Today we only have 116 days till we move to our new home in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This process began about 5 years ago when we first entertained the idea of moving out of the US. In the time since, we have sold our country home, moved into a small 2 bedroom apartment in the city with 75% less stuff than we had. We took a trip to Japan for 3 weeks, took a cruise to Alaska and most recently took a necessary scouting trip to Chiang Mai to see if it was all we imagined it to be and to decide if we indeed wanted to move there. We are please to say, yes, this is where we want to start our new life.
Having done our research, we are only staying in Chiang Mai from August to the beginning of February when smoke from the rice fields make breathing hazardous and at that time we will move south near the water. Who knows, maybe we will stay there for awhile.
I am finding it hard to grasp the freedom to go and do whatever we want whenever we want. This is our dream come true and it is like stepping through the looking glass. Not only is it a different country, language, and culture, we will need to acclimate to some seriously hot and humid weather. I know we will do just fine if we can be patient with ourselves and just let things happen and go with the flow.
What do I really need to bring with me?
Last week I opened every closet and drawer in the apartment and cleaned out. We took two car loads to charity and then we actually packed our carry on and medium suitcases each to see what will fit that we absolutely need and what will fit that we might like to bring. I have always been good at letting go of stuff, but this is challenging me. It is becoming very real.
I feel sad letting go of things friends and family have given me. I worry I will offend them, but the space we are allotting is precious and I don't want to haul around things I won't use. I need to put myself first, which is something I usually don't do. So.....What is most important to me and what do I want to keep in my life? I love the quilt I made from fabric my husband helped me pick out when we went to Hawaii on vacation a few years ago. But I love the lap quilt my daughter-in-law made me for Mother's Day even more......so I am taking that one. Yes, I am taking a quilt to Thailand!
When we were in Chiang Mai and Hua Hin we saw more than enough choices of clothes at all the malls so I am only taking a small amount of things that fit right now. We will be walking and eating fresh fruits and having healthy choices so it will help me to lose a few pounds and I will buy new clothes! It is true what I have read from other bloggers and spoken to friends living there that you can find just about everything you need or can have it made.
When people at work question me about our move I tell them, “I don't want stuff, I want memories and adventures!” I need to remember that and know just because I no longer have things and stuff, I do have the memories that were created by them. So our apartment is pretty empty now and we are waiting for the end of July to give away the rest. We appreciate our friends that have decided to take our stuff and to make their own memories.