As it stands, I have never lived anywhere for longer than five years. I have moved cities/towns 7 times and countries twice. These moves were either education related, for my Dad’s Air Force jobs or out of my own, sweet, free will.
I have no idea what it’s like to be one of those people who grew up in one town and had one group of friends most of their life who they either see on a weekly basis or at least when they visit for the holidays.
I struggle just to answer the question “where are you from?” I get unnecessarily flustered and usually splutter something back like “well I was born in Auckland but I spent most of my life in Blenheim, although my parents don’t live there anymore…” and then I usually trail off as I sense the interest sapping out of my audience.
As I said before, my Dad is in the Air Force and the nature of his job is that he gets posted every so often. It was pretty rough on us (me) when it meant we had to move schools. It’s not so bad when you’re young and pretty much everyone is your friend. It’s harder when friendship groups are more closed and take some chipping away at to counteract the history that you have missed out on.
I do not have too many fond memories of my final years at high school. This isn’t the time for the sad, sordid tale but basically I finished up at graduation with friends that I could count on one hand. But that’s okay, I mean everyone knows all the interesting people were unpopular at high school, right? Well that’s what I am telling myself.
In New Zealand, unless you live in one of three cities, it’s a given that you have to move to go to University, there just isn’t that much choice. I made my way to Wellington and got stuck into being a student in every sense of the word. I partied, ate 8 meals a day and wondered why I was putting on weight. Until I moved out of the shared accommodation and into a flat and decided to be a bit more of an adult.
When I was about to finish Uni I decided that I didn’t really care what I did but I wanted to travel. New Zealand felt so small to me at the time and what is the opposite of small? America! So I went and did a summer camp, obviously. It was great, I loved/hated it and met some lovely people.
Next stop was the UK, where I am now. I decided to continue my budding outdoor career and dedicate my life to tightening harnesses and clipping children onto things, all in the name of development. It was an experience unlike anything I will probably ever do again. It was like starting school with all these people and personalities to navigate while you try to find your comfy little spot.
Two and a half years later and it’s time to move on and my goodness I am pretending I am not stressed. I have no one to blame but myself and I know it is the right thing but that doesn’t stop it from feeling like a lot of effort most of the time.
If I had somehow come to the conclusion that I could call myself a minimalist just yet, well I have to admit, I was mistaken. I am packing up my life and I can tell you, I need quite a few boxes. Luckily I am not taking everything I own with me and I have reduced it to three tea carton, plus what I can fit in a suitcase.
For once I actually feel as if I have taken my own advice, mostly, and taken a leap before I can see exactly where the next step is. Time to embraces fresh starts, question marks and living with my parents again (wee).
I am sorry if this post is a little self-indulgent but it’s hard not to feel reflective when a chapter of your life is coming to a close. Sounds so dramatic but it is true! Where you live and where you work pretty much shapes what your daily life looks like. So you don’t feel cheated I will leave you with three packing tips
- Clothes are light until you pack 70 odd items into one box. Books are always heavy.
- Sell stuff. If you can’t sell it, donate it. If you can’t donate it then ditch it but make a mental note to never buy whatever it was again!
- You are not your stuff.
Moving is a tricky one for minimising waste. Obviously you want to take as little to the tip as possible, but I would challenge anyone to be able to reuse and recycle absolutely everything in their home. You can only do your best and make more conscious decisions in the future.
Anyway, that’s enough from me,
Peace and love, badasses