The Growing Burden of Moving – My material life

Posted in: In the News

Being location independent is a great thing – long story short, there is nothing to hold you back. No workplace, no condo, no house, no picket fence and dog. But while you keep moving from one location to another – unless you live out of your backpack – you collect a series of things that need to move with you. Unless these things are memories, you can carry them around in your head – but sometimes they manifest themselves as comfortable couches, kitchen appliances, and other things that make your life easier. And the number of these things can grow with every new location you move to.

Moving house

All the little things

Material possessionsThis was my case. When I was young and innocent, back in the early 2000s, I accepted a job abroad. It was a long term engagement, requiring me to stay in town for almost a year. I moved in with some friends to an unfurnished apartment – it only had a kitchen table, a few chairs and a miniature washing machine. Nope, not even a fridge. In time my friends and I started to fill up the empty rooms with stuff we thought we needed – a bed (sleeping on the floor, no matter how healthy, can be very uncomfortable after a time), a desk and a chair, a TV, a fridge, dishes and cutlery, and loads of books to read (internet was scarce at that time – not like today, when I can play online pokies at from wherever I want). As the time passed, I started to feel really comfy in my small room, and our small community started becoming less nomad, more settled down. And when the time came to move on, it was really hard to leave all that stuff behind.

My life dictated by what I own

Getting attached to the things you use day by day is not a bad thing, but it can be increasingly burdensome when you need to move on. In time you gather stuff that makes your life easier – a favorite dish to make your morning scrambled eggs, a favorite coffee machine that makes just the right coffee. When the time comes to move on it becomes increasingly hard to leave all these small things behind – you start to feel nostalgia for them, and feel the urge to take them with you. This has happened to me. When I first moved from my small rented apartment to the next I only had a few suitcases to carry. Next time I needed a pickup truck, the third time I needed a van – and now I own enough stuff to fill a whole truck. This burden you feel the need to carry wherever you go can transform you from a nomad into somebody who seeks to settle.

Location Independent moving house

What is your experience?

Is your life controlled by your possessions? Do you feel you have freedom to move and be location independent? Have your material things shaped your travels? I’d love to know your experiences in the comments below. Tell me your story of material life.

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