Is there anything to inspire a person more into action than accepting an international job that gives you two months to pack up and prepare to move? Especially when you’ve done it all before, and learned all the mistakes the hard way the first time? Oh the clarity of what really needs to be done and what hard choices really need to be made!
Over the past month I have been working and attempting to finish up some projects that I’d really rather avoid taking with me. But in the back of my mind, I’ve also been constantly thinking about my month of no work before I move, and my 13 metre square unit full of all my worldly goods, that could probably be whittled down before departure.
I’ve also had a slightly relaxed mentality that actually, everything’s already packed up, so it won’t entirely matter if I don’t accomplish much.
But inspiring me along the way are thoughts like:
- Only one suitcase is coming with me. Its only two years, and I don’t need much.
- Technology makes things practical and easy. I have an inventory of my books in storage, I can just buy the e-versions and read some of them, and when I come home, ditch or keep the actual book. Or keep the e-book version only.
- I once worked out that if I placed the cost of shipping my stuff around the world and storing it on just my books only, which really are the only things of true value, then each book I own (600) has cost $50 in addition to the value of the book, just to keep. This thinking really forces you to calculate how much you value your stuff.
- I have wanted to make my own photo scrapbooks of my travel for a long time. I have 10 shoeboxes or so of souvenir stubs and other collectibles waiting with journals to go into these as yet unmade books. So how about if I find all the journals of what I did and said first, scan these into e-version, to upload along with my digital photos online to start these as yet unmade scrapbooks? Then when I come home I can easily just add the stubs, throw out whatever I don’t need, and my tales are done.
So one afternoon prior to the end of my job here I sat with my diary which is filled with all my big projects I’d like to work towards and achieve long term, and made a list of what could be done using today’s technological advances, whilst living away from the majority of my stuff, in another country. Then I made a list of what could be done here in my free month, while I’m not working and while I have close access to my stuff.
The result was a lot of things to sell, recycle or donate. The upshot being this: I’ve been a broke uni student for 5 years and travelled the world acquiring far too much prior to that. Everything acquired then got overused and overloved and/or outgrown during my student years. I bought a few cheap things during these years to fill my student flats that no longer serve a purpose. Once I’m working from next month, I will be able to replace my wardrobe – meaning I can take only the bare minimum of clothing with me abroad and buy new things, classic and quality, that will last me for the next phase of my life – the rest of my thirties. Time to say goodbye to the clothes I wore through my twenties. When I come home, if/when I come home, I can acquire what I need then, but perhaps I’ll have a partner, a child, perhaps I will quickly build my dream tiny home and not need so much stuff. This goes back to that point about valuing the true worth of your stuff. Why keep things you may not need in future? I really don’t even have much anyway.
Time to start the new phase of life and stop leaving the ‘maybe’ stuff behind – and paying for it to live there – when it could be better used in another home.