We’ve been planning this for two years, and the past month in particular has been a dead run to get a million little needful things accomplished, but the day is finally here. Our bags are packed, our tickets are in hand, and we’re as ready to go as we can possibly be. Today is the day we leave Albuquerque.
I’m writing this from a hotel room; we got the last of our things out of the house yesterday. Out in the parking lot, we signed the car title over to the people that bought it and waved as they drove away. Friends will pick us up in a bit, and we’ll swing by to drop the house keys off to the landlord before heading to the train station. We’ll be in Indiana for a couple of weeks, visiting family, before we fly off to Finland.
To be as politic as possible, Albuquerque has never been to my tastes. I made some wonderful friends here, but otherwise the climate is far too hot and dusty, and the politics are like sandpaper on a raw nerve. I came here in 1990; I came back in 2010. It’s not really Katie’s cup of tea, either. We both came to Albuquerque for reasons; we ultimately decided that it was to meet each other. We’ve done that; on to other things.
The hard part is over now. You might think that spending a couple of weeks with my in-laws would be the challenge, or the “whole moving to another country” thing might be the looming obstacle, but really, those a step along the journey and settling into new routines, respectively. The hard part has been getting rd of stuff. It’s not just selling, donating, recycling, throwing away. It’s prioritizing, evaluating, engaging in introspection. What do I need, what do I want, what cannot I not live without, who am I? Once we made it through that, and got all of our material possessions down to two suitcases and a carry on bag each, we knew we were read for anything.
By the middle of the month we’ll be in Jyväskylä, Finland for almost two years, while Katie gets her Masters in Education. I’ll be writing, and more freelance work has been serendipitously finding its way to me over the past several weeks. The climate will be different, the temperament of the people will be different, the food will be strange and the customs will be odd to us at first, but I think it will be a better fit. We know who we are, and we know what we want, and if nothing else we’ll have a better chance of getting it with a fresh start, a clean slate, and none of the baggage and feelings we carry, good or bag, toward Albuquerque.