getting rid of as much stock as we can, deciding what I can and can’t live without and practising as much Swedish as I can, because it turns out SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) can sometimes take up to several months to get into.  There is so much to keep me busy and yet there are still days I just feel miserable with stress and longing.

Johan on the other hand is heading to Stockholm today to spend four weeks with his Mum while he attends practise work.  Next time he heads to Stockholm it’ll be to get on  a plane to see me.  We’ve never been so close to a visit without a known date. 😦 But hopefully soon, that will change.

House Hunting (Just to Occupy the Time)

For what seems like the longest time now (well, probably since I got back from my first visit and started having the urge to live in my boyfriend’s country…) one of my cures for boredom has been to hunt for houses in Sweden, just to occupy the time.  I began on svenskfast.se before discovering hemnet.se which seemed to list all the houses from multiple real estate companies.  I would put in my search terms:  Villa, min 5 rooms, max 2,000,000 kronor, location Östergötland.  I wasn’t finding much.  But when I took away the location, and searched the whole of Sweden… houses galore!  Well, I suppose that’s understandable, but now I was getting a whole page of new listings every day.  So, those listings could be a bit further out of the way to where we may or may not end up wanting to live close to Johan’s family – and currently with Johan in the north, our future residence could really be anywhere and depends on where there’s work!  But even if I don’t know the location of where to search – even though I could be looking at a house in the very south of Sweden one minute and the very north the next (and honestly, I don’t pay too much attention to the location maps!) it is enjoyable and feels meaningful.

If you have never tried this with your partner, I suggest you put it on your to do list.  It can be so much fun, and so informative.  In the beginning we would look at houses together, and still do sometimes, although nowadays our days get busier and I just tend to link the best ones worth looking at.  The point is, we would look at the house together and all of the photos (I came to recognise the ALLA BILDER button on every external site and now I’m learning to read all the captions!) and discuss everything we did and didn’t like about the house and the style and design choices people had used in their homes.  It is a great way to connect with your partner and learn how your tastes are both similar and different, and helps you to think about the type of house you may want to share with them in the future, however far off that might be.

For instance, I love wooden kitchens.  Johan likes them too, but he doesn’t like whole houses filled with too much wooden decor.  He’d also like a kitchen with all the big appliances fully built in, where as I don’t mind so much because I’m used to microwaves and fridges having large gaps around them – which was one thing that did surprise me a little, it’s like they have no room to breathe at the sides in a lot of Swedish homes!  Which is another thing – a lot of the time renting, and even buying in Sweden – your main appliances are included – including the fridge, drier and washing machine!  He’d like a  sauna; I’d like a nice big patio to have an evening’s hot chocolate on.  The list continues, but for the most part, we have similar tastes in home designs, it’s the furnishings that will likely cause us some trouble when we can’t decide on things and will need to make compromises!  I’m sure that when the time comes, it’ll be an absolute nightmare, but I think we’re pretty well prepared to tackle that, partly because we already know each others likes and dislikes and have talked through them.

As for the Swedish housing market and my 2,000,000 kronor limit, with plenty being under that (as of now, that’s approximately $294,000 AUD, although it was $305,000 when I first started looking, and $335,000 when the Aussie dollar was really low a year and a half ago! *fingers crossed the Swedish SEK stays low for a few more months*), what have I found we can get for that much?  Some very beautiful homes!  You have to remember that Sweden is a very old country (think Viking ages!) and so admittedly there are a lot of older homes (and even the odd school!) on the market, many in the 1950-1970s.  I’ve even seen some from the 1910s – homes with a hundred year old history!  But once you put that aside (this coming from an Australian where in Australia we have new housing estates are popping up everywhere, and everyone in my immediate family seems to be living in a house that’s under 10 years old, or building brand new ones … our house is just over that at 15 years old and even our previous house is only as old as me), you realise that most of what looks a little old and aged on the outside, is not a horrible retro 70s style on the inside (though I’ve seen a few of those, too!) So, so many of these houses have had renovations to make them look brand new on the inside, and I’ve been caught out more than once by surprise – it’s truly a don’t judge a book by it’s cover example.  A lot will also have antique old stoves and fireplaces that have remained in the redesign of a new kitchen or living room, giving off a continued remembrance to historic days.  What’s even more fun is watching the house photos change throughout the year with spring, summer, autumn, and winter photos – “well, I know that this house has got a lot of snow – that’s a good sign!”

For two years now I’ve been dreaming of a stereotypical, red wooden house somewhere in Sweden which we will call our own.  I mean, we’ve even gone as far as imagining ourselves in daggy yard clothes, repainting the house red.  Imagined ourselves fighting over the colours to paint our walls indoors – Big White, Snowy White or Crisp White.  Imagined ourselves trying to straighten up picture frames.  Imagined ourselves eating pizza on the first night in our own home surrounded by boxes and sleeping on the couch.  And it’s a beautiful thing to imagine, to dream and to know that it’s all worth waiting for. ❤

Tech Time #2: Capturing Skype History

Wow, it’s been a while since our first Tech Time … oops?  I guess technology is everywhere around us now, and a lot of long distance relationships rely so heavily on technology, that, well, it’s all second nature to us.  But one of the troubles we knew we’d have to face eventually with Migrationsverket was how to prove that relationship and document our online history which was harder than one would expect.  We were asked in July to provide evidence of flight stubs and photos and phone calls but we’d been looking into how to extract our Skype history for quite a while before we received that email (preparation is key).

Hopefully this will help some of you going through the same process of proving your relationship and your history with your partner.  In the end, none of these options worked 100% for us, but that was probably due to the extent of our history.  We eventually came to an almost-complete history with which we would have to make-do, but that was after quite a bit of trial and error!  Just because something didn’t work for us, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, particularly if you have less of a Skype history than we do … at the time of running these applications, we had been using Skype daily for 3.5 years and had retained the complete history.

Tip About Using Skype

First things first, if you use Skype on a daily basis like we do, you’ve probably built up quite the chat/call history, particularly if you look under Tools > Options > Privacy > Advanced Settings > Keep History for … Mine has always been set to “Forever”.  Even when I reinstalled Windows and Skype, I made sure to back up our chat history, instructions for which can be found here.  This means I have our entire (very extensive) chat and call history since we first started talking in October 2012.  If you have reinstalled the app at any point without backing up those files, or if your chat history is set to something other than “Forever”, unfortunately you won’t be able to retrieve any of that older history so that’s something to look out for.  Also, as far as what we sort of looked into it, we couldn’t find a proper way of extracting any of the Skype call history from our phones or tablets easily (which would differ from those made on the PC – notice how when you answer a call on one device it will hang it up on the other, so that call time will only be recorded on the one device) so that’s another thing to consider if you do rely heavily on phone or tablets for calls, you may end up tearing your hair our trying to take screenshots of everything.  In the end, we omitted these calls from our evidence, but we felt we had enough else to make up for it.

Below is a list of our recommended software. And remember, just because we didn’t succeed with a particular one, doesn’t mean that it won’t fit your needs better or that you won’t have luck using it. Try them all!

4.  Skype

screenshots_0003_skype

For most of us, the first place we search when trying to pull up a history will be the original source – aka Skype.  Wrong.  I guarantee for most of you trying to obtain a call log, Skype will not be your answer.  This is because they will only offer up a call log for those using the paid service.  So by all means, scroll up through your conversation, screenshot every call you make… or, you can copy and paste your entire conversation, trying to copy and paste each call entry which will look like this:

[9:09:47 PM] *** Call from Johan ***
[9:37:51 PM] *** Call ended, duration 25:37 ***

But there are better ways to go about it.  Read on.

3.  Skype Log View

screenshots_0001_skypelogview

This is a nifty little program which creates a log of all your calls and messages and uses the help of command-line prompts to organise the search results by a range of dates, or contacts, or whatever the case may be.  This list can then be saved as a HTML or XML file.  And I’m sure people have had success with it, but it wasn’t for us.  From memory, it took around six or more hours to run the export, and by the time it finished and I looked at the log, it was all over the place.

Over 3.5 years of chat history and calls, it showed half a dozen (maybe a dozen at most, but that’s being overly flexible) calls, the rest was simply our message history, and I ran it several times changing the commands and removing them, and I just could not get it to work.  For whatever reason, it was just skipping over whole sections of months and years of our calls because it might have one in 2016, and 5 in 2012 or something crazily disproportionate.  It would probably be a good program if you wanted a condensed scale of messages (as it shortens them to one-liners) but it just did not work as a call log for us, and honestly, after the hours I bothered with it I decided screenshots from Skype would’ve been easier and a more trusted source for the migration board.

2.  Skype Export

Screenshots_0002_Skype Export.jpg

This one is a little more complicated, as unlike Skype Log View, there is no graphical interface, and you use it solely through the command prompt in Windows or Mac Terminal, which might discourage more casual computer users.  But don’t worry, there is good documentation on the above-linked GitHub page. That said, if you’re unfamiliar with the Windows command prompt (or Mac Terminal) you might want to read some basic guides.

This was probably one of the fastest exports we tried, however, it was once again more of a full export … which is great if you wanted a log of every message you’ve ever sent and every call you’ve ever made (twice – once for receiving and once for ending).  But once again, too long for our needs.  It was basically like copying and pasting our entire Skype history into a HTML file instead of a Skype window.  It was a little neater, but still just as long and unnecessary.

1.  Skype Exporter

screenshots_0000_skype-exporter

Skype Exporter ended up the winner, in our case, although it still wasn’t as perfect as we would’ve liked, but close enough to it.  Very easy to use, at the click of a button this program took around 1.5-2 hours to run an export, and I ran it several times because I found a problem with the export freezing on the same date in late-April 2016 (it was July).  It would come up with a pop-up error which unfortunately prevented me from saving the log, because I couldn’t click out of the pop-up error without it forcing the program to close.  In the end, we decided to work around this error, because despite this, it was exactly what we wanted.  A full and complete Skype log, detailing our call date and time with each other, omitting all our millions of chat messages for just a straight out call log.  In an ideal world, the export would finish successfully and you’d be able to save it as some sort of text file, however because of the error we ended up screenshotting the lot, because the one thing we were still able to do was scroll through the log.

We ended with 108 screenshots, which we cropped and downsized 4-to-a-page, across 27 pages and saved into a single PDF.  And that’s how we condensed 42 months or 3.5 years of our communication.  Or, part of it, as mentioned at the start of this post, this only detailed the calls made and received on my PC, not those on the phone/tablet as well.  The one thing with this program is there is no way to search through just one contact’s history, however as Johan is the only one I have any major contact with on Skype, this wasn’t a big deal for us.   Indeed if you successfully obtain a text log, other contacts could also be easily omitted, or crossed out in a paper print out. We decided against screenshotting any of our Skype message history, because with that amount of calls, you could imagine the accompanying message list.  We did, however, take some photos of our other communications – text messages, handwritten letters, etc.

Capturing Other Applications

As we were missing the last 3 months of our most recent call list from the Skype log, we turned to screen capturing the other applications we used to make calls – FaceTime, and Facebook Messenger.  Both of these have an easy option for viewing your call log, however again no way to extract them from the phone or tablet without taking individual screenshots.  I am also fairly sure both of these had a cut-off point, because they rely on “recent” call lists and “recent” will only go back so far.  As we only needed the last three months worth, this worked out okay for us, but for anyone else that uses them as a more regular means of communication, you may run into troubles later down the track.

As I mentioned earlier, we didn’t provide a Skype message history, because there was just too much and where do you begin with that?  What we did do, however, was take one screenshot of our Facebook Messenger chat history – but this method no longer works! 😥 But it was such a great method because you could go into the full-page conversation history on a PC, and if you scrolled up, it will say “Loading Older Messages …” with a number.  Ours was 43138.  Highlighted that number for their reference.  Obviously, it would be insane to provide them that chat history, but one screenshot would tell it all.

In addition to this, we also provided screenshots of the folder properties of our shared Dropbox and Google Drive folders, showing the amount of files and folders shared between us – which we thought was an excellent indication of the way we share photos and documents.  We also took screenshots of other couple apps we used to share photos and drawings; screenshots of our shared Etsy store; our blog; and my progress in Swedish-learning programs.  We captioned everything with short explanations, and all in all, we’re confident we’d given them enough evidence to work with.  Then it was back to the waiting game…

International Move: The Expectations 5 Months in Advance

So, we’re into March and the desire to pack has only increased since my last expectations post, where the estimate weight of all the items I’d weighed up until that point was 51.55kg.  It hasn’t helped I’ve been helping my brother and his family move house, nor has it helped travelling into Central station everyday where there is always tourists wheeling suitcases with them.  I’ve now had a chance to weigh some more of my belongings, and despite that estimate increasing quite a bit to 154.94kg, I am refusing to be disheartened, because it’s really not as bad as it sounds!

At the moment, we are looking at flying with Singapore Airlines, who offer 30kg checked luggage, any amount of bags, and 7kg hand luggage which excludes the weight of a small handbag, laptop or camera bag.  So that’s 74kg between us, plus a few extra kilos that we should be able to squeeze into unweighted bags.  We lose about 8.5kg straight away between the weight of empty suitcases and backpacks.  That still leaves us 66kg.

I’ve weighed almost everything I can think of, except for my jewellery (which let’s be honest I don’t wear a lot of!); moving paperwork; souvenir papers and brochures from Sweden; a few smaller HP collectibles; and my craft supplies (most of which will be replaced).  Oh, and a bunch of childhood toys and items, which I’m not including right now.  So definitely no more than 10kg there, and the only priority there is my paperwork.  The important thing is, I’ve now weighed all of my clothes (including coat hangers, underwear, socks, shirts,  pants, jumpers, coats, shoes) which is about 25.65kg.  This estimate will be less, however, when I take out some things I won’t be bringing with me (including the coat hangers), and decide on the heaviest clothing items to wear on the plane.  So that right there are my priority items for shipping, plus 1-2kg to toiletries and other necessities.  Johan won’t be coming here empty handed either, so let’s give him 10kg to work with.  He’s a guy, and it’s summer for him, so he probably won’t even need that 😛 That’s 46kg for priority items and bags, with still 28kg spare in our baggage allowance.  This leaves space for all the other fun things I want to bring… the biggest of that being my HP collection.

So I’ve gone through my list  to see what I’d most like to fill the rest of that 28kg with and I’ve come up with Priority List No. 2, mostly full of sentimental items, coming in about 23kg, which still gives me 5kg to play with, and I musn’t forget to leave room for the Aussie goodies – namely Vegemite.

After reading some reviews, I am still thoroughly looking into Australian courier company, Pack and Send.  For example, I can ship a 40x40x30cm, 10kg box for $161.80 which I think is pretty all right, or say a 70x60x40cm, 30kg box for $370.23 – and arrives within 5 business days.  Cheaper and quicker than Australia Post by far, and excess baggage at airport.

australiapost1

Or, so I thought.  Only this morning l I discovered that to send a 20kg parcel express with Australia Post to Sweden, including tracking and coverage worked out comparatively about the same as the Pack and Send prices, but with a 20kg limit instead of 30kg.  Don’t ask me how on earth this works.  $211 to send a 20kg parcel with all the extras, but $50 to send a 1.5kg parcel without tracking or cover, makes ZERO sense.  So now I’m sort of stuck between the two, because despite their every day regular mail absurd prices, I have been lucky in my dealings with Australia Post.  I have never had any mail go missing or get damaged, and I’ve only ever had 2 complaints from my Etsy customers about 2 delayed packages – both of which were during Christmas peak.  But I know a lot of people have had nightmares with them, only to be expected now and then, like anything.  So now I don’t know who to give my money to.

The point is, whichever company I go with, this will allow me to have my other items that I’d still really like with me to make me happy for a small price.  I wouldn’t want to ship more than 20-40kg excess.  And this saves me the worry, hassle, extra expense and long wait period for a shared container shipment.  Which leaves the rest of my moving check list (60kg) – all of which are non-urgent items, and stuff I’d like to have with me, but most of which I won”t want for years down the track when we’re well and truly settled (think – kids).  These are things that can easily be brought back with us on future holidays to Australia.

The last thing I’m looking at shipping is one of our cats.  She is 12 years old and we’ve had her since she was a kitten.  I’m not sure if it’s the wisest move, and my Mum is still perfectly able to look after her, but she’s still a youngster at heart, and it’s one thing to leave her for six weeks on holiday, it’s another to leave her for good.  Our two cats hate each other.  Always have and always will, as such they’ve sort of clinged one to Mum and one to me, and it’s a nightmare trying to find accommodation for both of them when we go on holidays.  If we were both to have one cat, this task would be easier.  That said,  trying to ship her to Sweden is not easy.

A lot of airlines will allow pet travel in the cabin at your feet, which saves money, but not into or out of Australia.  She would have to go in the cargo, and it’s cheapest to send her within 5 days of our travel.  From what I can tell, pet travel companies charge anywhere between $1500- $3500, but that’s from reading what few reviews I can find online and I am yet to get an actual quote as we don’t have travel dates yet.  There’s also the option of doing all the paperwork ourselves and avoiding the pet travel company altogether, probably saving a lot of money by only paying the excess baggage/cargo fees of about $1000, which doesn’t include the vet fees, but with that also comes added stress to ensure we get all of the paperwork correct.  So that’s one of the most important shipping options I’ve also had to consider!

The move is coming up fast (at least – we hope it is, if when we receive a decision it ends up fitting with our plans!) and I’m beginning to feel much more confident about how I’m going to move all of my stuff and how much I’ll be able to bring with me immediately, but there’s still the matter of space and volume, and I can’t know that until I can start packing.  Already I’m looking at getting a cheap, large wheeled duffel bag simply for transporting clothes and soft items (and it’s true, rolling clothes really does take up so much less space – but how much can I make it squish?!), but we’ll see how it goes when the time comes!  As always, tips and experiences are welcome, or maybe this has helped you!