Down to the wire
11 days until I leave, almost to the hour. I’ve been working on some last-minute moving preparations, some which may seem obvious to those who have moved overseas before, but all are new to me. I know no one personally who can give me some advice, so it’s all been a learning experience.
I had some appliances that I wanted to bring with me. 2 kitchen appliances, a hair dryer, and a hair straightener. I was aware that my laptop/camera only need an adapter, not a converter, but I wasn’t sure if this was the case for my appliances. Also, I didn’t know why my laptop/camera only need an adapter. My sister linked me to an article about voltage and electronics in Europe, but neither of us understood if the article implied that I needed a converter.
So I asked the internet. I learned that yes, my appliances would need a converter if I brought them with me. My camera /laptop don’t need one because they have a voltage range from 100 – 240V (or something similar), meaning that they will work in all countries within that range, they just need an adapter to fit into the proper outlets. One of my kitchen appliances has a voltage of 120V, for example, so it would need to be converted. After reading the advice and anecdotes I was given, and after looking at the reviews of converters on Amazon, which seem to have an equal number of 5 star and 1 star ratings, it seems easier and safer to leave my appliances here and just some find inexpensive ones while abroad. People talked about fuses being blown, their appliances melting or catching on fire, or the converter itself making weird noises or starting to smoke, so it seems less stressful to just buy some European appliances. My suitcase is markedly lighter without these appliances, which is nice.
Next I need an international calling card. To call my parents in America, I’ll most likely just use Skype or Google Voice, but 1) I have some business to periodically attend to in America that needs an actual phone, and 2) I need something that will allow me to call international phone numbers from outside of Spain, either with my cell phone or a landline/payphone. I went to Amazon, and they mentioned Digitz. I went to the website and these cards seem to be good, but the information available on the website is about calling internationally from America, not the other way around. I wanted to call the website to see if I could call the US from abroad, and the website itself says call or email if you have questions, but no phone number is listed so I emailed.
Just in case Digitz is indeed just for Americans who wish to call abroad, I’m looking at another company and card, the ZapTel True North card. According to the blog I found this link off of, this card does indeed call worldwide. They also boast no hidden fees, just like Digitz, so hopefully between one of these companies I’ll be taken care of.
I think these are the last big things I need to take care of. I have a couple of odds and ends to purchase, like a little more cooking supplies and some American measuring cups/spoons. But I think I’m almost ready. Any day now.