It is January 2019. In January 2016 I moved to Austria. In 2017 I moved to Italy. Since then I had to move to a new house 6 times. Yup, 6 times. The 7th time is coming soon and then the 8th for sure.
I would love to share with you guys what I have learnt from all these challenges of finding a new place and moving around so many times.
I want to talk about how to deal with change and constant transitions. I want to share with you what I’ve learnt so far and hopefully help you in case you are going through something similar.
Let’s go back to 2016.
3 years ago I moved out from my family’s house for the first time to study abroad. Everything was an absolute drama. I knew I would miss my friends, suffer with the cold weather, not understand a damn thing of the new language but the biggest challenge of all was deciding what to bring with me. That was a nightmare
Regarding material items Débora from 2016 needed everything. I needed 45 socks, 10 black tshirts, all the books I owned and of course the extensive photography album.
“But Débora, it is only for 6 months. You are coming back after that.” I was not sure about it, so I made sure I was taking everything I “needed” with me. Mistake. After 6 months I came back. The useful items represented a small percentage of all the stuff I have brought with me.
After 3 years and moving so many times, I understood that all I need is a bag of clothes, my computer, camera and almond butter.
Today I counted them. I have 3 black t-shirt and I still think I have too many.
So what I actually learn from all of this?
Here we go!
Number 1: You do not need that 10th black t-shirt.
I love my black clothes. I mean, they match with everything and they are easy to clean. Is there anything better than that?
The only problem is that I end up having several pieces that look the same. When I went through my wardrobe for the first time it was shocking to see so many clothes that look the same.
I had to choose.
It was the first time I decluttered my room for real. It felt like freedom. It felt I was breathing pure air again. Life felt good.
Even after choosing what I was not keeping and what to bring to my next destination I brought a lot of things. In my head they were important. So they flew with me to Austria.
After six months that nice hat, those 3 cute skirts and that pair of old Converse were still in the same spot. Then I realized I need less than I think. I do not need a pair of shoes that only match with that black dress. There is no need for 3 jeans when in the end there is only one that suits me well. There is no point on keeping a skirt (still with the tag on) hoping someday it will look nicer on me. There is no need to keep clothes and things that someday might be useful. It was time to erase all “somedays”.
Number 2: You will change
Gradually you change. Your surroundings change and that changes you. You come back home and you are no longer interested in the same things you were before. Things, people, food, places… Your interests are not the same. People will point out that you have changed. You just need to smile and say “yes, I did”. You are not an alien, you are just different and that’s totally normal!
Throughtout your life many things will happen to you. You will change because of them. Your feelings will change too. You just need to understand it is completly normal. Keep your mind open and embrace the change.
Number 3: You are alone. And that is fine.
You get your bum in a plane, boat, train (whatever it might be) excited about life, you get to the place and what do you feel next? Alone. That’s right.
New city, new country, no friends , no family. Believe me, you will feel alone.
The good new is: feeling alone does not mean feeling lonely.
You are the one that decides either you will be alone or lonely.
You will have two options: get up, explore the new city, new people and new surrondings by yourself or you wrap yourself in your fluffly blanket and be depressed about everything you are “missing out” by being far from your comfort zone.
In doubt… I suggest you the first option.
Number 4: You become your best mate.
Since you are alone you will be force to spend more time with no one but yourself! You become the person that you spend more time with. You become your best company and that is amazing. You learn more about yourself, what makes you happy – what you really enjoy in life! Plus, you finally have time to read those 5 books!
You will learn how to spend time by yourself and not feeling bad about it. You will also learn how to value your free time and who’s worth to spend time with. At the start it won’t be easy, but you will get there. Believe me!
Number 5: You will miss your people
Your friends are not there anymore. There are no invitations for dinners. There are no conversations in cosy cafés. There are no afternoons spent walking around with no direction.
You will miss those unexpected nights out. You will miss those walks, those conversations, those morning hugs. You will miss your friends, your family and the people you care the most. Sometimes you wake up feeling empty. You have no idea why, but that happens. You go through your day. In the end of it, you realize you felt like an empty bedroom because you miss them. You enjoy the life you built outside. But damn, there are some rough days!
You talk to them, your energy arises and a new day starts. You embrace it and keep going because the truth is – you are the one who decided to move, to look for adventure, to change and learn. In the end you just gotta keep going.
Number 6: Be open to the unexpected
My biggest most important essential advice for all of you: Do not plan too much! Be open to the unexpected in life!
I have to admit in the beginning I was planning to much. That not only made me anxious but gave me the feeling of “man, this isn’t right” when something different from the plan would happen. Even when that different thing would be better than what I was getting ready for – I wouldn’t be ok because it was just different! How crazy was it?
Please, do not do that.
Plan but not too much.
First because by the time that plan comes along you will be different. Your will and desires won’t be the same. As a friend of mine used to tell me: Don’t make future decision with future information that you still didn’t get.
Why should you limit the future you from something you plan just because? Just don’t! 🙂
I mean, look at me! I just wanted to learn Italian! I ended up travelling the whole year, falling in love and change my career!
These were my own personal insights amongst so many!
What about you? Any insights or tips you would like to share with us?