Ten Things I’ve Learned

My friend Josh has a fantastic blog called “Ten Things I’ve Learned”.  I recently made a big, life-changing decision…and thought I’d shamelessly steal his format.

Ten Things I’ve Learned About Deciding to Up and Move to Melbourne in Just Six Weeks:

10 – Your passport will always be *just* about to expire, or *just* close enough to expiring while you’re away, which makes everything a bit tough.  You can’t get a visa without your proper passport number, and you can’t get a proper passport number without getting a new passport, and you can’t get a new passport without taking time off work and going the passport office and waiting 10 days for it to arrive.  When you’re planning on leaving in six weeks, every day counts.9 – It’s hard to keep the secret from co-workers, especially when you love your co-workers. I know they’re going to be jumping for joy and beyond excited for me, and all I want to do is scream it from the rooftops!  But I can’t. I have to keep quiet until I resign.8 – Getting a years’ worth of birth control is easier than you think if you hit up people who actually listen and care, like Planned Parenthood or the Birth Control Clinic.  My doctor normally only gives me 3 or 6 months at a time, despite the fact that I’ve been taking the pill for 10 years now and I SHOULD REALLY JUST BE ABLE TO GET IT OVER THE COUNTER…but whatever.7 – I have so much stuff. So much. Not even just trinkets, either! I’ve turned into a full-blown CHICK. I have eight kinds of moisturizer, 20 pairs of shoes, too many clothes, about a hundred fashion scarves, 300 books…I don’t know when I turned into a girl, and I don’t know what I’ll do with all this crap when I leave.  It also amazes me that I’m planning on living for a year without all this stuff…so why do I have all this stuff in the first place? What a creature of comfort I’ve become.

9 – It’s hard to keep the secret from co-workers, especially when you love your co-workers. I know they’re going to be jumping for joy and beyond excited for me, and all I want to do is scream it from the rooftops!  But I can’t. I have to keep quiet until I resign.

8 – Getting a years’ worth of birth control is easier than you think if you hit up people who actually listen and care, like Planned Parenthood or the Birth Control Clinic.  My doctor normally only gives me 3 or 6 months at a time, despite the fact that I’ve been taking the pill for 10 years now and I SHOULD REALLY JUST BE ABLE TO GET IT OVER THE COUNTER…but whatever.

7 – I have so much stuff. So much. Not even just trinkets, either! I’ve turned into a full-blown CHICK. I have eight kinds of moisturizer, 20 pairs of shoes, too many clothes, about a hundred fashion scarves, 300 books…I don’t know when I turned into a girl, and I don’t know what I’ll do with all this crap when I leave.  It also amazes me that I’m planning on living for a year without all this stuff…so why do I have all this stuff in the first place? What a creature of comfort I’ve become.

6 – If you always seem know people looking for a place to live, when it comes right down to it, you will NEVER find a sublet when you need one. Finding the right person to take your room and live with your roommate can prove to be the most stress-inducing part of the whole trip.

5 – My biggest packing worry: shoes.  (WHAT A CHICK) It’s winter when I get there, so I can’t just throw on my Birks and be happy; I’ve got to consider running shoes, walking shoes, work shoes (what if I find an office job?!) flip flops…I’ve even thought about rain boots, though I figured that was pushing it. My feet are stupiddumb and tend to blister and bleed at the first sight of anything without laces, this is a big worry. Maybe I’ll just buy a pair of Blundstones and call it a day.

4 – When you have a goal in mind and it’s coming up super close, you really CAN budget like there’s no tomorrow.

3 – How can I eat all the shrimp in my freezer/use all the lotion in my bottles? I’m planning on leaving in six weeks. I haven’t been downsizing or buying less, since I was always assuming I’d be in Toronto in April. Now I have a brand new bottle of Olay that I don’t want to just throw out, a ton of shrimp in the freezer (it was a good sale!), and new shampoo/conditioner that I just opened last week. The thing is, aside from the shrimp, I’ll just have to buy lotions and shampoos and all that stuff once I get there…so do I just bring them with me? It feels so cheap to do that, but maybe it’s just practical?

2 – This isn’t just vacation, so packing is entirely different. When I was originally planning on going arond the world, packing was still daunting, but easier; yoga pants, a couple shirts, my favourite pair of earrings…y’know, basic things. Now that I’m moving, I have to think of actual clothes! Work clothes (even though I don’t know what work I’m going to do). Sweaters, since it’ll be winter when I get there. My laptop. Much like the drama of “omg what shoes do I bring”, packing is a totally different demon. I know you’re probably thinking “you can just buy stuff there” but I’m far too frugal for that and am worried I won’t be able to find any pants.

1 – When I think of leaving my cat, I cry. It sounds so silly, I know, but she’s my baby. She won’t understand where I’ve gone or when I’m coming back, and I won’t be able to call her up and say hello and tell her I love her. Like, it tears me apart to leave her. I feel like I’m keeping a secret from my child.

Now I know how people feel when they go into the Army and leave their kids behind.

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