When I was a student as UCSB, I remember very distinctly how my life fit within the trunk and back seat of my Hyundai Excel. Every box and suitcase has its specific place, and I packed the car up the same way at the beginning and end of each school year.
When I moved to Japan, I was only allowed two large suitcases and a carry-on. At the end of five years, I sent home 10 boxes and took back with me those two large suitcases and a carry-on.
Before I left for Vietnam, I sent 10 boxes ahead and then packed up those ridiculously large suitcases again, for one final trip. I paid excess baggage fees for having super heavy bags…I don’t know what I was thinking….why did I need all of that stuff with me? I packed my clothes, but mostly my treasures from Japan. Little trinkets I had collected over five years and felt an essential part of my daily existence. Some of those items never even made it to a shelf.
I threw away a ridiculous amount of toiletries. When I go to Bangkok, I usually go to Boots and stock up on all sorts of lotions and potions, soap and scents, creams and cures. I’m embarrassed to say how little of those things I actually used!!!
I prepared my items for the movers in just a few days time. I sorted things out between clothes and materials, artwork, breakables, bedding and then the dishes and kitchen ware. Five guys packed up my stuff in little over 30 minutes and 15 boxes. The move will cost me about $2600. (Yeeowza! OUCH!) I’m thankful I have not a stick of furniture!!! I can only imagine the cost then!
One thing has been constant in all my moves overseas…my journals. These are the books of my life, since the time I was eleven. These journals are so special to me, they go with me on the plane. It makes for a heavy carry-on, but I don’t care. I always feel like I can close my eyes and remember certain snapshots of my past. But when I spend time at the end of the year to read through a lot of entries, I’m surprised by how little I actually remember. I’m in a constant stage of “Oh yeah! That one!” So I remember once I’m reading it, but initially I feel like I’m peeking into someone else’s life.
One of my projects when I’m in San Diego (and before I am employed) is to get a scanner and make a digital copy of my books. That way, the next time I move I can access my writings on my computer and not have to lug a bunch of books about. Although if I do move “for good” the next time, then I may just have to take the colorful stories of my life with me on the plane one last time.