The power of endings and beginnings
… in our new nomadic life.
As we were leaving Mallorca recently, someone commented to me that it must be so wearing on us doing all this moving around. But actually, I think it’s quite the opposite. Of course there are disadvantages to this kind of existence but the good outweighs the bad for us for sure.
So I’ve listed the many great things that these endings and beginnings give us.
The things that help us really focus on living.
It’s not a done deal by all means, so for anyone thinking ‘this is it’ … apart from no. 12 below, it’s not an end in itself. It is a continual learning and growing and even healing from the past.
It puts the PAST into its rightful place – and keeps us in the NOW, no matter where we are or what we’re doing!
As for the FUTURE, we can only tentatively plan where we will be as traveling, and renting, both of which are not as easy or stable as they were pre-covid. But we try not to mind – and don’t they say ‘don’t tell God your plans’ anyway!
We see so many people that are ‘sorted’ with their plans for the future life, but that mostly means sorted economically, and it looks to us like they’ve forgotten to live NOW. So we’ll keep plugging away at ‘living’, whilst trying to earn some pennies to last us as long as we get to live.
Constant Beginnings and Endings allow us to…
1. Rest & regroup
They say a change is as good as a rest too, and it allows us to stop and think. Even if it’s only whilst travelling between places, or unpacking and re-settling in again and again, the change and the little rest allows us to take stock and work out how we want to restart again.
We also need a physical rest when we do all the unpacking for our now six month stint over winter!
2. Make a fresh start and regain the balance
The change seems to give us a mental restart, a break mentally. It allows us to restart good habits too. When we get back to our winter rental, the simplicity is so refreshing that it gives us an excited zest for life again. (Paul has started cooking more again, and I’m writing my first wee post on the site for at least 6 months – yay!)
3. Not take things for granted.
When we lived constantly in one place it was easy to take the good stuff for granted – the luxuries that becomes everyday stuff. It’s also easy to get stuck in the bad stuff. These days some simple things like a great view, a space outside, a bath, and a tap that flows well give us a daily thrill.
By being so far away from our old friends and family, it also helps us not take them for granted. Old friends can come and visit – some do, but most don’t find the time 🙁
4. Remember the good stuff, let go of the bad.
It’s always easier to remember bad things, but making a physical break can also help let go of something mentally, or get away from a situation that might not suit us. Creating a new space to deal with that then leaves room for the good stuff – the happy memories to come back in.
5. Not be identified by our possessions, successes, or status.
No one knows us really, or what we used to do so they don’t identify us in that way and we don’t fall into the trap of responding to or being that identity.
The downside is that it’s not easy to make new friends when we don’t speak the language well and aren’t around all the time. It is quite refreshing though when people do befriend us or simply remember us in places we go back to. We don’t have a past identity attached to us – that way you know they like you for who you are. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that by detaching from past identities, we really can start to uncover our true selves, we notice the true friends that stay in touch.
Without being put in an identity box ( well I’m sure we get the expat or tourist label a lot of the time), we don’t live out out. Without the stuff, we get a better chance to live as our real authentic selves more.
6. We get to declutter – mentally and physically – love that.
We do our longest stay in the Canaries so each ending and beginning there allows us to declutter – out the old or unused. If we need to buy something new, especially during our travelling six months, we also have to get rid of something somehow! In Spain you just leave what you don’t want by the bins and this year I saw a group of ladies excitedly open my bag and take it away to get a turn out of my old stuff. I also cheated this year by leaving 1 or 2 things at my parents house, but it means that I can now travel there with just a large handbag!
The six months with a suitcase each also keep us living that dream we initially had. Did we even use everything in that case! It’s easy to see if anything was never used so we don’t take next time. If we wear something out, it leaves room in the case to put something new back in. We’re getting much better at packing that case, and I find that it’s actually important to have 1 or 2 things in there that you know you will only use maybe once or twice. But that ‘once’ is super important to give you the feeling that you have a few luxurious choices!
Traveling light for 6 months, but note the heavy sticker on that case lol!
Big case for clothes, toilet bag and kitchen & beach stuff.
Beach bag or carry on bag for – for shoes mostly (this one is the largest we ever had.)
Handbag or computer case for work and papers.
7. Make changes and even take new chances.
We can try new things, or just do things differently. Variety is my favourite spice! I don’t believe in doing things the same things ad infinitum, and we are so fortunate these days to have so many choices… but no-one has enough time anyway to do everything they want to. So our life is segmented and we get to really focus on one great thing at a time. This year, in Palma de Mallorca I got to use this super new juicer in the rental apartment – not too expensive and really good. ( and now I realise my recipe for the daily immunity boosting shot I got in the habit of making is stuck in a draft article I never finished in May! Let’s put that one into the new beginnings pile… or is it new endings!) , in Stockholm and Finland I had the chance to get to know my own top voted coffee maker! In Soller de Mallorca I got to have bath whenever I felt like it! Back in the Canaries, on top of the usual favourites ( you’ll find them listed here), this year I see a pressure cooker and a new manual chopper to try out.
We both met at a University whose motto was ‘do different’ – that’s us in a nutshell! New beginnings seem to kick start some different ways to do things so we don’t get stuck in a rut or a holding pattern out of sheer habit.
Somehow it seems to make us more aware of not wasting time and not having regrets- and taking chances can be a little exciting too 😉
8. Change gear – up or down!
Always starting again allows us to address what we want to do more of, or less of. With work, it keeps us keenly aware of time and progress and goals so that we know where we need to speed up, slow down, or even step on the breaks if it’s not working out as well as we need it to, or something else has to take priority.
9. Learn from the past
Could be something physical and simple like this year where we realised that six months with no or little outside space is too cramped for us – or that we can only spend so long in a city environment, or that we need to be near water, or an airport that can fly us easily to family when we want.
The lesson could also be about how we ended up living, or forgot to live – did we get the balance right? We get to know what works for us and what doesn’t, what we could have done better but that’s okay. It’s a never-ending learning and growing!
10. Appreciate the experience, and also accept it for what it is.
Each time we move, we get excited again to either experience new things or revisit old favourites. We love the cultural changes, and learning how things work or how people live everywhere we go.
We also aren’t looking for perfect anymore though, and we love and embrace imperfection– it helps us accept, and keep things simple, and we get the greatest joy from the littlest things.
Also, I tend to believe that so everything happens for a reason, and, that we are responsible for what happens to us. So if we have a bad experience, we try to just be aware of it as we move on. Constant endings and beginnings are a reminder to us to simply accept things, not try to change it, but keep moving on to something better. Every step is necessary in order to get to the next one – life is a process so it can be more about how we deal with experiences than the actual experience itself.
11. Don’t get too attached
I love the positive side of not getting too attached to any material things – we learn to let go of those very easily and try not to find too many new things to attach to. We have physical things we need to cook and live, and I carry tiny little memories of my family and friends in the form of jewellery & accessories mainly etc.
There may be some negative side to this too though – in that we don’t get to be too attached to anyone locally, so we don’t have close friends where we are. After Covid, people also seem to be generally less social. But I hope that we can start building more friendships in the places we settle into as our regular rentals.
One of the best things about the Canaries is actually the people – even though they aren’t your best friends they are so nice and friendly. Staying on the positive side, all of this also makes us realise the importance of people we don’t get to see personally everyday.
12. Live in the moment
Between every end and every beginning is the NOW. We now have so many beginnings and endings that we realise they are happening continually. And that special little pause in between them is the NOW that really is our chance to make good choices and live to the full. When I often realise this I get a real giddy super joyous feeling of love come over me. Bring on those moments!
13. Be grateful
We’ve survived. we’re still here, and are so grateful that we get the chance, every moment, to try to live our best life. Thank-you.