Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. — Neale Donald Walsch
Having made my decision to travel with Remote Year, it was time to call it a wrap on my 8 years in New York City and get started on my next adventure. What better way to stress yourself out than keeping up with a full time job, and managing not one but two moves?!
So what did I do? Moved my long awaited, world travelling, couch surfing friend into my living room to keep me sane. While neither of us may truly be sane, it was the best decision we both could have made!
Being able to speak with someone who had just completed her own version of my adventure was a life saver as she kept my emotional roller coaster in check and packing on schedule, all while providing constant entertainment with her transition back to the American life.
The Purge: While we worked to balance our movie nights, social lives and finding her a job, the closure of my NYC life began. I cleaned out closets and cabinets, while Helen questioned if I really needed the crazy Halloween decor and outfits lost to my closet ages ago. The purge was refreshing and made space for moving supplies. That is, until we started packing and allowed boxes to slowly take over Helen’s “room”!
Helen paid her rent in full by taking everything we purged for donations. Lucky for me, she enjoyed the long, long walks.
The Logistics: It was time to put my project planning skills to the test. I worked out the logistics of moving from NYC back to the Midwest, recruited my Dad for the drive and acquired my “storage units” in the form of my parents and grandparents houses. I found friends to help me with notarized letters to end my lease, and started identifying all the accounts, subscriptions and memberships to end. I learned new social media skills (#slack), read advice from fellow remote travelers and bought the travel essentials.
Trtl travel pillow, Tesalate towel and Cotopaxi backpacks for the win!
The Packing: Whatever time you give yourself to pack your life, double it. Double your budget, too, while you’re at it. The packing was exhausting. Knowing that I would not be unpacking for an extended period of time, I tried to keep my life organized in boxes and bins, which meant a special “Europe” box with all the travel essentials. There was no way I’d be packing my converter in a random box, never to be found!
This also meant getting rid of furniture, and I quickly learned the ins and outs of online marketplace sales. While it came down to the wire and meant camping on the floor, I was excited to have everything sold and out of my apartment before my Dad showed up. Helen and I maneuvered some exciting obstacle courses made of boxes, bed frames, and couches – we’re now seasoned experts and could pass any challenge!
Time for a Break: To keep myself sane, I had to get away from the city and my mess of an apartment for a while. Lucky to have a friend in the mountains, I booked myself a flight to Colorado for some fresh air and relaxation, complete with my first snowshoe adventure. Little did I know it would be the best ski weekend of the season, so we took advantage, made the first lift and got the best of the powder!
Back to Reality: With my boxes packed, moving day was upon me. How lucky were we to start the day with torrential downpours and flash flood warnings?! My friends say it was NYC crying for my departure – aren’t they the sweetest! I braved the rain for a final trip to Starbucks, and it all began. Dad got stuck with a longer than expected drive due to flooded roads, but when he arrived the skies opened up to a bright, sunny day. We loaded up the trailer, said goodbye to my apartment, and headed off into the sunset.
Ok, we were a little earlier than the sunset but we were now off to Chocolate World! I had officially left the comfort zone of life as I knew it, with no address and no clue where I would be 6 months from that day. While I still had just under two weeks until lift-off, it was time for my new life to begin.
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I am inspired, and thrilled that despite a bit of chaos, you are on your way. My year in France way back when shaped me in ways you are soon to discover. Godspeed dear friend, the internet age will allow us all to share in your journey. We miss you already on the concrete jungle.
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