I am currently in the process of packing 9 years of my life into a 25 kg suitcase and a 10 kg hand luggage. I have approx. 70 kg of goods packed in lovely boxes (they were used to bring polish sausage Sokolow to Ireland) obtained in a Polish shop in Ballymount. They will be transported to my family home by one of the many Polish carriers. Why family home? We don’t have an address in France and it’s cheap. So cheap that I can afford to cling to my books and DVDs.
You don’t usually notice how much you accumulate in your house. I started simple, some books ( I am so glad I started using audiobooks some time ago!), CDs, then mugs and when we rented an apartment as a couple 3 years ago, nothing could stop me from buying more! We made 2 trips to Ikea for basic furniture and tableware and kitchenware. After that I made an additional 2 secret trips for more tableware, decorations, cushions and garden items and more! I knew, I would be questioned on the actual reason why we need these things so I couldn’t risk taking my second half with me. I’m sure you understand. I was on a mission of making our new place A HOME. That was 3 years ago. Would I take him with me knowing we will have to pack/sell all of this and move to France? Perhaps yes.
Just to give you some perspective in 2006 I arrived in Dublin with 15 kg luggage and a laptop (ONLY!) on board a Ryanair flights. Memorable experience, reminded me at the time more of a live stock transportation, with crowds pushing through the gates, people clapping after successful landing and standing up as soon as the plane touched tarmack. I remember the horror in the stewardesses’ eyes that November, followed by an immediate display of anger and shouting ‘SIT DOWN, SIT DOWN, SIT DOWN’!!! In that instant I knew this wouldn’t be a career I liked for myself. Ever. Even though it was my dream job when I was in primary school (just after the collapse of communism). It was a golden opportunity to travel the word, I’d thought. But the times have changed. I have to admit with a relief, that the last decade of affordable travel educated most of my then co passengers, who for the first time took a plane and eagerly flooded the green island in search of work and a better life. These days nobody claps, you can hardly meet somebody intoxicated to the level that they struggle to walk, but there is a new trend. A trend showing that Poles feel good in Ireland and decided to build their future here. Children are on every plane. The most entertaining thing for me is that the whole experience of traveling thousands of kms in the air, is something totally normal for them. Some of them are excited but most of them just get on with it. It’s their 5th, 6th or even 8th flight even though they are barely 5 years old! How cool is that? The new generation will be very interesting to watch growing up.
But coming back to my packing. It is painful. As a proactive procrastinator I even got myself a book The life changing magic of tiding up by Marie Kondo. One has to motivate oneself somehow, right? I started with clothes. My collection ranged from size 10-14 and I had pieces as old as 15 years, and no, they weren’t vintage yet. That was ME clinging. ….I could always loose weight. This pattern could always come back next season… I said ENOUGH and everything I didn’t wear for more than 2 years ended up in one of the many charity shops in Dun Laoghaire.
Then there were shoes. I felt like Gollum giving up his Precious. My boyfriend made a bet with me. He said I had more than 50 pairs of shoes. I laughed. Not possible. Seriously? We agreed the winner gets a breakfast in Cafe du Journal in Monkstown. We started counting, 1, 2, 3…48, 49, 50, 51… and 2 more pairs in the office under my desk! He got his breakfast and I reduced the amount of pairs to 25. Nobody said it will be easy. Just to compensate myself the loss I made a promise that as soon as I get a job in Geneva, I am on the train to Milan to buy some beautiful shoes. Shallow? Perhaps yes, but it worked when giving up half of my collection. Plus it’s another motivation to get a dream job.
You might wonder why we didn’t hire a company specialising in removals… the answer is simple enough. The cost was higher than the value of the goods. After receiving the quote we quickly sold our fantastic Ikea furniture on Facebook and DoneDeal. We not only saved the money on transport but as well earned some money! We managed to sell all the music equipment including a base guitar, a base amp, 2 keyboards (please don’t ask, it wasn’t mine) and even 2 cars. We distributed smaller items among our friends and neighbors. Done and dusted!
We have the last week now to sort out things and decide what is important what is not anymore.
Even though it’s a pain, it’s a totally liberating experience. I’ve learned a few things about letting go and about myself. I can start fresh again now. I made space for new and I promised myself to collect more memories and experience than things. (Except that pair of shoes from Milan!)
Wish me luck.
That’s our destinations