PACKING OUR LIVES AWAY & LEAVING LONDON
October 18, 2016
by Hanna & Zach
Well, that’s it! Let the adventure begin - we’re ready for backpacking around the world and we’re officially moved out of London. And let's just say the last few days were anything but easy! The whole process of packing your life away is one not to be taken lightly. We quickly came to the realisation how much stuff we had accumulated in a couple of years! It’s actually pretty disgusting to think about how much money must have been spent purchasing all the things for often just one use – or not even used once!
We feel so much better now, purging our belongings helped to bring some clarity to our brains. With less stuff comes less things to look after. Everything that we need is now packed tightly into our backpacks and will have to last for at least the next 12 months. It’s a pretty good feeling!
We decided to be ruthless whilst sorting out our London life. There was just no point in keeping a pair of shoes with broken soles that we would never wear again, clothes that literally still had the price tag on them, or a pair of jeans with a broken zip on them! However, that is exactly the kind of things we continually found at the bottom of our wardrobes.
It felt good to donate most of the stuff to the charity shop and to know that one day it will have another life with someone else. The sense of giving was a much needed positivity boost when grinding away through the packing process.
After what felt like the 100th day of packing, the sentimentality of objects was quickly evaporating and a sense of urgency to just get it done was taking over.At first we thought it would be around 5 or 6 boxes but we ended up with more like 25! We stopped caring about the amount of objects to keep when the boxes started mounting up to the ceiling. And besides, what the hell do you do with 25 boxes of stuff if you don’t want to pay a fortune for storage?!
THANK GOODNESS FOR OUR FRIENDS, their cellars and a bike with a carriage…
Many trips on the bike and carriage, many ‘ups and downs’ of a pretty dodgy and steep set of cellar stairs later, and four years of London stuff is now all tucked away!
After packing away all the stuff, we both felt quite emotional about leaving our current lifestyle and decided to write down some of our reflections.
How do you reflect on a city that has given you so much in such a short period of time?
I will keep it short; otherwise this post will go on for about 10 pages just reminiscing about all the good and bad times in London.
Instead, I choose to say ‘Thank You’ to the great city that is London. I say thanks for many different reasons. I thank London for all the amazing experiences and memories I have – taking a swim in the Thames (not recommended), enjoying New Year's Eve with two of my favourite peoples, bonfires in the backyard and some brilliant nights out at the local pub. I say thanks for all the special people I have met along the way and will always remember - you are my audience for this blog, and I truly hope that you understand how much I appreciate your kindness and friendship.
I say thanks to London for changing my life – it wasn’t until I got to the other side of the world for me to discover who I truly am and what I want to achieve in my life.
And most of all I say thanks to London for that one Thursday night out when I should have been on my way home instead of kicking on - if it weren’t for that, I would never have met my lovely wife!
London will always have a very special place in my heart and it will be missed dearly. However, it’s time to move on, get out there and truly discover what the world has to offer.
I truly love London - I’ve always thought this was my dreamland but after a few years here I realised, how can I know that if I haven’t seen the rest of the world?
In London, I always liked that everything was so easily accessible, no matter the time or the day of the week. I thought that London was the city for me because it is as impatient as I am.
However, having got deep into the accessibility and easiness of getting things, I didn’t notice that the only thing that I was missing was time! I constantly lacked it. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it anywhere in London - there were always jobs to do, people to meet and things to achieve. This can be great, but I realised I preferred to live at my own pace.
If not for London, I would have never opened my eyes to so many wonderful things, cultures and people. I would have never broadened my horizons as much as I did in that city. So the departure from what I call my home was really hard and I didn’t really say goodbye, but rather ‘see you later’.
Even the ‘simple’ act of packing all my things away made me realise a big change that happened within me. I’ve always had so many things. Things everywhere - filling my wardrobe from top to bottom, making my drawers difficult to close and filling all the spaces on my shelves. All these clothes and things that I’ve had for years, and didn’t even have the time to wear or use them…I noticed that I was so tired of them all!
It was a challenge to decide what to do with the special things (e.g. the dress that I passed my driving license in or a dress that I wore when Zach asked me if I want to be his girlfriend) but in the end, there were so many stories attached to each item I owned, it was obvious that I couldn’t keep them all.
I haven’t worn these things in ages now and forgot I had them, so I guess they weren’t that important in my life. I decided that I preferred to make the memories which would not based on the clothes and knick-knacks but on the beautiful destinations and undiscovered routes.
So that was the first step to the new lifestyle - such a big change for me to just leave almost everything behind and live using only the things I can carry.
The last thoughts I had before leaving London were all about the the wonderful people that I had a chance to meet, work with, live with and be friends with.
What would this city be if not for its amazing people from all the walks and cultures of life? Thank you to absolutely everyone who taught me a good or a bad lesson, who gave me their time or didn’t have their time for me - this taught me who real friends are. Thank you for everyone who let me work for them and everyone who didn’t want me to work for them as both showed me how I can improve. This city taught me so many difficult lessons and gave me as many tears to match the happiness - all of it totally worth it!
But most of all, London town gave me the best gift ever so far – my bestie & husband who I get to travel the world with - how lucky am I?!
Thanks for that London, and see you sometime after I learn what there is to learn about life!
And below you can see some of the misery we went through whilst starting to pack...that was just the beginning!