How much can life change in the space of a couple of weeks? A month ago I was living in the comfy confines of my parents’ home, casually contemplating life and writing out my blogs at a leisurely pace. I had not long arrived there post disastrous holiday, but with a renewed sense of what I wanted from life. Then I started getting offers for work overseas as a nanny again, and the more I got them the more I pondered life and how to move forward, and the pros and cons of life in Australia versus a nomadic life again. Lo and behold, I decided to go for it, and this time last week I left my family to return to Melbourne for what was a crazy week of farewells, organising and packing.
Having written my post about recycling and trouble getting rid of the excess in my storage unit, the timing was perfect to spend just a short week there preparing for my flight the following week.
Removing unwanted items proved a cinch:
- With my good friend’s help, I returned my horrid camping washer machine to the store, and a 10 litre carton of water that had been unused, getting full refunds.
- A handful of items went off to the pawn shop for a small financial gain.
- A few more items went off to the charity shop for donation – things of an electrical nature like an old battery charger they said they could take apart and sell by piece.
- My food got donated to the free shelf at my old hostel, while special items like my gluten free collection went to a friend who would use them.
- My toiletry collection got a major sorting, and things past sell-by or with a small bit left got binned, some things were given away to friends and the only things that got packed were things I was likely to use abroad.
- My three suitcases of clothes were divided into three piles: stuff that would come with me overseas – most of which would get replaced once I gained income anyway, so desperate was I for a new wardrobe – plus clothes that were too tight, short, small, outdated or worn, bound for the charity shop; and then a third, very exceptional pile of nostalgic pieces (prom dress, 21st dress etc) would for the moment remain in storage. The pile for the charity shop filled a large suitcase to the weight of about 30kg. I was both amazed and proud. Likewise was I thrilled that the pieces to go with me filled just a large suitcase, and I had room to fill a small suitcase with other more random things when I flew.
Overall I was pretty happy with my efforts. Given everything was already in storage and I wasn’t locked into any kind of commitment in Australia – even my mobile phone was past its contract – I was surprised with how easy it was to pack up life. I spent an afternoon on the phone going through my company contacts changing my address and phone number to my parents’ details, and each evening having dinner with friends to say goodbye.
The weekend came quickly and next thing I knew I was headed for the airport, bidding my life in Australia goodbye. Thoughts and plans I’d made for the year about tiny living, minimalism and going through my stuff had to take a back seat for the moment. Overwhelmingly, I needed a job and I knew (sadly) I would have better luck abroad. I also knew that life couldn’t revolve around my storage any longer. I needed a shift in gears – and being overseas, wherever I ended up – could still mean minimising life, but with a different perspective. If I invested in a quality piece of technology, say an iPhone, I could use my book inventory to buy e-book versions and read them on the go, so that when I visited home next I could reduce my book collection. I could use my hard drive of photos and videos to create digital memories and add scrapbook pieces from my storage later. I could buy e-versions of my favourite films, tv shows and music so that I can discard the hard copies later. So much opportunity lay ahead.
All I could do was take the steps with renewed hope. So I did.
I honestly was stunned by how calm and easy it all was. I had this quiet little sense of positivity and faith that I was doing the right thing, because I never got stressed or sad about it. Not even once. Whereas I ALWAYS did in years gone by. Was it because of this blog, and the progress I had been making, my journey towards minimalist living? Or was it because I know I’ll come back someday, see these friends again because this time it’s Australia rather than an international country I have no idea when I’ll visit again? Or was it because this time there were no unknowns? I’ve done it all before and know exactly what to expect, and have learned valuable lessons along the previous journeys to avoid possible mistakes? Maybe it was a combination.
All I know is, my lifelong motto of no regrets held true and steered me once again to my best course, a fantastic new future.