I saw an article by Daily Post today, giving a prompt to write a blog post like a list of things, telling a story this way. I wasn’t sure whether I would write anything like that, nothing came to my mind straight away. Then later I was at a friend’s house and she was asking me about our moves and how we managed shipments of our personal belongings and that gave me an idea..
I spent the last 14 (or is it 15 already?) years travelling and at first (when I was still a student) I pretty much lived out of a suitcase, trying not to get more stuff, than I could easily take back home on a flight. But then I moved in with my husband-to-be and we somehow accumulated stuff. We always paid for shipments ourselves, so some of it we had to leave behind. Not always easy, but in some cases very rewarding.
Moving furniture from Germany to China made no sense – flats are usually rented out furnished and we would spend more money on shipment then it would cost us to buy whatever we needed there. Our move was arranged on a very short notice, so selling it on internet had small chances. But we knew of a young couple, who just rented their first flat together. They were still students and it would’ve probably been hard for them to furnish it all at once. Knowing that our sofa helped to make their moving together cosier, definitely made it easier to leave it behind.
Ok, this is one of the hardest ones. I love books. Moving from UK to Germany to China and then (the most difficult one) to Russia, meant leaving more and more behind.. I already wrote about this heartbreaking experience here. So, moving to Czech, I’m sticking to ebooks until we find a proper Home.
– Kids’ things
When we moved from Germany to China, our older (then – only) daughter was 1 year and 4 months and by that time we had quite a lot of baby clothes and toys, she outgrew, car seat, etc etc. And we also had a pregnant friend. Of course, there was no question who needs these things the most. Funny thing, these friends sent us some of the stuff back, from Holland to Russia, when I got pregnant with our second child. Our car seat became kind of an expat as well, serving its purpose in three countries.
My favourite flowers. I had dozens of them, mini, huge, different colours and shapes. I was a bit crazy about tending to them – fertiliser, North-facing window, no drafts, daily sprinkling with water. They paid me back with almost constant blooming. (You can probably guess that I didn’t have kids when I started it. And when my first daughter was born, it was already a habit, although a time consuming one). I couldn’t take them to China, of course. But I gave them away to a good friend. They bloom in a very good family now, so I’m happy.
Now, this piano (not a huge thing, but a full length electric one) had a very interesting life so far. It was bought by a Russian student in London. She left it behind, when she went back home after graduating, to another fellow student. He, in turn, left it to my husband (not sure why, as he never learnt how to play it, I guess it was fate). When we moved from UK to Germany, I wanted to take it with us as I thought that one day I would be more disciplined and actually sit down and remember whatever I learnt in my music school. Somehow, it never happened, then my daughter was born and then we were planning another move. One of our very good friends is a great musician. He plays a bunch of different instruments, piano one of them, and he also composes beautiful music. We left this piano for him and we never made a better choice. Now this piano actually lives a full musical life and our friend sent us a lullaby, which he composed for our daughter. It’s beautiful and I’m very grateful.
This is tough. In every country we lived, I met amazing people, who I had very good times and shared interesting conversations with. And then you have to move, or they have to move, or both. But you know what – I’m looking at a bright side. I have friends in so many countries now! I connect with people, who make my life fuller and richer. And, of course, thank God, there’s internet!
And here we come to the last, but the most difficult one. During my first years away (and I was 17, when I went to become a student in UK) I felt completely lost and disoriented. That was the time when I made the best friends, who I still keep in touch with till this day. They supported me and made this time more bearable. Then I grew up, learnt to deal with it. Started my own family, made it grow. My parents and my sister have 7 hours time difference with me right now, but I speak (or text) with them every day. It’s like they’re in the same city, just busy working or something. Makes you think how privileged we’re living at the age, when half a world across is only a phone call away.