Life lessons from My Year of Living Travelly come from surprising places, including the cramped and stifling quarters of my storage unit. All the personal effects I needed to get out of my condo in preparation for a renter were stored in boxes stacked six feet high, and I had to look through them to change out the clothing I needed the last few months in the Mediterranean for more casual and outdoorsy clothes for Alaska, and, while I was at it, the warmer wardrobe I will need for my Montreal-based fall foliage cruises that start right on the heels of my return from Alaska at the end of August.
Pulling out box after box and seeing everything from tennis tops to winter socks, skimpy camisoles to wool sweaters, and shoes galore from dress sandals to boots, I had a realization of how much I truly have not missed these things, and how I don’t want to let my life feel overburdened by belongings when I finally move back in
I adopted a mantra in the last four months, that if something I was considering buying was just going to go straight into one of the storage boxes when I got home, I wasn’t going to buy it no matter how much it called to me. Remembering those boxes will be an even more powerful deterrent, now that I have looked from the perspective of time at how dispensable it all is. And this is after years of successive downsizings from a big house and a vacation home to a one-bedroom condo! I would have thought I’d gotten it pretty much down to what I truly wasn’t ready to relinquish (and maybe I wasn’t at the time), but I see now I am still nowhere close.
I have decided that when it comes time to live in my own place again, I am dumping most of what I stored. Except for jewelry. It’s my scrapbook of my travels. The happiness I will feel in getting rid of those boxes will be matched only by the pleasure of having just the right earrings and necklace to go with whatever clothes I have remaining after the purge. Basic black? Goes with every piece of jewelry I own!