October 19, 2012

The Way of the Nomad

Three months ago my husband’s job transferred him 3,000 miles away from our home, family and friends.  For now, the transfer is temporary—like a trial run—for this different position that could potentially offer more money, but not necessarily a better career path.  That was to be determined by, well, trying it.  We decided to look at this as an opportunity for adventure.  Neither of us had lived outside Washington State.  This was our chance.   After all, it’s just six months… 

Old beloved apartment...all packed up.

Since the move is just a trial, David’s employer is housing us in an extended stay hotel until a permanent decision is made.  That being said, packing up our old apartment and all its comforting components while setting aside the things we would need for the next sixth months was quite the challenge.  We would need clothes for the ungodly humid summer, cooler fall and bone-chilling winter.  Three seasons to pack for, plus a few items we wanted to take with us that we thought were “essential.”  After packing six—yes, six—pieces of luggage to drag across the country with us we moved the rest of our apartment into a storage unit and said good-bye until further notice. 

Hotel No. 1 - decent kitchenette present unusual cooking challenges

"Living Room" of Hotel No. 1 (we've rearranged the furniture since)

We have lived this way for three months now.  Three more to go.  Part of David’s job is to travel to different sites for a few days to several weeks.  Because of the housing agreement, each time David travels we must pack everything up and move to a different hotel.  Folks, if you’ve never been nomadic but want to give it a try—don’t follow our lead.  I totally regret six pieces of luggage.  That was dumb.  I thought we would want enough clothes for one to two weeks of wear.  Nope.  I do laundry twice a week because the washers and dryers are so small I can’t fit more than a few days’ worth of clothes in there anyway!  Outside of our clothing, I brought my flute and music to theoretically play in our hotel room…wouldn’t the walls be enough to muffle the sound so as not to annoy my neighbors?  I also brought my knitting.  And way too many beauty supplies.  I have used my curling iron once.  David and I also thought it would be fun to bring our cribbage board, Wii and DVD’s—three things we wanted to enjoy more often in our old home, but didn’t.  If we brought them to this new “home” we would definitely play them more often.  Yeah right.

So, the moral of the story here is that one does not need two weeks’ worth of clothes, or other “fun” items when living as a nomad.  I should have been honest with myself about playing my flute in a very public place (a detached house is so much more suitable).  And for Pete’s sake!  Why did we think we would play the Wii more often, or watch movies more regularly?  If we weren’t interested in doing that at the old place, why would we do it now!  Other interests have taken over.  We tour this new area.  We watch football, or other silly TV shows.  We absorb ourselves in the wonderful fictional worlds of our books.  On the Kindle that is J 

This weekend I am packing up our hotel to move us out for one night.  Yes, only one night.  All six pieces of luggage will be stuffed to the brim.  But that is our mistake to live with.  Perhaps we can afford to ship a few things back to be added to our storage?  Until then, the nomad roams on. 

Later, I’d love to go into more detail about going about “normal” life in a hotel, such as the nomadic way of managing our receipts and bills, or how to prepare budget friendly meals with a minimal pantry and fridge selection.  Til then, take care! 


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