The Big Move


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

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Junieper2 says:

    Oh Brenda, I would be stressed too, moving to another country is exhausting, but if France is more beneficial to you, than it’s worth it!! If you forget something, so be it. Your passport is the only important thing!!
    Sorry you have to leave your daughter behind in Hong Kong at this time. Here in the US news from outside the country trickles in very slowly. The same news my son in Holland had the news 3 weeks earlier about the protesters. I am praying the citizens of Hong Kong will be given what is reasonable, instead of a communistic prison. Hope the government realized they will lose hugely – also business wise if Hong Kong will politically become like the mainland.

    Don’t reply now, you have enough to do, but I would be thrilled to get news from you when you’re in France:) Have a great and comfortable trip!


    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement. The trip went smoothly and my husband and I, with our grown son, are safely in Perpignan. The people are friendly and we’ve enjoyed getting to know our new place. Thank you for your prayers for Hong Kong. The people there are heavy on my heart and of course my daughter. I’m very thankful for “What’s App” and the ability to easily talk with her. So far she is doing fine and staying safe.

      I apologize for the long delay in responding. It was very sweet of you to give me permission to write when I was able. The temporary lodgings we are staying in currently, while looking for longer-term accommodation, only provides internet access for a few hours each day. It’s okay, I just have to use my time wisely.

      Take care!


      1. Junieper2 says:

        Thank you for all the good news! I know from experience that the adjustment to a new country takes time. Don’t worry about it. Hope the adjustment to a new culture and language will go quickly! What the nearest big city?


  2. oneta hayes says:

    Happy moving to you. Let us know sometime all the good things you find in France. Remember your rule “get sleep” and rest.


    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comments! The trip went well and smooth, though long. For the last week, I’ve made up for rest I lost in the process and the travel. As I get older, jetlag hits me harder. It’s okay, I just get that extra sleep. =)


  3. JT Twissel says:

    Good luck! I hope it goes well.


    1. Thank you so much for your well wishes!! The travel went smoothly and I think I’ve recovered, mostly. =) It really is a lovely place and the people are very friends. Now, I need to learn French. “Au revoir!”


  4. Ann Coleman says:

    Those are great tips! I’ll be thinking of you and your upcoming move, and I really hope it all goes well.


    1. I hope the tips are as helpful to other travelers as they are to me. No crying babies, the food wasn’t bad though I had some nice snacks in case, and overall the trip went well. One of the bags went on an extra excursion to Zurich, but we received it a few days later, no problem. Thank you so much for your thoughts and your good wishes, Ann! =)


  5. Create Space says:

    It’s been a pleasure reading your posts Brenda and I hope to read many more from your new home in France.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Marie, that very sweet! I’m happy you’ve enjoyed the posts. I’ll keep writing and putting it out there, so happy you’re on the other end to read and encourage. =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Create Space says:

        Can’t wait to learn lots more!

        Liked by 1 person

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