Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Moving On

Getting ready to leave the foreign city you've lived in for the past six months isn't easy. There are the practical considerations such as packing (how did I accumulate so much stuff?!?!), figuring what to do about your cell phone (sell? keep for next time?) and trying to find enough money to pay for the baggage fees that didn't exist when you came out here (could flying get any worse?). Not to mention all the work you know it will take to set up your new life in your new destination. Luckily, experienced travelers know how to manage these tasks while minimizing the collatoral damage that often accompanies them. But there is also an an emotional side to the transition, which is where it gets tricky. Even the most seasoned of globetrotters can be caught off guard by the feelings that accompany a trans-Atlantic move.

First of all, trying to live in the moment and enjoy everything about your current situation can be difficult to do when your mind is already thinking about the future. Some peole will try to cram in all the things they haven't done yet before leaving, while others have reached the burnout stage and are simply waiting to leave. Both situations can be exhausting. Leaving friends and others we have become used to seeing is another cause for emotional strain. There are tears, promises to keep in touch, and wondering when the next meeting will be. You start to think about your favorite stores, restaurants, parks, activities, foods; all the things you won't be able to enjoy once you leave. But mostly you just end up feeling sort of confused. Part of you is excited to head off to a new adventure, while the other part of you is mourning the loss of your current one. Which feeling are you to believe?

Such is the fate of those who are never happy to stay in one place for too long. We accept it because the alternative is to never travel, but that doesn't make it any easier to live through. What's more, experience doesn't necessarily make us better at handling this in-between period of time. That's the thing about traveling: the baggage you carry is often more than just your suitcase.


sdg1844 said...

Too true. Too true. It's all about human interaction and connections. That makes it very hard.

Jenny said...

Agreed.. But every experience is a good one to learn from!

Tanya said...

sdg1844: the human interactions are the best parts, but yes, they are the most difficult as well.

jenny: I will definitely learn a ton from this experience (and already have), I just wish I knew how to make leaving easier, but I don't think that's possible.

Nomadic Matt said...

i like that last quote....it's true!! love it!!

NoellieBellie said...

Hey Tanya - Melina just sent me the link to your blog, and I can totally understand what you´re going through! After three years studying and then working in Barcelona, I´m moving away myself... to PARIS!

Good luck in DC. You´ll have a blast, and Paris isn´t going anywhere. (That´s what I tell myself about Barcelona when get sad!)


Tanya said...

Noelle: Welcome to my blog! You are going to love Paris. You're right, it's not going anywhere, and I have a feeling that I'll be back sooner than I think :-)

Jessica said...

Hey Tanya!

How’s it going?

“Part of you is excited to head off to a new adventure, while the other part of you is mourning the loss of your current one.” You are so right! I always have a hard time saying goodbye to my new home away from home, and I’ve had to do it many times!

I always try to do something spectacular that last day, to keep myself busy and remain happy. :)

Tanya said...

Jessica: Yes, staying busy helps a lot! I did a ton of stuff on my last day in Paris and that really made a difference.