For anyone who knows me, it’s been no secret that I’ve wanted to move my life back to my birth-state, Victoria. While I’ve grown up in Western Australia’s chilled out coastal lifestyle, I’ve also grown out of it. Over the last seven or so years, I’ve dreamt of exploring the urban, concrete jungles. While New York was always the big dream, I knew that one day I would return to my roots in Melbourne. Moving interstate or overseas was always in my five-year plan. But things changed when Kyal came into my life.
Are We Moving Yet?
When Kyal and I met in late 2015, I was already at a crossroad. Coming to the end of my undergraduate degree I had to make a decision. Do I continue my studies, do I try to crack into WA’s bleak workforce or do I move to a prospering city? What made my decision more difficult was Kyal’s six month deployment the following year. As our relationship continued to thrive over the summer, my choice became easy. I would stick out another year of studying while I waited for him to come back.
Leading up to deployment, we discussed life after his trip. Often the idea of Melbourne popped up. Being born and bred in Victoria, Kyal was keen to move back home. For me, I could write a whole book revolving around the reasons I wanted to live there. With a shared ambition, we spent many international calls fantasising about our future life over east. We well and truely had our hearts set. So when the Navy told us that it wasn’t an option in August 2016, we were bitterly disappointed.
Without going too much into detail, the idea of living in Melbourne was keeping me sane while I tried to keep up with the vortex of studying, work and Kyal being away. When the dream was no longer obtainable, I felt lost. Other than finishing Honours and waiting for Kyal, I had no idea what I was working towards anymore.
Fast forward to Valentine’s Day 2017, and Kyal delivered me the best present: the news that the Navy was posting him to Victoria in the middle of the year. This new future breathed fresh life into my being. I was excited again, I had goals I could work towards. I no longer felt stuck at a dead end. Once again everything felt like it was in place.
The “Packing-Up” Process
We’ve had five months to prepare and pack, and while they’ve been filled with excitement, at times they’ve dragged on. We’ve popped into appliance stores and gauged an idea of what we like, what we want and what’s in our price range (SN: Breville’s Luxe Royal Champagne toaster, kettle and mixer make my heart race and my bank account quiver). Knowing we’ve got a home on the horizon, we watch our favourite design shows while sussing out each others stylistic preferences. We bombard each other with links to rentals. Without embarrassment or guilt, I pester him with all my decor Pinterest boards. He had to meet my interior design alter ego someday.
Slowly my room has emptied and seeped into boxes. First to go were the travel ornaments that collected dust at the top of my bookshelf, and then it was the chest that housed all my spare notebooks and journals. Next were the accessories that were sprawled throughout my room: scarves and caps on my hat stand, clutches and bags that carpeted my wardrobe. I rummaged through the drawers under my bed, discarding old orthodontic moulds, dried out highlighters from high school and sentimental rubbish I’ve kept for far too long, like the confetti from Justin Bieber’s My World tour in 2011.
The Final Sprint
In our final month of waiting, our to-do list has multiplied. Drawers need to be cleared, with contents being homed in boxes, containers or suitcases. With all our beloved crap, we had to suss out our essentials for the road. I began the rapid job hunting cycle of writing, applying and interviewing. Everything was exhilarating and frightening at the same time. My organised self longed to organise daily plans and tasks, but as my busy days unravelled, I realised it was a time to be flexible and adaptable.
Movies make moving out look so easy. You simply pack up some boxes, put them in a van and drive to your white picket fence destination. In reality, it’s not as simple. Everybody’s moving out process is complex, and everyone’s story is going to be different. During our months of waiting, both Kyal and I have had colleagues who made the decision and moved interstate within a brief month or two. Again, their process has been very different to ours.
It’s been an interesting experience to say the least, one that’s thrown me far out of my comfort zone. But as the weeks have past I’m slowly adapting. Now that we’re actually in Melbourne, it’s a whole new ball game. Settling in has its own challenges: adjusting to transport systems, finding the perfect rental and keeping my sanity while job hunting are just a few things I’m battling with on a daily basis. Oh, and trying not to freeze to death.