Left arrow

Living From a Suitcase

Life

№144 ~5 minutes

    In which I talk about getting rid of 80% of the crap I owned before we moved to the UK.

    I want you to imagine the following scenario; Someone drops a suitcase in front of you and tell you to fill it with your most priced possessions. Whatever you can fit into that one suitcase, you can take with you as you move to a new life, in a new country. Everything else, you have to give/sell or throw away.

    Now — obviously — this scenario is a bit extreme — no one forced me to do anything — but because I’m trying to make a point and since points can’t be made without making them extreme, that is exactly what I did. No? You’re an intelligent “hu-man” who can empathise with stories without the need to exaggerate them to the point of ridiculousness?

    Oh.

    Well, this is awkward.

    Ahem. Anyway. Well, let’s try this again then shall we?

    Imagine the following scenario; You decide to make yourself a new life, in a new country. And you decide to get rid of 80% of all the crap you own because you;

    1. Hate packing
    2. Own a lot of crap you should be getting rid of anyway
    3. You’ve had a mental breakdown and decided to live out the rest of your life as a hermit in a cave
    4. All of the above, except for number 3.
    The exact suitcase I have.

    One exactly like this… but cheaper and unbranded.

    If in doubt, always go for option 4. So I went for option 4 because truth be told, I really really do hate packing. I hate packing because I’m bad at it — I like sweeping everything from one table into one box, which I’ve been told is not a good way to pack — but I also hate packing because I can’t stand to pack down all my crap into neatly organised boxes, move those boxes somewhere else only to unpack them into the “organised” chaos that is how I store keep things.

    There’s something painfully, obviously wrong — with the world! — when the most organised your stuff gets, is when it’s packed down — not to be used — then when you are actually living with your stuff. Right? I mean, think about it. All your things — i.e. “crap” — is never as neatly organised as when it’s not being used.

    That shit is messed up, yo. Or maybe it’s just me?

    It’s just me, isn’t it?

    On to option B then because I also used to own a lot of crap — I can call my stuff crap as much as I want, it was my stuff after all — before we moved here. Now, when I say I “used to own a lot of crap” I don’t mean on a Hoarding Disorder level, thankfully.

    Though in my defence, I come from a long line of crap-collectors. My mother saves things all the time and my grandfather is the same way, having even gone so far as to have a — sort of — summer house, where he has small scrapyard with cars dating back to the 1940’s. Now there’s not that many cars there, but still… there’s no reason to have the ones he does.

    Anyway. I owned a lot of crap. That I then either sold/gave or threw away. And I’ve never looked back because the sense of freedom gained from not being shackled by my possessions was pretty awesome. Scary? Sure, especially at first… but it grows on you quite quickly once you get used to the idea of not owning as many things. And speaking from the experience of going from one extreme to the other — taking it a bit too far perhaps? — I wholeheartedly recommend everyone tries it. At least once.

    You can easily acquire more crap again anyway, should ever decide that it’s not for you.

    And as for option 3, well… I’d like to think I haven’t had a mental break but then again I have always wondered; Do crazy — Ahem, we prefer the term “person with a mental illness” — people know they’re crazy? Seriously, do crazy people know they’re crazy? Because I have always been under the assumption — Yeah, I know… makes me an “ass” — that crazy people, do in fact not know that they are crazy, that that in fact — sort of — defeats the whole point of being crazy because if you were aware of it, surely you would seek help. Spoken like a truly not-crazy person, I suppose.

    So no, I’m probably not crazy. Which means it option 4 for me. Which as we all know, is just 1 & 2 anyway. Who’s the crazy one now huh?

    Oh, it’s still just me?

    Damn it.

    Anyway. The point — since I missed it, I’m sure you did too — is that letting go of most of my earthly possessions and living more or less from a suitcase, before we got our apartment, was one of — if not the — most liberating experience(s) in my life.

    Especially considering that half of my bag was just coffee preparation equipment.

    The next entry comes out in 13 days.

    Know someone who would like this?

    Share this entry with a friend

    Becoming a British Bastard

    Concluding the Epic Rivalry

    Immigrant or Expatriate?

    Explore more

    There are 65 more entries from 2013. See all the entries.