When my wife and I were doing the Aussie-in-London thing (which was accompanied by the happy-to-sleep-on-floors thing, the ability-to-drink-six-pints-thing, the getting-way-too-much-into-East-Enders-thing and lastly, the arriving-home-much-fatter-than-when-you-left thing) a close friend of ours who we happened to be living with at the time gave us some simple advice. She said, “Packing to travel is easy. As long as you have your credit card and passport you will be fine.” It became a mantra for us. The night before we left to catch our £5 flight to somewhere with different beer and cider than we were drinking in London, when either one of us started to stress about if we had packed enough stuff we’d simply remind ourselves that we had probably already packed 3 times as much clothing as we needed to and would be fine with our “credit cards and passports”.
How things have changed…
For the last three weeks the Illiterate household has been moving. Obviously the actual move was only 1 day of these three weeks (when disconcertingly strong, muscular and attractive men shifted our belongings to the new illiterate abode). Sure there’s been a bit of time spent up fixing up the old house ready for sale and getting the new one ready to move in to but the thing I wasn’t expecting was the amount of time and effort that we expended packing up all our stuff and then unpacking and trying to find space for it at the other end. Ok, I knew we had some stuff but seriously – a whole truck!!!
annoying, frustrating, surprising thing has been how little of it is mine. Sure there are guitars and computer stuff and clothes and CD’s, the same for my wife (with a few shoe boxes thrown in) but we now seem to own an enormous amount of things designed for “little people”. We’ve got the standard stuff like cots and change tables and other baby furniture but there’s also the stuff that was hiding away like the clothes packaged up by month of age, toys boxed up by developmental stage and enough Tupperware to keep a cruise ship in fresh supplies for a month. Then there’s the bottle steamer, porta-cot, expensive grey box to go on the top of the car (to fill with more stuff) scooter, push bikes, second cot for new baby due next year, plastic toy kitchen, baby gates… and so it continues.
It was about 3pm on moving day as I surveyed my new kitchen, crammed with boxes all marked kitchen that I realised that we would need to bring so much more than a method of payment and travel documents with us to do anything now. We now have so much stuff that the next morning my 2.5yr old daughter was getting upset because she could here us but not find us in amongst the maze of boxes, paper and bubble wrap.
So is it kids, maturity, wealth (everything is relative) or an obsession with any gadget that makes parenting young children easier that has put my wife and I so far from that young couple with the ability to drop everything and travel anywhere? To have all our worldly possessions take up a small wardrobe in a London share house (and be happy about it)? The ability to handle anything with… a credit card and a passport?
So my question for you, the reader who is more than likely in a similar family demographic to me (ie with child, children or lots of children) is; could you survive with just a credit card and passports? If so where would you go? Would you struggle to get an hour from home or is travel by the “seat of your pants” second nature to you? And lastly (just out of interest) the overly attractive fella that moved us from old to new house said everyone has the same amount of stuff that fills a truck – would your life fit in one?
Glad to be moved in boxes-and-all, back in the blogosphere and sharing with Diary of a SAHM for IBOT.
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