You probably didn’t notice (and I don’t hold that against you) but I haven’t written on my blog in over a month. I’m not moving on from blogging, but rather, I’m moving out. As in out of my house. I’m doing that big life transition where you move out of your family home and move into the big bad adult world. And I’m not just starting a new part of my life, I’m starting almost completely fresh. To be honest, I’m pretty much setting myself up for failure. I’m Rachel, on Friends, moving to New York to live with her friend, except I’m moving overseas not just to the city, and I don’t have daddy’s credit card to get me through the first bit, and I don’t have a cushy apartment that for some reason I can afford on minimum wage.
The usual picture painted is this: you get an adult job, you move out of your family home to start that adult life of your own. Your family helps you pack your stuff into your car and sends you off, it’s bittersweet but you know you’ll be okay.
Reality check: VERY few people actually get that experience. I’m the kind of lucky person who had the very fortunate comfortable and loving homelife that would have afforded me that experience, if only I had at least tried to get a job in my own country. Instead…
The picture I’m painting: I pack one big suitcase, one carry on and a backpack. I get on a two hour flight to Toronto, then an eight hour flight to London, then another hour and a bit hour flight to Edinburgh. I go to an Airbnb, because I don’t have an apartment. I spend the next 2 weeks desperately searching for an apartment so that I have somewhere to stay after the Airbnb time runs out, and so that I have an address to put on job applications, because YUP, that’s right, I don’t have a job.
At the expense of over-doing it with the Friends references, whenever people ask me what the plan is, I just say, “Plan? What plan? I don’t have an apartment! Or a job! I don’t have a plan?! I don’t even have a pla!” It’s funny, but it’s getting just a little ~too~ real as my move out date looms.
I’m not totally alone in my chaos though, I’m moving out with a friend. We aren’t going through exactly the same thing, since she’s going to Uni over there and I’m just .. well.. I’m not. We have different things stressing us out about the move which I think is a good thing, because I think if we were in the same boat we definitely would have talked ourselves out of it by now.
Now I know I just made a big deal about how I *don’t have a plan* but really that’s just something I say to get people off my back. Really, moving to the UK without a plan was always my plan. For literally as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to just say “screw it” and move over there, and work a bunch of crappy little jobs just trying to make it work. I have no idea why, and now that I’m starting to freak out about the move and I’m asking myself “Why are you doing this?” am I realizing that I don’t actually know why it’s what I’m doing. Have you seen Mamma Mia 2? It’s like when Donna just goes to that island because “it’s the place to be right now” – it’s not exactly the same because I don’t have that same level of confidence in what I’m doing, but it’s the closest thing I could find.
I have a little jar that I collect my change in, and then I roll it and deposit it and turn it into another currency before I go on a trip. It’s my extra or spare change for the trip. I’ve been saving and spending in it since I was about 16, and I started saving big time this last year for when I moved out. Recently I was adding some cash to it and it was sitting on my bed and I remembered when I made it, because it’s not just any old mason jar. It’s a small mason jar that has been covered, save the lid, with Union Jack duct tape. And I made it in high school at a particularly low point, to add money to for when I eventually moved to the U.K. – it was something I made to bring me a little bit of inspiration and hope in a pretty dark place, to give myself something to look forward to. I’m 22 now, and not long after I made that jar did I start using the money for trips, and then that became what it was about rather than the move – something I never thought I would actually get to do.
It hit me then that I’m living out a pipe dream. For almost all of high school and a good part of university I would go to sleep dreaming of a time when I lived in the UK, of a time when travelling and being alone didn’t terrify me, and I was independent and confident living a full and successful solo life. It was the kind of dream that you give yourself a reality check for, and switch gears just a little to adjust to reality – except I’m just not that kind of person. I’m realizing I never had a moment where I was like, this is stupid you can’t just do that. There have been very few times where I’ve held myself back from going and doing something because ‘people don’t do that in real life’ and I’ve never really noticed until now.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that people move overseas all the time for a lot of different reasons. But I’m the kind of person who almost didn’t get on a 5 hour plane ride to Dublin because the thought of travelling alone (even though I was staying with a close friend for a few days) made me so anxious I fully dissociated from reality and could hardly function during my layover. So moving overseas should not be an easy thing for me to wrap my head around it. My restless dreamer of a spirit and my chronic anxiety are at war, and I’m determined to see the right side to victory.
I’ve leaned pretty heavily on pseudo sciences and introspection to help give me confidence in this move, and I’m pretty shocked at how understanding I’m feeling. I feel a really deep spiritual connection to the Earth and my path on it, which is something I’ve never experienced before. It’s been a really important part of preparing me for my big move, especially when there’s nothing else I can do but wait for takeoff!
I will be doing a packing vlog + moving Q+A so if you have any questions about my move feel free to leave them in the comments! Any words of encouragement would also be greatly appreciated…. and if you know anywhere that’s hiring in Edinburgh, hit me up!