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After compiling a list of the items I regret moving to the US – you can read about my 7 Items to Leave Behind when Moving Overseas – I immediately started this list with the four items I would bring again in a heartbeat.
The items on this list gave our new home(s) an instantly familiar feel and did wonders for making us feel at home in our new Country. Sure, it is always great to go out and just get new stuff, but having those items from “home” worked better for my family.
1 – Art Pieces
None of the art in our South African house was expensive or even that rare. But I did make an effort at some point to have my pieces professionally framed for a more cohesive look. And that was my main reason for including them in The Move to the US.
Our collection included an abstract painting by our friend Marius, sandblasted and painted mirrors, as well as designs printed on canvas that were gifts from my Supa Sign employee-friends, some smaller oil paintings bought on a special trip to Thailand, and one of my favorites, a set of black and white pictures of the kids that I printed at work and mounted on wood.
Unpacking and hanging them when our furniture shipment finally came, was one of the happiest post-move days.
2 – Furniture
Our dining room table is a one-of-a-kind item which was made by our friend Marius’s steel company, Triomf Steel. A steel I-beam bent into a center support with a glass top. And this was number one on my list of furniture to bring here. I also brought the 12 leather chairs that went with the table, my great-grandmother’s vanity table and two toy chests that my dad made for the kids.
The kids are older now and once I realized they had no need for a toy chest, I applied some DIY magic and found a new purpose for both toy chests.
I still love all these furniture pieces and particularly love how they look in our newest home.
3 – Afrikaans Books
There is something about reading a really old, favorite book that makes me very happy indeed.
I did not pack all my books – I picked my absolute favorites and can basically reread all of them once a year. I love to read, and I do find some new Afrikaans books on Amazon from time to time. Hmmm, so technically, I’m still building my collection… This was one of my recent purchases from Amazon – Dis ek Anna – a must-read in my opinion. My favorites are from Authors Dalene Matthee, Marita van der Vyver, Deon Meyer, Irma Joubert, Sally Andrew and John van de Ruit.
The kids loved to read when they were little. They still do, but I doubt they can read Afrikaans books anymore. The ones I brought over for them are meant for younger readers, but might just help these very American teenagers to get started again.
4 – Potjie & Braai Tools
Maybe this should go into the #1 spot… Always remember to pack your potjie!!! For those of you unfamiliar with a Potjie, it is a round, three-legged pot, and is used to cook traditional South African stews, over an outside fire or coals. It is made from cast iron, so yes, it is heavy, and not an item that can be included in your carry on luggage at the last minute. Our friends and family are big fans of Pieter’s Oxtail Potjie, as well as his Lamb Chops and Braaibroodjies (a South African version of a Grilled Sandwich). His Lemon Juice Chicken is another favorite of theirs.
We also included our large steel braai grid (also called a braai grill) and a rotisserie set with various baskets and prongs. These have come in handy on many lazy Sunday afternoons. The basket fits two whole chickens, and they practically cook themselves while you can relax at the table with a glass of wine (or two).
And that was my list of items I don’t regret moving to the US. What special item did you bring with you?
Want to read more? How about the Top 5 Mistakes you can Make When Moving Overseas?