This probably will come as a surprise to no-one but making a move across the world is no mean feat. Among the things on my to-do list at the moment are:
- Sell my house.
- Figure out how and when to temporarily shut the textiles business (Nettle) so I can move out of my house and studio and head off on my travels.
- Find a new place to live in England.
- Get car insurance..
- This involves getting a new license to drive a car in the UK (something I haven't had for 25 years), which of course requires studying and retaking the test.
- Get a car in England.
- Figure out what my National Insurance Number is so that I can register for health care there.
- Get a plane ticket from New Zealand to Australia, then one from Oz to Kuala Lumpur, and from there back to England (I have my ticket to NZ already and managed to find a screaming deal)
- Find accommodation for 6 -7 weeks in NZ, Oz and KL
- Open a bank account here with an international bank so that I can have an account waiting for me in the UK when I get home. This involves a trip to Seattle, 150 miles away.
- Give away, or sell almost all of my belongings - things I have had in some cases for 25 years.
- Ship the rest. I'm taking only a few clothes, a box of keepsakes and some art.
When I try to think of that list all at once, I feel the anxiety rise. It's so much to take care of! Just selling my house requires a massive amount of cleaning out, painting, gardening and organizing. I have anxiety about closing the business for a little while so that I can move out and travel. I have anxiety about all the systems in the UK - my home country - that I don't understand since I've never lived there as an adult. I have anxiety about running my businesses there, basically starting again.
But I'm trying to approach each day and each week with a part of that list so that it'll all be done by the time I have to shut the door on my home for the last time. I've realized lately that, despite the fact that owning practically nothing and having really no responsibilities for a while is enormously appealing, the concurrent idea that I will not have a home - my own home - to come back to after I travel is deeply disconcerting. I know that I will find a new home, that it'll be wonderful, but not knowing where that is feels very, very scary.
And I guess one reason to keep this blog just now, apart from having a record for myself, is that perhaps it can be inspiring to someone else out there in some way. To know that an undertaking like this IS scary and yet can still be done may help someone. To list and explain all the aspects of repatriating may help someone else as well.
Oh, that's another thing I'll have to do: officially give up my Green Card; that little piece of plastic that's given me the right to live and work and pay taxes here (but not to vote) for the last 22 years. There's no going back on that. Anxious.. who's anxious?