Two and something years ago, my roommate and I were sitting by the beautiful Pacific Ocean in Vancouver. It was in March and we were talking about some pretty embarrassing nonsense in français. I noticed a middle-aged man sitting on a log, to our right, drinking some sort of alcohol from a paper bag. I exclaimed to my roommate, still in french:“Imagine what this man would think or say if he had any clue what we were talking about!” Suddenly, with a full-on Québecois accent he exclaimed “Il dirait qu’il essaie de ne pas rire depuis toute à l’heure” And right then and there, on a beach in Vancouver, we met Shyruban.
Shyruban was a self-employed web designer who traveled and lived all over the world, he was originally from Montreal. He would come to a new place and leave as soon as he would get sick of it, or feel like it, I suppose. I was in awe, he was living the life I wanted to live. Trying to gather as much information on how he can just pick up and leave in such short frames of time, I asked “But what about your stuff?” He looked puzzled by my question. “What stuff?”, he replied. “Well… your things, your furniture…?” He then immediately answered “It’s just things, I sell them, or I give them away”, as if it was an obviously silly question I asked. To me, that was my biggest worry.
Here I am, two years and something later, selling my own stuff on kijiji, and expecting to leave the city where I have lived for the past 9 years with just one suitcase (okay fine and a backpack…!) , in approximately one month.
I am moving to London, on a work-holiday visa – which I finally received via mail yesterday -. Of course it’s a temporary move, as everything else is in life. I have been meaning to do this for quite some time now, but fear always won over my will. It was an absurd kind of fear, perhaps fed by my first-generation-immigrant-parents that prioritized education, health, finances and stability as main values, after they left their country without anything, and having to start from scratch. Those are all great values of course, but I always had a hard time believing this was it. I wanted a different setting, different environment, new scenery, and to stay long enough in a place to discover it.
I have therefore always felt guilty being so ungrateful about my permanent position, that not many people my age get. Most of my friends have temporary jobs, or low-paying/no-benefits kind of jobs, and I ironically couldn’t help but envy them about how easily they could, if they wanted to, leave it behind and start somewhere else anew. There is something attractive in instability. It was the last day of my trip, last summer, after two months of traveling, encountering amazing people, people who dare to do what they want to do, who live by the motto so what, that I made a pact with myself, in my journal of course because I document everything, that I was going to let myself live it out, somewhere else. I realized that I had no rational reason to prioritize, or cling onto stability right now…except for my student loan…, and I acknowledged that if left undone, it would have been, probably my biggest regret.
So I had a choice: live cowardly a 9-5 life, that I don’t feel – at the moment- designed to live, without clear direction of where I’m going or what I want to do, but that is paying the bills, and making me develop different skills, or go. And that’s how I decided to go.