Updated: Dec 1, 2019
The call to adventure was stronger than my attachment to house and home with all its stuff. Not entirely easy, but surprisingly freeing. And the silver lining is that by letting go, it made room for a whole new world to open up.
Months before the big move, I was saying my final goodbyes to familiar surroundings, letting memories and gratitude sink into me for when I'd be gone. It's since become a habit. I savor doing this as a way of living more and more when I'm on the road where nothing is permanent, and you're always on the move. Creating cellular memories on the go, being mindful, and living in the present has become a daily practice.
It was time to say goodbye to my happy home
When the time came for me to hit the road full time, I’d experienced enough of my new travel life to know it’s what I wanted to do well into the future. I was super excited though not without a touch of sadness at all that I’d be letting go. As much as I told myself, it was just things, there was a tug in my heart because many of them felt as if they were part of me. Memories and stories connected to special items sprinkled here and there in my home. Meals shared, conversations had, tears and smiles, they were all part of the place where I had lived for nearly 15 years.
Sell, Donate or Keep?
When my house sold, I didn’t have a ton of time to plan. It was a whirlwind two weeks. The help I had received early on from my incredible realtor team which involved a bit of staging of my home had resulted in me getting rid of some stuff early on. But there was still lots to do. What would I donate? Which items to sell? What to keep? What goes in storage?
I steeled myself for the task. The fact remained that I was leaving a big chunk of my heart in what had been a happy home ~ one that had welcomed family, friends and colleagues from around the world. I decided early on that I would treasure the memory of my stuff more than hanging on to it. It was time to let most of it go. My mind went into high gear. What are the things that I absolutely need?
I had reserved a small storage area, enough for my winter clothes, books, paintings and a few other favorite things. Special items that meant more to me, I gave to friends, feeling that I’d get to see them during my visits in the future.
The most surprising of all is that in the end, I hardly missed what I once had. Except for my books ~ inventoried close to 200. These would become part of my personal lending library to myself, companions on my travels.
In the final days, I realized that I had been planning my goodbyes for more than a year, from the moment I had decided to embark on this wild adventure. My morning walks in the neighborhood were more poignant and present. Often in those last months and weeks, I caught myself looking around my house, letting my eyes linger on a picture frame, a lamp or a decorative item. Some were gifts; others were connected to happy stories often connected to travel, souvenirs and the like. Knowing that my months, weeks and days with them were numbered, I'd let the feeling of those things sink in. It felt soothing and comforting. Normally we race through our days with our mind a million miles away. Even without knowing what the future would hold, I knew it would be different and I was preparing myself emotionally. It taught me to be more present and grateful. A life lesson I carry with me on my travels.
What I learned is that initially the idea of Letting Go can be really difficult, scary even. We too often cling to our stuff and let it define us. Once I had made the decision to embark on this nomad life, without even knowing what the future would hold, I felt the gentle release of this letting go. It was extraordinarily freeing. It opened up space for me to dream new dreams and to imagine a way of living I could not yet fully conceive.
The pull of the future with this tug of living in nature more was already taking hold months before the Big Move arrived. Knowing that the great outdoors would become my living room and backyard filled me with curiosity and joyful anticipation. I felt no fear, angst or regret.