Wow how time flies!
About 4 months ago I decided to embrace my love of travel and adventure and go abroad to teach English. I considered Vietnam, China and South Korea but finally settled on Thailand.
I thought it would be a simple process, I don’t own property and don’t have major debt, so I could just get my visa and go, right?
Boy was I wrong! Once I started making lists of everything I needed to do, buy and arrange combined with lists of everyone I wanted to see before I left, I quickly realised just how much there was to do.
So 3 months later, with 24 days to go I have cancelled debit orders, closed accounts, switched insurance, bought hideously expensive luggage and got vaccinated. To name a few.
As painful as this process has been, it has also helped me take a huge leap in terms of simplifying my life and seeing past the mostly useless little things that occupy my time (and wastes my money!)
Here are some things I learned along the way:
1. You have more friends than you think
I find myself saying: “We have to get together again before I leave” every single day. Chances are we won’t. I’m sorry about that but I also count myself blessed to have so many friends who are interested in my plans and sad that I’m leaving. Way more than I ever knew.
2. Your life is way too complicated
Bank accounts, insurance, random subscriptions, club memberships… The list goes on and on. I never realised how many stupid newsletters I was getting, or how much I was paying for crap that was adding no value to my life. This ends now.
3. “I’m moving abroad” is a good reason for pretty much everything.
Whether cancelling a credit card or closing a clothing account, this is a surefire way to cut short that exit interview and get on with cancelling your wine of the month club.
4. People think you’re a flake, but secretly they envy you.
Yup. They think you’ve turned into a hippie who is going to grow dreadlocks and wear tie dye from now on. They think you are giving up a nice secure way of life in order to be carefree and irresponsible. They don’t get it, but they secretly want it too.
5. Google is your friend (most of the time)
While planning this, I relied mostly on web research and there is so much info out there, any question I could think of, had already been asked and answered on the web. The secret is to use the right keywords to get useful results.
6. You have waaaaay too much stuff!
I have heart palpitations when I start comparing the size of my suitcase with the size of my closet, and how will I EVER survive without 20 pairs of shoes and my 300 favorite books ? (Thank goodness for Ipads). I considered taking my Wusthof knife. I’m serious. I get really attached to my stuff. But at the end of the day, it’s just stuff.
I have 23 days left in (mostly) sunny South Africa, and I have no doubt that I will remember 10 million things I still need to do 2 days before I fly, but I intend to spend these next few weeks spending time with my family and seeing as many of my friends as I can. Damn I’m gonna miss you guys so much!