Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Countdown to Qatar: What to Ship?

Do I Love it Enough 
to Send it on an 
Extended Boat Ride?

During this transition, I am faced with the following decisions:

What do I take on the plane with me?
What do I store in the U.S.?
What do I ship to Qatar?
What do I sell or give away?

I've covered a couple of those topics here and here.  Today, I am thinking about what to ship. Luckily, I've got new colleagues that have offered good advice.

Aaron, a U.S. expat, had this to say:
I actually put everything in the biggest boxes Qatar Airways would allow and shipped everything over with me on the plane (I think it was 9 boxes total). I paid for extra bags and for overweight charges. I had it when I touched down, which ended up being way more convenient than people who shipped. You'll get a housing allowance, and anything you think you will really need is likely something you can buy here. I brought over more random stuff than I needed and then found out I could have bought it here.
Then later:
Sorry, I won't be much help with actually shipping something. One of the reasons I brought everything over on the plane was to avoid the extra legwork. I'll ask around and see if anyone recommends a particular shipping company from the U.S. to Doha though. I do know that most people seem to ship everything over. I just wanted to have my stuff when I got here instead of waiting a week or two for it to catch up with me.

And I'd recommend double checking with Qatar Airways about exactly how many bags/boxes they will allow. When I called, one representative had told me as many as I want, and at the counter I had to cut open a bunch of boxes and jam pack them to consolidate 13 boxes down to (I think) 9 boxes. I paid the heavy baggage fee, which allows each box to be 75 lbs. Luckily, I brought a couple of rolls of tape with me in my carry-on for such an occasion.

Oh, and I recommend using lots and lots of tape, and using gallon Ziplocs to corral smaller things. I reinforced each box heavily and they pretty much came through fine, but I had a couple of splits at the seams. If I hadn't had everything secured in ziplocs, I probably would have lost some smaller stuff.
So, clearly Aaron recommends that I don't ship anything by ship.  Sounds like very good advice to

Rafael, now living in the Philippines gave this advice:
I decided not to ship anything, despite the generous shipping allowance. We will move with our clothes in about three suitcases, including the baby's toys and books.

Fortunately for me, my sister will move into our place in the Philippines and we will have no need to get rid of furnishings.

It would be nice to know if the shipping allowance had a grace period, so to say. Perhaps, we would want to ship some things later.

If I had to ship anything, though, cooking tools would probably make the top of the list. I would forgo the CDs. There are quite a few free and legal internet radio and music streams available nowadays that have all the songs you would ever need.
True.  I'm already a premium buyer of Pandora Radio. But, I also noticed last night that Amazon Prime is limited to people living in the U.S. and Puerto Rico under its licensing agreements. So, I guess I'll wait to see what I can do about music and movies when I get there.

International Shippers in the Central Appalachians?

I keep asking myself where I can find an international shipper in this area.  I found one in Knoxville, but they won't come to Grundy to give me any cost estimates.  I have to think that Eastman, in Kingsport, has executives living abroad.  Wonder whom they use?   Any suggestions, anyone?

What I Love Enough to Ship

About the only thing I want to ship right now is a very large framed piece of native American art called The Kingfisher.  I started my legal career in Tulsa, Oklahoma with it and would like to keep it with me. I've got some other original artwork I'd like to bring, again mostly Native American.  Taking it would involve building wooden crates for it.

Mason, one of the new professors at ASL, also suggests being very careful in the decision about what to ship. When they lived in Australia, he and his wife waited over nine months (I think he said) for the arrival of one box from the U.S.

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