In one week I’ll be moving from Montreal, Quebec to Portland, Oregon.
Upon arrival, I’ll be joining several of you geniuses at #WDS. The summit will be followed up by a week of creative meetings and some good old fashion apartment hunting.
After that, my focus will be on writing and launching my book, finishing up the pilot script (we just got our first pitch meeting!) and developing some projects that have been marinating in my brain (and in a Word doc) for some time now.
The Last 5 Months
The last five months have been an incredible whirlwind. I arrived home from Europe, tired and homesick after my semester abroad. Law school was finally over and I was more than ready to close that chapter of my life. I had already moved on in my heart.
But more than anything, I was hungry; hungry for a life that I saw with increasing clarity. Multipotentiality was my calling and I was ready to do whatever it took to make it work.
Like many of you, I began this year by setting some lofty goals.
Then I worked and worked and worked. Sometimes I worked too hard. But I loved it. It felt urgent. It felt important. It still feels this way.
Before Making Your Break
Here are some tips I’ve collected on closing one chapter of your life and stepping into another. Some of these are specific to moving/traveling and others can be applied to personal transitions of all sorts.
1. Create a Time-Limited Window of Cushy Time
Whether this means staying at your day job while building up a side hustle or moving back in with your family while you put some cash aside to fund your next adventure, staying put for a little while isn’t such a bad idea.
The key is having a set end point. Tell yourself, as soon as I have X amount saved up or I have X number of clients in my side business, I’m outta here. Determine this end point in advance and stick to it.
Know that when you reach your end point, you’ll start doubting yourself. Your body hates change. It will do everything it can to convince you that security, even if accompanied by mild discomfort and boredom is smarter than following your heart. I’ll tell you what: nothing is more important than following your heart. Nothing.
2. Spend Quality Time with Your Peep
One of the best things about moving back home has been reconnecting with my family and friends. I know the new adventures will be fun and all, but it’s moments like these that matter most. Cherish the awesome folk and give thanks to the universe for their presence in your life.
Similarly, don’t waste time hanging out with people who aren’t super important to you. Cut out the toxic friends and be insanely selective with your time.
3. Pack What You Love
My favourite renegade expat gave me this advice. You can’t replace your favourite sweater but you can always buy more socks.
This advice flies in the face of a lot of minimalist teachings. Most minimalists tend to say: pack only the essentials, only what you need.
Minimalism also stresses the idea of detaching yourself from sentimental items. I disagree with this whole notion. I don’t think you need to throw things away to prevent them from controlling your present. You just need to learn not to let them control your present.
I’ve tried to escape my past before. I did it when I ran off to Denmark. It didn’t work. My subconscious began flooding my head with memories, long forgotten, from childhood. I also became horribly homesick and needed my comfort items. Once I had my My So-Called Life DVD collection shipped over, I felt much better. :)
4. Leave Yourself a Few Days Before You Move
I’ve been working like crazy these last few months. It’s been a blast and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. However, the last 6 weeks have been a little… intense. I’ve been hustling like crazy to finish up two major websites, among other things.
Rebecca gave me some good advice here as well. She told me that you should always leave a few days between your work deadline and when you leave.
First of all, there’s a good chance that some loose ends will need to be tied up post-deadline anyway. And secondly, if you do miraculously end up with a few days of freedom, well then yatzee. That’s more time for #2.
The 1 Week Countdown
Alright, so I have 1 week to go. I’ll be finishing my major work in the next couple days and I’ve got dates set up with my close friends. Right now I’m in Vermont with my dad and brother, enjoying our time together. I’ve also already decided which items of affection are coming and which pairs of socks are staying.
I’m feeling pretty good about the way I’m leaving things in Montreal. I feel like these last few months were just what I needed to reconnect with my roots and start setting my plans in motion for the future. And these plans? They’re big. Keep an eye on Puttylike this summer, cause I’ll be taking things to a HNL!
How do you prepare for big life changes? Share your tips in the comments.