“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.”
– Beryl Markham –
I have spent all day helping my darling boyfriend move out of his place (semi bachelor pad) in Coogee, across to my (now our) place in Manly.
It’s been a fairly drawn out process, as we have been moving bits and pieces, bags and boxes, his TV, washing machine, books, DVDs etc across gradually over the last couple of weeks. However today was Ute day (for anyone in The UK/Europe this is like an open air White Van). And which also meant moving all the ‘big stuff’ like furniture.
Moving for most people is usually a bit of a hassle and most people I know grumble whenever they have to move, and try to avoid doing it too often. Me on the other hand, I really quite like it. Don’t ask me why, and I know it sounds pretty bonkers, but I actually find it quite refreshing.
There is something quite freeing about not only packing all your things up and moving them to somewhere new and exciting, but it’s also a really good opportunity to get rid of lots of stuff that you’ve ended up holding on to and hoarding away, that you really don’t actually need.
In the seven years that I lived in London during my twenties, I moved 8 times throughout the South West. Some people would say that’s a lot, but to be honest I tended to move as soon as I felt like I needed a change of scenery and change of housemates. I lived in some amazing places and with some wonderful people and every time I moved, I was filled with a new sense of excitement about life and a completely new perspective of that part of London. I had a new route to work, a new local corner shop, a new local bar or pub, and a new set of restaurants and eateries to check out. It was awesome and it kept life feeling fresh and interesting.
When it finally came time to leave London, it was quite sudden. I broke up with my boyfriend on my 30th birthday (this is a whole other story so I will save it for subsequent posts or even the book I’m writing), packed my entire life up into boxes and moved everything back home to where my parents live in Frome, Somerset.
I was pretty lost, burnt out and directionless at the time, and over the course of the following 7 months I pretty much spent my life living out of a suitcase. Which, bizarrely enough, I absolutely loved.
As soon as I had moved back home, I filled a backpack and travelled to Peru for a couple of weeks to trek the Inca Trail. I came home and ended up working again for a few months, living up in London in the week and coming home to The West Country at weekends. And then I decided to go backpacking, and travelled for 6 months until I decided to set up shop in Australia for a while.
I lived with friends in Manly for 3 months (out of a suitcase too), then moved to Surry Hills and lived with 3 Aussie guys for 3 months, then moved back to Manly into my own flat for 5 months before having to move out, because I spent all my money on my visa application and couldn’t commit to a rental agreement until I had an answer on my visa (again this is a much longer story that I will save for another day).
I moved out of my flat last Nov and had been living out of a suitcase and staying in friends’ spare rooms (once again – I’m sure you’re noticing a pattern here) for the last 3 months.
And I finally moved back to Manly and into my own 2 bed flat at the beginning of March. Phew! Finally, somewhere to call home! And very excitingly, my beautiful boyfriend has moved in with me just one month later, today.
So, the point of my post? Despite the fact that over the last 3 and a half years, the longest I have stayed in any one place for any length of time is 5 months, I have had a blast. And despite the fact that I have spent just under 2 of those years living out of a suitcase or backpack, I have always had everything that I could possibly need with me.
It has also made me realise just how little I actually need in order to be happy. And also, how much crap I managed to acquire and hoard back in the UK. I also realised how much we hold on to from the past that we don’t actually need in the present. In actual fact, to be perfectly honest, I’ve realised that all I really need is myself in order to be truly happy. And as long as I have my health and a happy & positive mind, life is pretty cool.
Furthermore, change is good. Movement is good. Settling is too (from time to time), but as they say, a change is as good a rest, and I say why necessarily rest when you can make a change in your life. It’s much more fun.
As mentioned in my previous post Let Go, it’s also good to get rid of things from your past that you’re holding on to unnecessarily, to make way for new things and experiences in the present. It’s the same reason why they start prescribed forest fires in Yosemite National Park. I learnt this, when visiting there a couple of years ago and it didn’t make much sense to me initially. But, after being educated that they start them deliberately to burn off any undergrowth that is getting in the way of new seeds falling from the trees and stopping them from seeding and growing and making way for new trees to grow, it made perfect sense.
So to conclude, the good news, I’m very happy to say, that in the last 3 and a half years of moving around, I’ve finally found a place that I’d like to live in and a person I want to live with. I’ve planted my seed here. So it’s out with the old way of constantly moving, and in with the new way of settling . . . . . for now anyway. 🙂
Inspiration for this post
My beautiful boyfriend Darren