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The last night …

This whole thing still doesn’t feel real to me. I can see the bag waiting for me and intellectually I understand that there is going to be a change in my life but I still quite don’t get it.

And there are all these goodbyes. Yes, we will meet again but as my friend I met last night said, Knowing that the opportunity of us meeting won’t be there for a year, that is the hard part. That is hard, parting from people you love and being loved back by. The good thing is that I have these people in my life. That is the best thing with going, friends showing their love, trying to find the time to meet, to spend time together, to show their love.

I just came home from a wonderful evening with friends. They treated me in the best you could ever imagine. We talked for four hours. And we probably could have kept on talking for four hours more. One topic was what makes us travel. Unanimously we agreed on the reason. It is not the sceneries nor the accommodations, it is all about interacting with people. Meeting locals, enjoying the conversations, getting a insight in their lives.

This is the last evening I spend in my apartment before I hand over the keys to my tenant, before I leave. Yes, it is getting emotional. I am a sensitive person. I feel. A lot of more goodbyes to say over the next few days.

I am looking forward to it all.

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9.96 kilograms …

Yes, the photo above is of my rolling bag fully packed for my year on the road. Read more about it in swedish or in english.

With fully packed I mean the bag is packed with the luggage I am bringing. That includes three bottles of lens solution and a few other spare things and there is still room for a bit more.

I am proud of myself. I have to be because this was hard work, mentally hard work. It is so easy to stay in the comfort zone, bring this and that, just in case. I settled with one pair of trousers, one pair of shorts, one skirt, one shirt, 2 t-shirts, 2 tank tops, one dress (I am vain), 4 panties, 2 pair of socks, 1 bra, 1 down jacket, 1 raincoat, 1 set of underwear, 1 pair of walking shoes and 1 pair of nice flat shoes.

9.96 kilograms. I am proud of myself.

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Being serious …

I met a friend for coffee today. She is actually a new acquaintance but it feels like I have known her for ages.

Se we met up, had a coffee, talked about a lot of different things, it turns out she is good at the written words, I don’t consider myself being that, she is well read,  so I asked her. What’s your opinion on my blog?

It has a serious tone to it she says. Serious in a good or bad way I ask her. In a good way she says, it feels honest. She must be a copy cat since I got that comment from another friend the other day.

Being serious has a dull and boring aura. Serious as in not funny, no humour, no laughter. That is not who I am.  But what I am to do has actually a serious tone to it.

Like every change you decide to do in your life. Like leaving an abusive relationship, quitting  a job, divorcing, deciding to have a child or what ever change you decide to make in your life. It has a serious tone.

The great thing with changes is that they are so rewarding.

Life is a journey. A journey includes changes. Enjoy the changes in your life. They are the ones to shape you. Most probably for the better.

There we go again. Me being serious but very honest. Hold on dear readers, all the fun begins on Monday.

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Countdown …

I have rescheduled my departure and am now leaving monday 24 october 1 PM. That is in 5 days. Or is it 6? Do I count today  and the departure day? Monday. Let’s say 6 days.

Yesterday I texted my tenant she can move in Saturday 22 oktober 2 PM. That is one of the big ones. Leaving my home. In a way it doesn’t feel like my home in that warm embracing way. All my personal items, the bits and pieces that show I am the one living there are packed and stashed in the storage room. Once again it strikes me how few belongings we really need. Why keep old t-shirts in the drawer if they are never used. Brita Hahne is running the swedish company SMPL on how to organize pretty much anything. Organizing your stuff also organizes your mind in a way.

All these tiny little things we save to remind us of people we love or places we visited. The precious pieces that makes us feel at home are the ones you can’t bring when traveling.

When backpacking and constantly moving from one place to another I found a technique to make myself at home as quickly as possible. Always arranging my personal belongings in the same position. The book, toothbrush, shampoo, my nighties … That gives a feeling of home even thought the surrounding looks different each day.

The second thing I do is to find a cafe or restaurant to which go at least once a day for the period of time I am staying. Usually I start by telling the owners that I just arrived, where I am from, complementing them on what a nice place this seem to be and that I consider making it my favorite place. Depending on their reaction and the food they serve, later I decide. Trust me, if I go back again they do remember  me. Having breakfast or coffee in this way is the ideal thing to do to make myself feel at home in a new city.

Makes me feel calm when thinking of being on the road.  Soon, very soon.


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Emotions …

Some days are more trying than others. It is getting emotional.

I am a week away from leaving. Friends are calling, realizing this is the last time in a long time we are going to meet in person. To have the confidential talk, to share, like a gift to bring on the journey, like a gift to keep like a treasure while  I am away.

7 more days. I am a bit worn out.

It affects me more than I want, watching my home dismantled, piece by piece, clothes are folded, personal belongings packed, colors canvases and brushes, projects I have started but never finished, projects finished looked at them with the evaluating eye, packing, up and down, opening the padlock, stacking my belongings in the storage. I love my home. I love traveling.

This makes me think of things we own and the human desire to collect. We all love to have beautiful things or things that holds a story valuable to us. My friends and people who know me, wouldn’t define me as a collector. I don’t have a lot. But the things I own are precious to me and I look at them every day. I have walked the downsizing road and I wouldn’t want to go back. Downsizing has given me an inner peace.

And yet I found a lot of things I really do not need while packing. The closest second hand store, Emmaus, is a brilliant place. Gives me so much satisfaction knowing my things will do good to others. This is something everybody should do once a year. Go through your stuff once a year and be really honest with your selves when you think Do I really need this … If not, let someone else have it, donate, let the next person enjoy it. But above all, don’t buy something new to fills that hole. Instead try to enjoy the space. And remember, the less things we own the less time we need to put in to maintenance.

Today I remembered when I was i 8th grade. I was in to performing, mostly dancing and singing. I used to choreograph and I performed either solo or together with friends. The worst moment was just before I entered the stage. The best moments were the once on stage. When things were put into motion, when the only thing I could do was to do what I had started.

This last week will probably be the worst. Dismantling my home and saying goodbye to the once I love. It is going to be the most challenging and emotional week this year.