Stress and One Solution


Moving is stressful.


End of the story.


That was today’s post.


Seriously. I keep telling myself – it’s not that bad. How can it be listed as one of the top 4 stressors in life?. There is SO much more going on out there, that you feel almost silly being all tense about not finding “heaven” again – just in another country.

But somehow – even if you have experienced a few moves…it never really gets any easier. In fact, sometimes I think it gets harder, because …who knows….maybe because you grow older and different things become more important each time.

We had another house hunting trip this past week. Oh,the joys… NOT !?

Having my desk look like this for days…..Searching, filtering, considering which ones to view, was already exhausting. …..

How do you know which house is right?

When I moved the first time ever on our first expat assignment, a good friend wrote us a letter…I read it on the aeroplane as we left our home country and remember the tears flowing down my face. It was so honest and heartfelt..and at that point I did not yet know how true !

But one line in particular stood out…. “I hope you find a way to turn the new house you found, into a HOME” .

I always reminded myself about that….and the advice has been golden. I have loved every house we lived in since, because my mission in life as an expat was turning every house into a home.

I went looking for that letter again… in case there was some other advice I had forgotten.

So I got my old letter box out.

It was like finding a bag full or surprises …

I kept on digging and digging – reading feverishly through them…

untill they were all out on the floor…

.many of them in my mom’s handwriting…irreplaceable anyway since she passed away…

…so many from her… consoling me, congratulating me, encouraging me, being proud of me….

And then those old faxes from far off destinations from friends exploring the world…

A lot happened between that first letter from my friend on the aeroplane as I left my home country, and this one, 3 years later, and now 13 years ago, as I was about to get onto a plane again, leaving an expat destination…. with a friend pondering on how she felt about me moving….

And I discovered again the reason WHY we move….

…it is for the PEOPLE we meet…. changing worlds that would have remained the same had we not come into each others’ lives…

And that gave me the courage to pack up my letter box again… go back to the 60 plus pages of houses and face the frustating part of not knowing the outcome of the house hunting we did and the offer hanging in mid-air……and to not let the people in the process who work on my nerves get the better of me…..but to rather let the stress subside into a more positive realm of expat life…being the reasons why we keep on choosing it.

Did I mention that I never found the lettter I was looking for.

But instead, I found this one…yet another farewell note…as I was about to leave Moscow 3 1/2 year ago to move to Korea…. from where I am now about to depart again….


Thanks Ingeborg ! We did not keep in touch…but your note touched me today. And that is what those connections mean later on…

Reminders, lovely thoughts, sincere gratitude, well-wishes upon departures… That was my THERAPY today and it was a wonderful solution for a very stressful situation I feel pressing on me at the moment.

So, my advice to you…. when feeling STRESSED…. EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTED and disillusioned with some facets of expat moving….

Get out a box of old time memories – old letters in this case. And you will be reminded that in a time of lots of uncertainties where you try to find a new house… will re-discover that moving house and being an expat  is actually all about the people. The ones you will meet… the ones you will leave behind..

But I am pretty sure that reading through old letters….. will sooth your soul, even if you are not moving.. it must surely be a stress reliever in any situation. Just the thought of so many people caring…

We will find a house.

We will turn it into a home again.

We will make new friends.

We will not forget old friends.

If even sometimes just by an old memory box. Keep those memories !

I was going to throw my letters out in my scaling down efforts, but after this…decided to keep. I am just not ready yet.

For me, it was a Solution in a Stressful time !

If you are an expat moving – what things did you find that helped you relieve some stress during your move?  Let me know. I don’t get much letters these days. But I still love comments !

And if you are one of those not ready to throw out old letters and cards – check out this blog post from Simple Mom with a fun solution of what to do with them !

Happy Saturday Everybody!!



3 responses to Stress and One Solution

  • Sue says:

    Having moved three countries in one year, I totally agree that it’s the people who keep you going during the stress of it all. Facebook became my therapy during this past year with friends all over the world providing strength and encouragement, particularly in the absence of not having had time to make close friends in Moscow.
    It’s all about friends!

  • Tania says:

    I’ve never moved to another country but I did move to a different island a few years ago and it was a much bigger adjustment than I had anticipated. I gained a lot of weight and felt generally unsettled until quite recently.

    Good luck in your move and house hunt.

  • […] matter how determinded I was to de-clutter at that stage. Remember this post about some of  those very dear items […]

  • Leave a Response

    Comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business, will not be published.

    Makes me happy that you got this far down on my blog ! See some older posts in the Archives or by clicking back.

    %d bloggers like this:
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...