Our most recent move, was down the road, to a more child friendly home. No flights, school changes, or different languages to learn, we even had people to pack the house up for us! But my goodness it was still emotional. I was totally under prepared for the impact of saying goodbye to a house, which over the past 5 years had become such a signifiant home to us.
It was the house I fell in love with on our pre relocation trip. The landlords had become adopted parents, baking me scones and soup when I was sick, inviting us over for dinner, and drinking lots of whisky together telling us their stories of a country we had begun to call home.
This home had welcomed our dog, daughter and twin boys into our family. String of regular guests from around the world, many parties, and our first home as expats.
Saying goodbye was hard.
Moving, is part and parcel of expat life, and sadly it isn’t a skill you can master. There are a few tips we have picked up along the way that made moving down the road or to a different country that bit more enjoyable. Moving comes with many list’s, colour coding and all things organisational! I have a few additional lists I think people often forget to make, but are well worth the investment to make your move more enjoyable.
Like all things - if you have any gems of wisdom on how you survive moving, and saying goodbye - please let us know in the comments below.
List 1: Intentional
Write a list of all the feelings and emotions you are expecting to go through over your move. Good and bad. Exciting / Stressful / Sad / Hard / Overwhelmed / Peaceful / Mindful / Uncomfortable / Simple / Brave / Tired / Hungry / Strong / Adventurous / Open
List 2: Proactive
Select 2 of the emotions you would like more off. Then write a list of all the ways you could express those throughout your move. For example a exciting move, you could focus on all the new possibilities in each room of your new house, research all the new restaurants you want to eat at, setting aside an afternoon to explore a new area, start following inspirational blogs / instagram accounts for your new city .
List 3: Top 5 things you love to do
Then make time to do them one more time, go to that coffee shop, have a final playdate with the kids in the street, but enjoy them, rather than getting sad that its the final one. Our house was set up for parties, and entertaining, so before we left we had the most incredible christmas party. It was so much fun, with the last people leaving after an early morning swim around 4:30am (lovely when your children wake up at 5am). It was the house at its best, full of our friends, wonderful food, great drink, and everyone dancing having fun admiring the views, specular.
List 4: 5 things you are looking forward to do
Research your new area, and the make a note of the 5 things you can’t wait to do.
List 5: First impressions.
Make time to note down all those quirky things you notice, you will never have first impressions again, dont loose them in and amongst the unpacking stress. These small things will soon become the norm and you won’t notice them anymore. Clara did this in her blog Expat Partner Survival Guide. Its a lovely way to look back and notice the changes in attitudes and adaptations you have made.