lifestyle

"I'm packing up my life for a life I don't yet know."

For months, people have been telling me that I’m so brave for doing this, that they could never do something as crazy as pack up their life and move across the world. But I don’t feel brave. I feel scared.

It’s the third night in a row that sleep hasn’t come easily to me. I close my eyes and instead of relaxing, my mind wakes up. Each night I think up a range of scenarios pertaining to a different emotion – I’ve had fear, excitement, anxiety and sadness.

The reason? In a week, I’ll be on a plane to New York City with no return ticket. It’s been my ‘dream’, as horribly cliche as that sounds, since I first went to New York in 2009. I was obsessed with the architecture, the tourist spots, the history. I went back three years later, but it still wasn’t enough. I had my sights set on living there one day – and finally, it’s happening.

I’m hardly the first person to pack up their life for an adventure in their early 20s. Half of my Facebook friends are in London, the other half are preparing to leave. But it’s still a really, really big deal. At least to me.

moving overseas
Me in New York back in 2012.

For months, people have been telling me that I’m so brave for doing this, that they could never do something as crazy as pack up their life and move across the world.

But I don’t feel brave. To be completely honest, I feel scared.

I’m scared to leave my family. We’re so close, it doesn’t feel right that I’ll be saying goodbye to them soon for God knows how long. I won’t be here to watch my six-month-old niece say her first word, or take her first steps. I call my mum every day when I’m walking home from the office and just talk to her about everything and nothing. I can’t do that anymore.

moving overseas
We’re a pretty close family.
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I’m scared to leave my friends, who have become part of an extended family – a family that I chose for myself. They’ve brought me back to life after some of the hardest points in this past year. They’re the support network I never knew I needed. I won’t have that anymore.

I’m scared of the unknown. I’ve always been a strict planner – I used to bicker with my ex-boyfriend about where we were going for dinner, what time we needed to wake up, what we were doing the next day. Plans make me feel safe.

But I’m throwing myself into the unknown, with no idea of what the next year of my life will look like.

moving overseas
Some of the incredible group of friends I’m lucky to have.
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But at the same time, I am unbearably excited. Ever since I was a bright-eyed 14-year-old wandering around Times Square with my savings from a casual job at McDonald’s in my pocket, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I’ve been planning this move for years and it’s finally here.

I think that’s what scares me the most. Time. That it can go so slowly when we want it to speed up, yet disappear in a blink if we’re holding onto a moment.

As my mind struggles with the loss of my life here, it is fighting with the part of me that is desperate to leave. I’ve never felt like I belonged to one place, no matter where I stored my suitcases. When I was with family and friends in Brisbane, I was yearning for something… more. When I moved to Sydney, part of me never settled in. I’m always planning for the next thing.

But in my plans, there is no ‘next’ after I get on that plane. It’s the place I feel like I belong, above all else.

moving overseas
Everything’s going to be fine… Because I’ll be here.

In the days leading up to my move, I keep getting asked one question: “How are you feeling?”

I can’t answer that. At least, not in any simple terms. I’m feeling anxious, I’m feeling scared, I’m feeling nervous. I have so many ‘what ifs’ going through my mind that I won’t be surprised if I don’t sleep for the next week. But I know once I step onto the plane and there’s no going back, my mind will start to settle. I’ll start to breathe deeply again.

I’ll be fine, because I’ll be in New York. And that’s all that really matters, right?

Do you have any tips about packing up your life and moving overseas?

You can click through the gallery below for some famous celebrities who live in New York.

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