This story starts, as many such stories do, at the airport. You are ready to board for your destination, when it dawns on you that you have been in transit your whole life and realise that change is not only imminent, but necessary. This is my short story of a long contemplation, which finally resulted in a move that has been very fruitful.
The city where I lived my entire life, barring four years of university in London. It was a cosy place while I was growing up, with lots of character. The city was developing too, at a rapid pace, far too fast for us to keep up with I guess. Somewhere, I felt I no longer connected with it. A place where my entire family, circle of childhood and high school friends, colleagues, cousins resided, suddenly felt distant to me. It is then I started my search of where in the world I would like to live next.
Australia was a popular country to move to at the time. I had but one friend there who would be my head quarters in the city. I started living in Melbourne in my mind, planning how my life would be ‘in a land far far away’. But unfortunately, or as fate would have it for me, the ‘Once upon a time’ never happened. After waiting endlessly I planned a trip to clear my mind and decide where I would like to move. An Eat, Pray, Love of sorts, not in that order and certainly not those countries in the book!
First stop. The ‘sights and sounds’ of Sin City. On holiday with Mr. Nairobi and lunch with Ms. Antwerp, we enjoyed the beauty and ease of Europe! Some worship, a little clarity, and a 3 day trip ends with the beginning of a decision that seems fast approaching on the horizon.
Second stop. The Big Apple had just gotten bigger, with so much to do in so little time. My cousins, a dear friend who had moved from Dubai and a tight schedule gave little time to introspect. Funny how you travel to cities far away to make a decision to move to a totally different city, but the distance helps. Your mind re-organises information, compartmentalises thoughts and generally points you in the right direction.
Final stop. A few days in my beloved city where I lived for 4 years certainly cleared the last remaining doubts. A short one night trip to Bristol to meet Mr. Luxury MBA, I spent the remaining days with my pal from my masters. I spoke to her about many important things, this being one of them. That talk was the highlight of the trip. When I was alone, my music and feet took me to familiar haunts and corners where I saw my younger self without a worry in the world. I could see where I had to go, everything seemed clear. We go further to get closer to ourselves, travel the world to find a resting place. Now the hard part would be to break the news!
After I got back I quit my job and started clearing my life. Memories stored for decades saw the light, were sorted and put away again. Nostalgia and the shock of others weakened me, but I stayed firm on my decision. Within 6 weeks of being back, I was on a plane, back ‘home’. Funny word for nomads like us. Dubai, Mumbai and god knows which other city will claim that title. But for now, it has been 3 years and counting!