The past few months have certainly highlighted the list of disadvantages of moving: there’s been the usual stuff such as ending rental agreements and utilities and redirecting mail, finding schools, etc… but because we’re moving abroad there’s also been the more time consuming stuff such as completing visa applications, undergoing extensive medical assessments, learning a language, closing and opening bank accounts, setting up software on the computer that will allow access to sites (such as Facebook) that are banned in China, selling the car, co-ordinating movers with air-flights …. blah, blah, blah.
However, the most difficult aspect by FAR has been saying good-bye to our very special circle of friends that we have formed over the last 3 years. I am deeply grateful for having met these ‘Santa Barbarians’ – an open-minded, caring, grounded, generous and healthy bunch of people. It’s often only when people and circumstances are taken away that we truly appreciate their real importance in our lives. Sniff, sniff….teary eyes.
BUT to be true to my intention to be joyful I have dug around for the advantages of moving (which has been hard given the statistic that says that moving is the third most stressful event you can endure, following death and divorce)
So here it goes, the benefits of moving:
1/ De-cluttering – by far the biggest advantage is de-cluttering. I’ve discovered that I actually prefer getting rid of ‘stuff’ versus aquiring it and it gives me a great sense of clarity and freedom. If it’s not useful or beautiful, toss/give/sell it. ‘Less is More’ after all!
It never ceases to amaze me just how few things/objects we actually need.
2/ Excitement – the excitement of discovering a new continent, culture, language, CUISINE.
3/ Communication – bidding farewell to friends or greeting new ones seems to involve a deeper level of communication with deeper connections that I find very moving.
4/ Family ties– I feel that big changes seem to strengthen bonds between family members – as they clutch together for survival!
5/ Freedom to be yourself – when you are surrounded by strangers in a foreign country there is a great sense of freedom. Any ‘errors’ that you make are simply due to the fact that you are an ‘ignorant foreigner’.
6/ Rediscovery – There’s also the opportunity to rediscover yourself as you witness how you react to the changes.
7/ Safety -over the past 2 weeks we have been subjected to forest fires and an earthquake here in Santa Barbara and so (if I turn a blind eye to the recent stories from China regarding the thousands of dead pigs floating in the Huangpu river running through Shanghai, the human deaths from bird flu and the increasing tensions between the Chinese government and neighboring countries not to mention the pollution…) California is simply not a safe place to live!
8/ Um….. it forces self-reflection….
Any other ideas?
Next blog will be from Shanghai as we fly out tomorrow!