Jump out of the hamster wheel. Life is too short to remain stuck only dreaming about travel…
That’s how we felt anyways. We have for the past 7 years lived in Shanghai. We have met amazing people who we now call our Shanghai family. We have two dogs and cat – our babies. We somehow managed to build a little family in Shanghai.
During our years in China we tried to make the most of it and travelled as much as our time and budget allowed. Shanghai was a perfect hub for us; 12 hours flight back to Denmark to see my family and 12 hours flight to Melbourne to see hubby’s family. We also felt that it was a very convenient location for travel around Asia. We were never too far away from Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand.. I could go on.
We are grateful for all the amazing memories. Over the past year or two we started talking about our next adventure. We both have a fascination with and love for California. We’ve spent summers there and love the nature, fresh air and opportunities.
Last spring we decided to go for it and to not postpone it any longer. So we slowly started preparing – well aware that there was A LOT of preparing, planning and organizing ahead of us.
We didn’t think that we owned much. But boy were we surprised when we started looking at what we needed to pack, sell and give away. I guess you forget what you have when you put things away in cupboards, drawers etc. It was quite a painful process.
Looking back, I’m glad we started preparing early. I noticed some interesting thought processes and feelings that I went through during this massive cleansing and time of huge change. Moving from stability and security to a new life with minimal possessions isn’t easy.
At times I found myself incredibly emotional. Moving house can be quite an emotional experience. Moving country even more so.
We decided to go lean and get rid of all the things that we didn’t really need. In this process, allow yourself to feel and be aware of your feelings. Don’t disregard the, breathe them in. Try to observe them and notice what you’re feeling and when you’re feeling it as well.
Are certain possessions holding you back? Take a minute to think about why certain things make you feel and if you want to continue to have that connection between your possessions and your body.
Allow your self to feel and move through this transitory time and energy without feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. Instead try to consciously focus on what is important. All these feelings are good. You allow yourself to go through this time of cleansing.
I think both hubby and I were ready to embrace a new adventure. We both saw it as a positive step forward.
GUILT: Going through all of our belongings I was surprised to feel a lot of guilt. We had SO much stuff. Things we had forgetting about. Things we had never used. Things, that were basically totally pointless. What a waste! It gave food for thought about what we had been spending our money on. And I also could help to think about the lack of respect for the environment.
FEAR: I also come to realize that I’m a bit of a hoarder. What if I need it in the future? What a waste to have to buy it again! I feared I would get rid of the wrong things. I feared that I didn’t plan carefully enough.
OVERWHELMED: I wanted to get rid of our belongings quickly. I tried to sell off furniture and electronics, but struggled to find anyone interested. I asked my friends and colleagues to drop by to take what ever they needed from kitchen appliances, to books and bed sheets. I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of things we were trying to get rid of. And also embarrassed by our previous spending and priorities.
It was a massive reality check. We both learnt that we actually don’t need many things. The more things we managed to get rid of, we realized that they weren’t of importance to us. None of the stuff really matters.
No matter how big your move is, we can all do it! Once you embark on the journey the courage starts to kick in. Cutting off unneeded possessions makes you feel courageous. You will slowly allow yourself to reinvent yourself. Allow yourself to move in a new direction and to simplify your life.
- We learnt that life and happiness is more important that stuff.
- We want to prioritize experiences and memories.
- Once we set our goal, we followed It and believed in it.