They say moving is one of the most stressful things you can do. I have moved A LOT, apartments, cities, countries. Shedding belongings, saying goodbye, starting over again in a new place has become part of the fabric of my life. I'm used to it, relocating is a low almost inaudible hum in the background of my existence. Like everything, there are positives and negatives to moving frequently. An opportunity - a chance to build a life from nothing is a blank slate almost addictive in it's potential, a new place doesn't lament that you've changed instead you can be anyone you want. I also find shedding possessions very therapeutic, the first time I moved country alone I lived with the limited contents of my backpack for several months, it was freeing, eye-opening and refreshing. Moving can be fun, glamorous, exciting - a store of stories to tell.
It can also be tiring and lonely. Building a new life is a wonderful opportunity but it also takes an incredible amount of energy. By the third time I moved country I was struggling to maintain multiple friendships across timezones, feeling guilty about not keeping up with everyone that I should. Also while it is exciting and fun, those things can be a tough trade to being just an hour from a childhood friend, missing out on thing important to them and things important to you because you cannot unfortunately do everything and as your life spreads thinner across the globe it strains at the edges.
It's good, it's bad, it is what it is. I've been incredibly lucky to have had so many experiences, moving first for adventure, twice for the bureaucracy of visa issues, then work opportunities. One thing I have realised, and that I tell others when they exclaim 'Oh, what an exciting place to live' is that life is life. Commuting, working, eating lunch, buying food, making dinner, washing your socks... day-to-day life is close to the same, where ever you live. When you are in Tesco choosing yoghurt, you could be anywhere, doing exactly the same thing.
Yet here I am, or I should say here we are, moving yet again. This time from city to country. Leaving a life of five years in London city for the northern countryside. Beginning again, yet also a little tired of new starts. It was an idea which when my husband suggested to me I was so weary of relocating that it took me almost a year to warm to the idea. Did he not remember how hard it had been? last time? and the time before? and the time before that? I knew where everything was now, I had perfected my morning tube stare, I had routine, running routes. It was comfortable, safe. It was home. But we had changed, and the city didn't really fit us anymore. London is a wonderful place to live but as we tried to cram two fledgling businesses into a tiny apartment we tripped over possessions and quarrelled, anxious, busy and tired. We craved space and the countryside and a kitchen table that was more than a makeshift desk. I insisted that 'It wouldn't solve all our problems. Moving doesn't solve problems it just takes them to different places', 'it might help' he replied or 'make them worse I said.'
Almost six months on, here we are. Yes, it was hard and scary but we've done it. Living in the countryside, with plenty of desk space and walks, a commute of ten minutes and a kitchen table and a desk. Building a life again... And it is all the things that moving is, it is fun and exciting and refreshing, it's also exhausting and sometimes lonely - but not as much as I thought. The friendliness and the northern charm of everyone we've meet has been like a welcoming hug. It feels like a good fit and that has made it worth it.
Life is completely different now, Lazy weekend mornings in bed have being replaced with standing in a freezing field practicing recall with our puppy. Up to my knees in horse poop. Commuting, working, eating lunch, buying food, making dinner, washing your socks... day-to-day life is close to the same, where ever you live. But if you can make the day-to-day better for you, for what you need, that's relocation for wellness.