I’ve backpacked through Europe for a semester, lived [alone] in Russia for two months, and moved to a couple of new cities without knowing anyone. But do you know what was the most difficult move I ever experienced? It was moving across the country– from Ontario (where I only spent three years) back to Newfoundland (where I was born and raised).
Maybe it’s because I fell in love with Ontario. Maybe it was because I just ended a long, serious relationship. Or was it because I had two dogs that also needed to be shipped? Whatever it was, moving from Toronto back to Newfoundland earlier this spring was pretty difficult. Here are eight things I learned after moving across the country–
ONE | To-Do lists are a must! – Whenever I make a big decision, like moving to a different province, I always write up several to-do lists. Some of the to-do lists that I’ve written up were: “Things to bring,”Things to sell,” “Things to buy,” and “Things to save up for.” I think those are the biggest ones. To-do lists have actually saved me so many times. They kept me on track, and reminded me of important belongings that I may otherwise have left behind.
TWO | Figuring out where to live is stressful – When I moved to Ottawa in 2010, finding an apartment was pretty easy (although a little stressful). I did google where the quiet neighbourhoods were, and which apartment buildings were decent to live in. I didn’t get to view the apartment beforehand (since I was living in a different province), but it ended up going smoothly. When I decided to move back to Newfoundland in the spring, apartment hunting was so much more difficult. For starters, most landlords in Newfoundland don’t allow pets (especially two large dogs). I ended up paying a little more than I really should have, but I guess it was worth it (well, I would never ever give up my pets!).
THREE | I had a lot of stuff! - It boggles my mind how much stuff I had in Ottawa (a lot of clothes, coats, books, shoes!). I ended up bringing only two suitcases with me on the plane, and had to ship the rest of my clothing, shoes, etc down a couple of months later. Along with those belongings, I ended up shipping down a few bigger items including my couch, a TV, more clothing, and a few big storage containers full of important things (IE, some special Christmas decorations). Surprisingly, moving all of those things didn’t cost too much. I ended up going on Kijiji and finding a super reliable moving company. Altogether, I ended up paying $550 for shipping.
FOUR | Always Expect something to go wrong – Along with my to-do lists, I had a tentative moving schedule wrote up. I was suppose to ship some of my belongings weeks before the move, end my job just before my move in the summer, etc etc. However, things got a little messy when there was a sudden death in my family (and my dad had a bad accident the week prior). My schedule went out the window. I had to pack my most important belongings in one evening, and booked a flight for the following day. Emotions were running pretty high that day.
FIVE | Metal breakdowns happen – Moving is stressful. But this move was extra stressful because of the sudden death in my family, and my dad’s accident. And I just ended a long-term relationship. So yeah, I was all alone and I felt like things were being thrown at me… all at once. I had several breakdowns– one being while I was packing, another being in a cab on the way to the airport, and yep, even on the plane. PS– breakdowns are completely normal. Just bring sunglasses and don’t forget to pack your concealer ;)
SIX | Flying your pets is more than nerve wracking! – The biggest stress of the entire move was flying my pets. My pets were never on a plane before (and I never shipped any pets in my life), so I was extremely nervous. I also went two months without seeing them, as they were shipped to me once I settled in. I ended up shipping them via WestJet Cargo for $400CAD each. The entire process went fairly smoothly, but both dogs were a little overwhelmed at the end (and they were drooling/shaking a lot!). Poor babies!
SEVEN | Things will go missing - No matter how many to-do lists I wrote up, things still ended up going missing. There were a few things that I forgot to bring/ship down, and there were a few things that were deliberately not shipped to me by my ex (*Ahem* my second laptop). But I’ve come to realize that there’s nothing I can do about it now.
EIGHT | There will be some regrets and second guessing – Second guessing your decision will most-likely happen (and it’s completely normal!). I had a little panic attack when I was first throwing my clothes into my suitcases the evening before my departure. I was a mess (due to receiving bad news about my grandmother), and was feeling pretty regretful. I enjoyed my life in Ontario. Was I making a huge mistake? The feeling of regret and second guessing didn’t stop there. During the spring, I would wake up in the middle of the night, crying, because I felt like a made a big mistake. However, things started to fall in place once I moved into my new apartment, started a new job, and had my doggies with me. Plus, I take comfort in the idea of “if you’re unhappy with something in your life, change it!” — Moving back to Newfoundland isn’t for good. I do have the power to change the direction of my life, and can always move back :)
What was your biggest move?