It was not easy saying goodbye to India for the promise of more opportunities in Germany.
My husband and I had years of memories keeping us back in Bangalore. I had worked here for five years. For Shreyas, however, Bangalore was his whole life. He grew up in this city. Studied, worked, married, and evolved here.
It was not easy to bid farewell to our foster parents.
Our landlord and his wife. They were not only renting us a house in their building, but also in their hearts. This couple had become our guardians. When I would fall sick, aunty would bring me meals unasked. They never let me feel that I did not have my parents with me in the same city.
It was not easy to leave our pet on the streets.
We had a mock pet in a dog who visited our street often. Rani, we called her. She understood we were leaving her behind as we carried our bags out. She was howling when she saw us leave. A friend told us that she sat lifeless outside our house all day even after we were gone. Heartbreaking.
It was not easy running away from my tribe.
There was a little playground next to our apartment. The Whitefield Inner Circle Park was my daily run route. I had trained for marathons there. All the other joggers and cyclists in that area recognized me. We had formed a running tribe of sorts. Now, the taxi took us out of Bangalore going right along that circle on a quiet afternoon.
It was not easy, but we had to do it.
The routine had gotten monotonous in Bangalore. Every day was the same. The same job, the same hobbies, and the same people. Our friends, family, sport club friends, and colleagues bid us farewell. We recalled the smiles and the goofy moments we had together. In all this, there was also a realization that this was necessary.
We needed to leave our comfort zone. In over eight years of practicing minimalism, I have trained my muscle to let go. I needed to use this skill.
I needed to:
- Declutter stuff and prepare them to keep, sell or donate.
- Donate books and clothes.
- Sell guitar, appliances, bike, bicycle, gadgets and furniture.
- Pass on hobby supplies like wood and crafts to friends who would use them.
- Simplify my finances, including cards, bank accounts, insurances, and investments.
- Travel light and minimize check-in load.
- Retain very few souvenirs (down to a small cardboard box).
We ended up shipping just two cartons and flew with two suitcases and two carry-ons. It felt lighter physically and lighter in our headspace. It was not easy to leave the familiar and go find our footing in the unknown country of Germany. But it was time to test ourselves. It was time for us to leave the nest.