Time is flying by- the apartment is almost all packed and our things leave on a sea shipment to Australia tomorrow. It’s hard to believe Stephen only has a few days left in America and I only have a couple of months! If I didn’t get rid of enough stuff before Europe last year I’ve really paired down now. A big move like this makes you reevaluate what really matters to you- instead of toting around a bunch of crap you don’t really care about. Around 80% of my belongings are gone since the beginning of last year and I’ve given away half my clothes. But moving out of this apartment is more than just getting rid of more stuff. I am not a very outwardly emotional person I tend to be very chill and even tempered, but I am definitely very sentimental. Every move is almost a mini end to a life chapter, as it’s ending and the space starts clearing out I can’t help but reflect back on all the many things that happened during that time.
My last apartment was my first place all to myself and I loved it. It was the place where I became single again– even though it wasn’t the greatest moment at the time it is something I am SO thankful for now. I started traveling a lot and discovered new and exciting things about the world and myself. I grew my career, explored new ideas and made the decision against many people’s advice to leave the comforts and safety of a 9-5 to pursue something more than just working for someone else’s goals. It was where I was living when I met Stephen which led me down this crazy road to now moving across the world.
Fast forward a year and I am letting go of another sentimental place. Even though it’s not technically mine, I just kind of nudged my way in here after traveling for 3 months ;), it still holds a lot of memories just like the last one. I remember the first time I came to Stephen’s apartment, he made me the most delicious dinner that is still my favorite to this day and gave me books about Australian culture and traveling in Southeast Asia for Valentine’s Day. Funny how those two books will be quite useful now. Over the past year and a half we’ve laughed a lot in that apartment, made countless meals together (tapas night is one of our favorites!) and we’ve had many packing parties the night before a trip (by packing party I mean just us two packing our suitcases with a bottle of wine). Traveling in the Basque coast of France and surfing in Costa Rica may have been amazing and fun, but it’s the everyday, tiny things that really connect us. We would talk about our dreams and aspirations for the future in that apartment- essentially it’s the place we fell in love.
He had a big map of the world covering one of his walls, and although now it’s been taken down for the move I used to stand in front of it often. Before Europe I would stare at all the countries I was about to see- places I honestly never thought I would have been going to any time soon because I thought I couldn’t afford it or would never be able to take enough time off work to go.
Then I learned anything is possible, you just have to get a little creative and push yourself beyond your comfort zone to get what you want.
After Europe I would stand in front of the map, reflect back on all my memories and dream about all of the other places around the world I would love to see next. Stephen had pins stuck in across the map for all the places he’s been- everywhere from Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa, the U.S. and Central America. I couldn’t wait to add more to my list but I was so happy to have made a dent in my world traveling goals. I would look at how big the world is compared to our little corner of the United States, but at the same time how small it is thanks to today’s world and technology.
The past few month I’ve been standing in front of the map, but staring at one particular place- Australia. I would get butterflies in my stomach thinking about how much of it I have left to experience, and how finally I will be living close to the ocean- something I’ve wanted my entire life since we left California. I looked at all the surrounding countries– Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and New Zealand- and how I can’t wait to explore that entire part of the world. I am definitely sad to be leaving the apartment, but I am so ready for this next adventure.
Whether it’s a particular person, job or home- we have to let go of certain phases of our lives so better ones can begin.