The biggest travel I undertook this year was one that didn’t require a plane to take me to another continent. It only required two cars and a moving bus. I bought an apartment only three streets from where I was renting. Out of all the ‘travels’ I undertook this year, I had never expected it to be such an intense and thrilling ride.
First of all I hadn’t planned for it at all – in March I thought I would continue renting, then my landlord announced I had to leave. The same day I was informed that my organisation wouldn’t receive new funding in 2011. So what to do? After my initial cold feet I actually figured out that I did want to buy, even with an insecure job perspective.
My first viewing on the 6 June, and 20 viewings and only 2,5 months later I could move in to my new apartment. In that time I did not only arrange my mortgage, but had to negotiate with our interim-director how the organisation would be closed down (quite depressing) and on which terms we would be made redundant by the end of 2010, (and keep my fingers crossed the bank wouldn’t find out I was losing my job), attended a conference in Prague on trafficking issues (learned a lot about the realities of sex workers), followed a photography course of a week as a Holiday and had a meeting in South Africa (where my planning was made for my extensive traveling in the fall). Oh, and redid the whole apartment. Well almost all of it, the kitchen came later – of which I’ve finished the last painting today.
Looking back of course this was a crazy schedule, but it was only possible because of the unwavering support of my parents first and all of my friends throughout this process. And it was such an amazing time. I can’t really describe what it meant, but if all your friends offer their help in one way or another, painting, carrying floorboards up four flights of stairs, putting floors in, helping you move (two floors down, four floors up), cook meals when you are tired, send text messages – even cards from friends in other countries – for mental support, you feel really grateful.
In one of those messages it said, ‘it sounds like a project of love.’ And it was. Most of all though, by my parents. My mother came along for the first viewings, my dad provided advice on the mortgage. It didn’t stop there though, as my parents are probably the perfect do-it-yourself-work-till-you-drop-come-on-lets-paint-for-another-hour-ah-lets-make-the-perfect-book-cupboard-saw-your-balcony-table-the-right-size-in-the-freezing-cold-kind-of-64-years-old-but-extremely-fit-parents. I simply could never have done this without them, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Thank you so much, it was a crazy journey and all of you had to endure a stressed-not-always-relaxed-even-crying-forgetting-to-buy-coffee-and-proper-food-for-her-hard-workers-as-she-was-also-working-and-sorry-I-don’t-have-time-because-I’m traveling-again-no-lets-do-it-this-way-but-thank-you-oh-so-much-kind-of-daughter-and-friend, but I had the best companions ever to undertake it. You really made it the best ‘trip’ of the year.