The Strange Days Before A Long Term Travel Adventure

The final days leading up to a major international relocation are strange.

I’m stuck counting down the days down, not out of excitement, but because I’m confined to an “in-between lifestyle, which has me trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible, while being unable to plan for anything beyond my departure date. I’ve sold off my large furniture items (couch and big screen TV) and I’m about to unload my mattress. My nicest piece of furniture right now is probably the patio chair on my balcony. A lot of my stuff has been given away to friends, some more is going to the Salvation Army.

I’m at the point now where I don’t want to buy anymore groceries because they’ll just get thrown out. I’m eating a lot of canned foods and pasta that’s been stashed in the back of my cupboards. I’ll take a small backpack and a duffel bag stuffed with clothes with me to Europe. What’s left will be stored in some rubbermaid bins.

While I’ve taken extended trips before (this is the third of four summers that I’ll spend extensive time in Europe) the run up to this one has been a unique experience. I think it’s due to the fact that this is more of a relocation than a vacation.

When people ask me what I plan to do with my summer and I casually tell them, their reaction is always a strong one. “You must be so excited! “That’s amazing! or something to that effect is generally the reply I get. I’m genuinely surprised at how excited people are for my trip. To me it doesn’t feel like that big a deal, it’s just something I’m going to do.

My own reaction to my imminent departure has been surprising to me as well. I feel no apprehension towards this trip. I’ve had very few doubts. As I’ve sold off my furniture and given away my stuff, I’ve felt no moments of regret. I’ve been asked if I’m excited or nervous and the truthful answer is neither. I’m just ready, that’s it. If I had to pick a word, I’d say that I’m eager. Eager to get underway, to get out of this “in-between lifestyle and to get settled in at my new home. I’m very content with my decision.

If you’re reading this and you’ve always thought about living abroad for a while but have been held back by fear or nagging doubt, take from this post that it may not be as terrifying an experience as you might imagine. When you make the decision to commit to this kind of an adventure, it suddenly becomes a simple list of small “to-do items as opposed to an all-consuming, giant undertaking. As an added benefit, preparing for an overseas relocation might provide you with a clear direction, ‚ a feeling of liberation and a sense of contentment that may have been missing from your life. It has for me.

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