If you’re lucky you will move house just once in your life. By this, I mean having grown up in the family home before moving to create your own family home.
This was possibly the norm in the last century until the economy changed and people moved to either be closer to a job or to free up cash held in bricks and mortar. The 1970s saw the rise of property as a commodity rather than as a home.
For many years I was obliged to move from one country to another where my employer provided either a house or a flat as part of the package. After I was married and started to build a family of my own I felt it important to maintain a “home” – a place to return to and for the kids to remember as the place in which they grew up. I didn’t really have that as a child, though things were steadier in my teens.
Having been based in Brazil (another story) for over twenty years I spent some time in the Northeast of the country – in Rio Grande do Norte, the state closest to Europe/Africa across the Atlantic Ocean. All was well till criminal factions developed a stronghold and the place became less known for its beautiful beaches, sand dunes and surf and more for the terror and bloodshed (mainly but not limited to rival criminal factions) that elevated the state into a world-leading locale for death through violence. This sad state of affairs was precipitated by the influx of drugs, low employment rates and a downturn in the economy.
Things got so bad that we decided it was time to leave. It didn’t help that I, as a foreigner, stuck out like a sore thumb, becoming a potential target for robbery or even kidnapping. Added to that was a discovery that a stalker had begun sending messages via social media that, at first, we felt was a benign act but later became evident that it had malevolent intent. This situation, coupled with death threats, provided the impetus to consider relocating.
Having searched various locations we eventually decided on one in September. Such was our keenness to move we signed a rental contract and paid rent on an empty property until we were ready to move.
Packing started in October, slowly at first, but accelerated through to December. It took two days to finalise the packing and load it into a truck. In all 50 cubic metres of personal items, furnishings and commercial items from my wife’s clothes store. Wife, daughter, mother-in-law and dog left by plane while I drove the family car for 5 days at a leisurely pace. Brazil is a huge country. When I moved from the south of Brazil to the northeast I planned on six days driving. I did it in four days covering well over 1,000 kms on each of the last two days with little regard for the speed limits (though only where safe).
The removal truck arrived on a Saturday morning just days before Christmas, quickly unloading all of our stuff that I tried (in vain) to check off my list as they carried each item / box up to the apartment. Two items could not be moved: a fridge and a sofa. We managed to get the landlord to help us with these items so, by late afternoon, everything was in. The beds were the first things to sort out so we could sleep before tackling the rest. The majority of boxes remain unpacked in the vain hope that our property in the Northeast is sold quickly so we can buy a house.
The rest of this week will probably see us doing some serious unpacking. Hopefully, we will do just one more move in the near future to our new home. Fingers crossed.