I’m usually pretty much one of the most organised people you can meet. I’m not anal or OCD when it comes to being neat and tidy but I’m a planner – I like to make sure that there’s a plan and stick to it. And I had a plan right down to cancelling all my accounts, selling my house and all those things that come with moving countries. I basically got rid of everything I owned either by selling it or giving it to my kids. I started looking for jobs online 6 weeks before I left and spent my last weeks in constant Skype interviews. I had a farewell party which was a blast. I did it all properly. Except one thing and for the life of me I have no idea why this happened.
I didn’t start packing until two hours before I was meant to leave!!! Yup, I had 2 not very big suitcases and I believed that I was going to manage to fit my entire wardrobe into them. I think maybe it’s because I don’t see myself as a person with a lot of clothes and I certainly don’t have a lot of shoes. But when it came to packing it all up into 2 suitcases, that didn’t go very well. My best friend Tania, who was driving me to the airport came, saw and had to unpack my entire wardrobe and start again as I’d just casually thrown everything in. Well that’s the thing, NOT everything. Not even close! She refolded everything military style or whatever that style is where you roll your clothes up as small as they will go. I still had to leave behind half my clothes, all of my shoes except the pair I was wearing and one other and no personal effects. I literally arrived in London with the clothes on my back!!! In hindsight perhaps i was trying to get rid of the old, in with the new. Some of my clothes I’d literally had for 20 years. Some I had kept in the hope that I would fit into them again. All gone. I also took NO summer clothes believing that the UK doesn’t ever really get THAT hot! Today was 35 degrees! I have never felt so sweaty and muggy and frazzled in all my life. It was a complete shock to my system.
Another thing that happened before I left was that I got cold feet. I very seldom regret any choices I make and I knew that this was the right choice for myself and essentially for my children. But those last few days I actually felt physically ill. I was leaving my children, my boyfriend and my friends and what had been my home for 43 years. I KNOW that I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and I was grateful. I woke up every day being grateful for what I had. And was suddenly worried that I would miss it.