Hello From Belfast!

Hello there, it’s been awhile. Sorry about that. Sometimes life gets in the way of blog writing and over the last few weeks that had been more than true.

We have been residents of Belfast for a full week now and although it has been significantly more relaxed than our last week in Chester, it has still been filled with more organizing, unpacking, re-packing and general moving tasks than I had hoped. Only yesterday did we get out for a spot of sight-seeing, having the great foresight to take full advantage of the rare sunny day.

While I never expected that packing up and moving the entire contents of our life in England would be easy, I was unpleasantly surprised by how arduous the task turned out to be. Thank goodness that I started organizing and purging the house early on or the whole task would have been infinitely worse. In the end we made it through, and without having any major fights, but it is really something that I would prefer to never again undertake! Damian is emphatic that the next time we move it will be to somewhere that we will stay forever. Oh, the things we say in moments of misery.

As unpleasant as the entire project was, it has taught me a number of lessons that I hope will inform the way that I live my life from now on.

The two most unpleasant lessons I learned from packing up my life:

You have underestimated the amount of “stuff” that you own
I was so sure that we (well, really I) had been good about not collecting too much stuff over the four years we lived in England. Epic fail! We had significantly more crap than I realized, and that was in the house of two people who had been trying to be conscientious about not collecting vast amounts of stuff because we never knew if we would be staying in Chester, or England for that matter. Lesson #1, if you have any aspiration to pack up your life and go on an extended holiday stop bringing stuff into your house NOW! You will thank me, I promise. My new motto? If you don’t want to have to throw it out later, don’t bring it home now.

The cheapest solution isn’t generally the easiest solution
Both Damian and I are naturally frugal people, which is in part why we are able to travel as often as we do. We try not to waste our money and we are always looking for the best deal in everything we do. This is why we decided not to put all of our stuff into a storage locker in Chester but to ship most of it to Damian’s father’s house in Belfast and find short-term homes for the rest at friend’s houses. This seemed like a good idea at the time because it would about half the cost of a storage locker. This turned out to be our biggest error. Although it would have been more expensive in the long run to have a storage locker, the entire process would have been considerably easier and we wouldn’t have our worldly possessions stored in no less than seven different houses. We also wouldn’t have needed to get rid of as much stuff as we did simply because we had nowhere to store it. You live, you learn I guess.

Though the whole moving process was largely unpleasant, there were some bright spots, particularly in regards to our friends. We learned just how great our friends in Chester really are, which only made it all the harder to leave. These friends, which we have only known for a maximum of three years, have been so generous with help, space in their houses, and general sentiment and it has all meant so much to both of us. This has very much been a “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” moment for us, which is a valuable lesson to learn in itself.

Before we know it, it will be time to hit the road again. Probably just as we are starting to settle in here. Such is the life of a vagabond I suppose. Until then we’re going to try and make the most of Belfast while we’re here. Today we’re going to visit Drumalis, a historic house just outside of Belfast that today serves as a centre of spirituality, peace and reconciliation and ecology. We’ll also get to celebrate the second birthday of Damian’s nephew with the family, which is something that we rarely have the opportunity to do.

Onwards and upwards, I say!

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