Living in a Suitcase

C in the Dam

My last few posts were all about visiting Amsterdam in the middle of summer. As of Friday, November 13, I’ve been living here.

If we aren’t friends in real life, this may come as a surprise, but in truth it’s been YEARS in the making — we were just quiet about it because we weren’t sure if it was actually ever going to happen or not. And we knew that when it did happen, it would happen fast. Which is how I ended up moving to Europe with literally ten days’ notice.

“Living here” is a bit of a misnomer though. For the past 18 days we’ve been staying in a corporate apartment with only what we could fit in our suitcases to accompany us. We were only allowed to pack one crate’s worth of belongings for our air shipment, and in the hustle and bustle of packing both our suitcases for travel and everything else we owned for storage… some things were overlooked. Thankfully, unlike when we lived in rural Korea, almost everything we need is available to us here. We are scheduled to move into our permanent apartment next week. Once we do, we’ll get our air shipment (12 small boxes!) and will finally start the process of officially settling in.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to live with less. For sure, the ability to choose a life of minimalism is an act of privilege, as there are so many people in the world who must make do with less. But as I told friends before our move, as much as I adored Houston, living in one place for so long had me feeling like I was growing barnacles. As I’m approaching my third week of living out of a suitcase, I am thinking more and more about getting rid of all the unnecessary shit in my life. More on that later this week…

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