December 23, 2012

Preparing for the move

Preparing to move

Bretagne -
Preparing for the next chapter of my life is not just about preparing the practicalities, looking up a school, preparing the visa, getting a new passport, deciding where to move (which city that is), deciding what to bring, how to ship it, what to put into storage, what to get rid of and how to work everything out at home.

Preparing for a move is also about saying farewell to family and friends that it may take time before I see again, and it is about saying farewell to familiar places, as well as realising that there are places I want to see but won't be able to get to in a while, because once I have travelled on, once I have left Düsseldorf behind, and stopped working to study, then I will not be able to pop over to Gothenburg for a weekend, nor will I be able to take the train over to Paris, pop over to London, get on the plane and go to Zürich for a weekend.

A little lighthouse in the harbour of Bilbao

Krakow and Warsaw that I really wanted to go to will have to wait to another time. 

Romania will have to be another time, so will Bulgaria, both on my to-do-list. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, none of these I will have a chance to visit, at least not now.

So many other places will have to wait. I will not be returning to Barcelona anytime soon, nor to Porto or Bilbao, fascinating cities I want to see more of, nor will Paris be just a few hours away by train any more. I will miss that. 

On the other hand, South East Asia, a part of the world I love coming back to, will be there right by my feet, and I can explore much more of that part of the world. Wherever I am in the world I am far away from some and close to others... Both when it comes to family and friends, as well as cities and countries. I just have to get used to it. 

Night view over the river and the castle in Lyon, France
Saying farewell is not easy though and I know I will miss many amazing things on this side of the pond - but I have also realised that wherever I go there will be people and places I will miss. The big difference is of course that for the next year I will have some more time - but on the other hand I will have less money and no income, especially in the beginning, when I will be focusing 100% on my studies, and not work.

Paris, France -
 Due to the changes coming up 2012 have possibly been my most active year ever, when it comes to private travel, I feel the need and the urge to travel around and seeing people that I may not see in a long time, and it's all part of the preparations, the preparations for the next chapter. I know where I am and even though I don't know where I will finally end up I know which route I am taking, at least the first few steps of my new journey, and what comes next, after that,  is perhaps written in the stars, as one say.

Digging up the roots and replant them in another part of the world is not as dramatic as it once was, moving is not forever, unless you chose it to be. Unlike when the Swedes in the old times emigrated to America over the oceans, knowing they would never be able to return, I can be back in Europe the next day, should anything happen. But as a student I will not do that, not unless something very urgent comes up - as long as I study, I need to stay in Asia - and I realise there will be times when it will be hard to be away, but it would have been harder to stay.

I will miss many things in Europe, and especially in Düsseldorf, the city I call home, and leaving will not be easy, but it is something I have to do. For me.

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