Moving house is not the most stressful thing you can do in life, but I’m pretty sure it’s in the top five. Even so, I’ve chosen to do it a lot over the years. I’ve lived in around 25 different houses, flats or apartments since I left my parents’ home in 1989. That’s an average of one a year.
The impulse to keep moving is a strong one. After leaving New Zealand almost ten years ago, I’ve traveled a lot. Thirteen countries just in the last year. Over half of those more than once. I like being elsewhere. I enjoy forward momentum. ‘What comes next’ has always been my primary interest.
As a long-term renter, being able to find somewhere else to live – somewhere better – at short notice is important to me. I like having that option, even if I don’t make use of it.
After all, a house is just a place to keep your stuff. And if you find a nicer place to keep your stuff, why not pack up and move on?
Except at some point, where I live became “home”. I’ve been there for almost five years, which is something of a record for me. It’s in a part of town I love, it has all the elements I like about a house, and I’ve made the place my own. There have been a lot of changes in that time, but I’ve built a life there. I’d even thought about cutting down on the travel, maybe getting a dog and living a more settled life.
So the landlord’s sudden decision to sell comes as something of a shock. I guess that’s the downside of renting: flexibility also means uncertainty.
I wasn’t looking to be packing my life into boxes again, but here we are. I have about six weeks to ensure that this is a move up, not just a move out.
It’s been upsetting – but only for a little while. It’s also exciting. Perhaps this is what I needed. Maybe that feeling of comfort was complacency. It’s possible my love for that house was more a matter of inertia. It’s just a bungalow in Kings Heath. We’re not talking mansion on the lake here.
I don’t know what happens next. I’m stepping out into the unknown. Part of me likes that feeling. It’s a little stressful – and will become more so. But I’m going to look at it as an opportunity. Life is change, right?
Whatever happens, and wherever I go, my contact details will remain the same. I live on the internet.