I am in Brazil exploring everything from food, fashion and music! My latest blogging adventure is for Paste Magazine in the post “8 Ways to Snack in Brazil”. Take a look, its delicious!
This place is empty
My entire life is packed into 4 bags and I still have 30 days to go
I am a wandering soul at the dawn of new beginnings
I have less than 30 days to go until the big move to Brazil, but over the weekend I packed my bags and moved completely out of my current apartment. Inspired by the emptiness my neighbor Sam and I decided to creatively play with the space. We drank wine, played a genre jumping playlist, put on some lights and took photographs. This is a taste of what happened.
Photos by Sam Luther
When people hear that I am moving to another country it seems glamorous. It is almost as if people forget that moving your entire life to a new place takes a lot of work and courage. The truth is I was thinking it would be just as glamorous as everyone else! Little did I know the last days would be much harder than I expected. It’s not just packing your bags and taking flight. Thankfully I have a great partner that’s helping me along the way. Though I would like to complain, I have to remember that the journey is just as thrilling as the destination…even if it does get a little stressful. Nevertheless, here are my current situations.
No Partner, No Job
In an effort to make the move as simple as we could my partner left earlier than I. He returned to Brazil in mid-October to do some fieldwork and get things in order. This is not the first time we have spent an extended period apart either. I learned pretty quickly in our relationship that being involved with a scientist in education means that he will have to travel often. This is good news for me too! His earlier trip in summer 2013 took him across Europe and to Colorado, where I was able to meet him for a weekend camping trip in the Rocky Mountains. I remember when he picked me up at the bus station in Boulder last year. It was love at first sight all over again. I am counting the days until we recreate that moment.
However, the stress of moving to another country started to get the best of me this past week and not having him around has been difficult. As an over thinker I have a tendency to over plan, and the thought of starting new began to stress me out. Unlike most ex-pats I know, I am not moving to Brazil to play around and spend all of my savings. I have to make it work! These thoughts made me revert back to my last semester of college when I was job hunting. My world became so obsessed with trying to get a job that I found myself on interviews for jobs I never really wanted.
Thankfully with Skype and What’s App we have been able to talk to each other – but nothing will be more rewarding until that moment I get to see him again. In our online chat he reminded me that I needed to stop worrying about my next job. While finding work is still in the back of my mind his kind words help me realize that I should focus my attention on the family and friends with whom I will be saying goodbye to in a month. He also left a series of notes throughout the apartment with the sweetest messages. They may not be the hug I desperately need, but it actually feels more like a kiss!
Downsizing is a Bitch
Moving to another country means that most of what you own will have to be donated, sold or discarded. We started an online moving sale last month and things seemed to be going quickly. Then, suddenly it wasn’t. Thank God for the site scheduleapickup.com that takes just about everything! Not only do they pick items up for you, but you are donating to a great cause.
Downsizing does have its perks too. In fact, I recommend it to anyone even if you are not moving far away. For example, you get to get rid of old memories you no longer need anymore. I can finally let go of that band t-shirt I plan to never wear again or that sweater my ex gave me a million years ago. I can’t hold on to these things forever and they have no place in the next chapter of my life. Good ridding!
The Couch Surfing Adventure Begins
The first half of my move actually starts next week. To save a little cash I decided to leave my apartment a few weeks before I take my flight. This means I am technically homeless! A few months ago the thought of bouncing around from friends’ apartments seemed way more exciting until the New England chill started to kick in and the sun is already set before I even exit my office. Without a car, hopping around no longer seems as fun as I thought it would be. But, I guess I will just have to cross that bridge when I get there. And hey, what’s one month with your grandma right? In fact, it is probably exactly what I need.
Reality Sets In
The more I spend time with my family and friends; I begin to face that I will not see them on a regular basis like this for a long time. As much as I get frustrated with how full my apartment seems or how far my partner is, I always give myself a reality check and say you’re going to miss these moments. So no matter how stressful this last month will be – I have to enjoy it while it lasts. Ah, I feel better now. Thanks for listening.
When I was 18 my mom died of liver disease and I didn’t think I would ever be able to fully live again. Convinced life was over I spiraled into a deep depression that involved abuse, running away and almost throwing my entire life down the drain. Lucky for me my depression didn’t last very long and only left few scars that have since healed.
I will never forget the day of my 22nd birthday when I sat in the daunting waiting room sick, but eager to begin my road to recovery. It wasn’t easy at first, but eventually I learned to cope with death and rebuild the life I wanted. I did this not by believing I was powerless, but by encouraging myself to explore the world instead of living in the past. This exploration made me hunger for learning, doing and seeing more. Suddenly, I was alive again.
Five years later and I can honestly say things have really turned around. I went back to school, found a field of work that I enjoy, reconnected with creativity and fell in love with the most amazing man in the world (after eliminating a few bad ones of course). While my relationship with my family may never be what I want it to be, we now understand each other better than ever before. I am sincerely grateful for where I am now and wouldn’t change my past for the world. If my mom is indeed looking down on me somewhere in the stars I think she would be very proud of the progress I have made.
Now, just as I did back when I was 22 I am beginning life all over again. This time, instead of confronting a depression I am starting new in Brazil, the country where my partner was raised. This is just one stop in our journey together. We like to travel and hope to call other countries home too. With this blog I am excited to share with you my experiences and challenges. The journey begins in December 2014. Follow the site to watch how it all unfolds beginning with my last adventures in the US!