Every time we move, we get this or a similar response. Along with “but you are so lucky to be living in X?”
I have written about that statement before and also how much I dislike it. But I never elaborated on our and my desire to live different places. Moving is just a necessary evil. With the upcoming few months the different responses made me think though. I am lucky to live here. But if you think its just luck, think again.
What it takes
I seem to be different to a lot of people, in that I am afraid, but I will do things anyway. I am afraid of heights, so I took pilot lessons. I’m afraid of rocks in water, so I become a diving professional and I don’t like instability, but I am willing to move to a country I don’t speak the language.
I am not attached in the same way others are and I am lucky I have circumstances on my side, but I also have to live with my choice and the consequences that come with it. It’s one part luck, one part determination and one part the universe responding to the choices we make. Let me back up some years though to clarify:
What made you like that
I’ve been moving homes since I can think. I guess that damaged me somehow or primed me for this lifestyle. Who knows….
My mom moved at least 3 times that I remember. It’s hard to find a place for a working mom with a kid. And love was another reason. Then we moved because she fell out of love and I moved because I disagreed with her life choices and was old enough to make my own sometimes stupid, sometimes important decisions. That are already 5 moves before I was 20.
For most that is already unthinkable. My best friend moved 2 times in his entire life and it was to a different apartment in the same house.
However I carried on in this fashion. I moved to do education, then I moved to not have to finish one and instead go on tour with bands. I moved town because I fell out with my room mate and didn’t like to sleep on the street very much. A friend took me in and as I found love I started not only moving house, but also country. We are up to 10 moves and 2 country before 22.
Now I slowed down and just moved a street further into a house. But having moved country, I already started understanding what it means to move a lot and to places you don’t speak the language. I settled and dreamed of far away places. Vacations where always to short and the only thing that got me going back where the pets I left behind.
I had to learn the language, make new friends and find a tribe I fitted in. And I did, but I never fitted perfectly. Like puzzle pice from another box, I sort of matched in shape but you could see that this was not my puzzle… There was just a longing, an unrest. Something some people thought they understood as travel bug. But it was so much more. I didn’t understand people speaking of home. Home was for me never a place. It was where my stuff was that moment, or my pets or my partner. It’s not the same concept as other people seem to have. Something that connects them to the people or the land.
Next we fell out of love and I am still not sure if it was inevitable or if it was because of my longing. However love found me, was persistent and I moved house and country again. 33 years old, 2 countries and 13 moves.
Having found someone that had the same longing for the horizon, an even more extreme childhood, constantly changing schools, and following his Army Dad around the globe and a field of work that made it easy to get work anywhere I finally feel a sort of security in insecurity. We can see when the other gets restless and needs change. A new neighborhood, a new culture maybe even a new challenge? I finally feel less guilty having these feelings and thoughts. By now my count is at not quite 40 years old, 5 countries 18 moves and about to add 1 to both country and move in august.
Aren’t you afraid or sick of it?
Yes and no. I am always afraid before the move. Making a fresh start over and over should get more easy, but it doesn’t. Rejection, loneliness and the apprehension bout unfamiliar situations and culture misunderstandings are always there for me and I am sooooo sick of packing, unpacking and the logistics of moving the stuff. Most horrid is to move the furries though.
On the flip side however, the way we make decisions, it’s just uncomfortable for about 2 months and the trade-off is worth it to us.
The fact that we don’t travel light and take our furniture with us, gives some comfort on the other end too. I was wondering why we did this, till we looked at apartments in Malta. They are all furnished and I had to confront myself why I found that thought so horrible. Besides some hygienic questions, it definitely has to do with self expression, but my theory now is mostly, that we put ourselves in these unfamiliar situations, that if you have your own furniture at home you have something consistent, familiar and yours. Like people get when they arriving on their home street after being away for a while. That feelingly, yes I’m safe here.
Hass might feel different. this whole post is just my view and feelings. He does agree with me though, that its worth taking most of our stuff and I’m sure he has his own reasons. I’m just glad that we match there too.
We first joked about a 2 year itch but it seems to be not a joke but reality for both of us. We aren’t lucky to live anywhere specific, that’s down to choices. We are lucky however to have found another individual that has the same longing for change, that can make the other feel safe in insecurity and that is willing to yet wrap and unwrap that damned toaster for the 10th, 15th and 20th time.
So the answer to how and why is simple to us: Because we need the change!
Until we are able to find a way to discover the world without a moving box insight, this is what we keep doing until the horizon stops looking attractive and the waters stop looking more enticing in the distance. Then we know we found home. Till then Home is where my 2 and 4 legged loves are.