In just over 6 weeks, my family and I will be getting on an airplane to Hyderabad, India, to begin approximately year of living on two different continents. Suddenly, it all seems so close upon us. Rather than trying to do everything necessary to prepare, I’ve tried to keep tiers of importance in my mind. Health, first, of course. Vaccines. Next, a place to go (school for the kids, work for us, housing, etc.). Third, finances (salary, rental of our home, and so on).

Only after those three are done (and they are :) ) did we start paying attention to other necessities (tickets, visas, maintenance issues such as a yard person, someone to look after maintenance inside the home, and a place to keep our cars and our pets).

All of that is done (and it has taken months!), I just keep telling myself everything else is gravy. Packing? Sure — but if we forget something, I’m sure we’ll be able to fix it. People? We’re throwing a goodbye party, mainly for the kids’ sake.

Of course, the “gravy” is eating up lots of time, and probably will until the moment we get on the plane. But rather than stress about it, we just keep reminding each other about what’s important — working together as a team and being ready for whatever twists and turns we encounter between now and when we return. So while it’s a lot to do, I’d rather do it in 6 weeks than have a year to plan: Whatever happens next, we’ll be getting on that plane in 6 weeks and entering a new country, learning a new language, changing everything.

Luckily, one thing will be the same no matter where we go: Our family.