This photo encapsulates me today. I’m preparing for a move from Hong Kong to France. On this upcoming Monday in fact. There are protestors at the airport today and a typhoon (a literal one) on the way. I’m feeling stressed. So, I thought I’d take a break and write a post, and simply breath a little bit.
“The gladdest moment in human life is a departure into unknown lands.” (Sir Richard Burton)
I do agree with Sir Richard Burton, that experiencing unknown lands is incredible, but the departing part is not so fun. While I’m very excited about my upcoming adventure, the transition is hard, the goodbyes are difficult, and the packing part can be dreadful. Especially if you’re moving to an unknown place and not just visiting for a week or two. Through this time of transition, I thought of a few tips (and reminders for myself) to share on ways to help stay calm in making a move into the new and unknown.
~ If you can, get organized and begin packing early on. Pack in slow bits. It makes for a much more peaceful process. I did and it honestly has helped me somewhat in this move.
~ Put on calm, soothing music while you pack. Music is always good for the soul.
~ Simplify or purge as you pack. How long has it been since you wore that sweater? Give some stuff away. It feels good to give!
“Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” (Unknown Author)
~ Make a list of all you need and want to do. Then, divide it into time slots. I love lists. Especially when life seems out of control. A way to combat the chaos (for me anyway) is to organize my thoughts into lists, then enjoy ticking off one thing at a time.
~ Get enough sleep each night. Actually, get some extra!
~ Exercise to release those happy hormones. Take short walks, go for a hike or a swim, do a stretching or exercise video, or whatever you enjoy. Breath in and breath out to stay calm.
~ Don’t overdo the alcohol, junk food, or the coffee. Anything, really, that might increase nervousness or sad and depressing thoughts. I drank a bit too much caffeine this morning and feel a little like a buzz saw right now.
~ Another reason to begin the process early is to take time to mentally and emotionally prepare your mind and heart for leaving and for saying goodbye. Personally, it’s going to be extremely difficult to say goodbye to my daughter who is staying here in Hong Kong.
~ Which leads me to another thought. Spend time with people before you go who you will miss when you are gone. Don’t feel pressured to spend your remaining time with people you don’t want to. You can say, “No,” nicely.
~ When you feel overwhelmed, get up off the floor and simply place one foot in front of the other. Do the next thing and you’ll get there.
Tips on How to Survive
…Being Flung to the Other side of the World
~ Get to the airport early.
~ Load your Kindle with lots of books.
~ Wear comfy shoes. Using the bathroom in socks on a long-haul flight is … well … gross.
~ Pack a few light snacks in case the food is “yuck.” It’s about a 50-50 percent chance that the food will be.
~ A neck pillow is a must. My long-haul is twelve hours for the first flight and that’s too long for my neck to stay crooked.
~ Bring earplugs in case you have a crying baby nearby. Now, there’s no judgment here. I’ve wrangled a fussy little one (actually two) on a number of long-haul flights, and I felt terrible for the other passengers. So, be understanding but don’t forget those earplugs.
~ Chewing gum is helpful for the ears on take-offs and landings.
~ Wet wipes are always good to have.
~ Keep your passport with you at all times. The last international flight I took, my passport was stolen and I think it happened on the plane. Also, don’t put anything valuable in your carry-on that goes up in the overhead bin.
I’m a wanderer and I’ve done this before, many times. I remind myself, as a way to remain calm through the transition, that there are good things waiting on the other side. Over the years, moving a lot, I have misplaced friendships that I’m sad about. But, the beauty is there are more wonderful people to meet and know in any new place I travel to. There will be new discoveries to make and places to see. So, when I get there, I’ll unpack and slide my suitcases under the bed. Meet my neighbors. Take a local tour. And, let the adventure begin. I know it’ll be worth the difficulty it took to get there!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” (Mark Twain)
Okay, time to get up off the floor and pack some more. Someone will be here soon to take away my dresser, breadmaker, and cupboards.
Thank you for taking the time to read my “wandering” thoughts!
**Image clipart from clipground.com