Most of my readers know that my husband and I packed our bags to move half way across the country. Another change in our life without a plan. So, how is it working out?
Before we left
First, a few details. My husband and I have moved from Winnipeg to the Okanagan Valley, in British Columbia. Both of us had been feeling a yearning for a different setting. In my case, I wanted to be surrounded by more nature, the appeal of urban life starting to fade. So, my husband left his corporate job with no other plan than to hop in the car and head west. (If that sounds like déjà vu, you’re right. It seems like “no planning” is a recurring theme in our life.) We stuffed our car with our belongings, stored some items with friends and family (which is a story in itself; keep reading) with the only preparation was a five-month lease we signed on a cottage.
I have to say that the experience wan’t always positive. On some days before we headed out, when I talked to people about my upcoming change, I felt excited describing my new surroundings and opportunities. On other days, I was paralyzed with grief at the idea of not having friends, family, favourite restaurants and shops nearby.
To prepare for Moving Day, we decided to downsize quite a bit. Our current home in B.C. is temporary (we got just a 5-month lease) and much smaller than our apartment in Winnipeg. Plus, we both felt that schlepping all of our furniture, electronics and other household items cross-country was too much hassle.
So, we sold many of our housewares and gave a lot to charity. I experienced many emotions during this downsizing, from relief (“phew, how nice to clear up all this space!”), anger at the world (“why did humans invent hoarding! look at all this stuff!”), anger at myself (“why didn’t I get rid of this stuff years ago?”) to grief (“I’m really going to miss this item.”)
We had difficulty determining what items were essential for us to bring in our car for our roadtrip-slash-move. Both my husband and I somehow over-estimated the size of our vehicle. It was quite a blow when, less than 24 hours before our scheduled departure, we started to pack our car and realized that it did not work like this:
After a flood of emotions (“oh my God, we leave tomorrow morning, and nothing fits!”), some meditation, we were able to whittle down the “essentials” to “really essentials” and stuff every nook and cranny of the car — with some help; thanks M&D! — to be ready to leave Saturday morning.
Now that we’re here
After a three-day drive from the Canadian prairies to the Okanagan valley, we have sort of started to find a routine in our new surroundings. There have been growing pains this past month. We’ve both had doubts about why we’ve taken this journey.
We have had some fun too, meeting new friends, taking a near-spontaneous trip to Vancouver, and finding beautiful hiking trails in our back yard where you get zero bars of service on your cell phone! Ah, to be disconnected! I use moments like these to remind myself why I came out here; I take the moment to let the energy of my surroundings fill me from the inside of vitamin N.
And all that stuff we gave away? We hardly even think of any of it. Nothing bad has happened to us without it There are a few things that we will be happy to get our hands back on when we eventually return to Winnipeg to pick them up with from the friends and family holding them for us. But, on the whole, we are doing fine without that spare bedroom full of stuff many of us seem to have. It makes you wonder why you often hold onto things for such a long time.
I was considering ending this blog entry talking about the benefits of getting out into nature, decluttering your home, following your intuition, but I didn’t think that would be a fun way to end this post.
But, I don’t think there’s a “conclusion” to this story yet, because I think it may be while before I fully understand what has drawn me to move to another province. I think there’s probably more to this unexpected sequence of events:
Jean travels to Europe for 3 months
Hubby takes a vacation in Penticton while Jean is in Europe
Hubby falls in love with the region
Jean returns from Europe, starts his own business
Two years later, couple takes a vacation in Penticton
Both feel stronger yearning for change
Hubby quits job shortly thereafter
Couple moves to Penticton
Let’s see what happens next…