Time to move on

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.

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