I wouldn’t call myself the runaway bride of the real-estate world (yet), but I’ve moved around a lot. Strangely, this didn’t really start in my childhood: Between the time I was born and the time I moved out at age 20, I lived in only three homes, and they were all in the same city. I had to change schools only once, and overall, I had a pretty stable family life and core group of friends. But as soon as I flew the nest nine years ago, I’ve had this undying need to move around. Since then, I’ve moved 10 times, lived in three countries, had six roommates, and lived on my own in four different apartments.
Most of the homes I lived in were pretty great: I’ve lived beachfront in Australia, had an orange tree in my backyard (a seriously cool thing to have as a Canadian), and my own ensuite bathroom. I’ve also had my share of not-so-good living situations: a friendship turned sour, a landlord who wasn’t great at basic maintenance, and disagreeable neighbors. I’ve lived with a group of exchange students, a best friend (who I'm no longer friends with), and a woman I didn’t know very well who used our apartment as a pied-à-terre and was home approximately one day a month (hello, best of both worlds)! The point is, after of all these experiences, I have a pretty good idea of what I like and what I don’t.
While my move count might seem high to the average person, the truth is that I’m glad to have lived these experiences in my 20s. I’ve got moving strategies down to a science, and I appeased my intrinsic need to explore. But most importantly, I have also learned that I don’t want to sustain the nomad lifestyle into my 30s—I’m ready to grow my roots and stay put for a while. This is not to say that I want to stop traveling and exploring the world, but rather that I’ve rediscovered that having a core home to come back to is what makes going away worthwhile in the first place. Also, moving is not cheap—and neither is redecorating once a year. This shouldn’t be a top concern when you’re taking a first plunge into adulthood and happily living out of suitcases, but once you discover the bliss of a high-quality mattress or an investment sofa, there is no going back.
This is not a guide on perfecting the art of moving, but instead it’s an account of how I learned to lay down some roots, and how I went from loving a nomad lifestyle to embracing a sedentary lifestyle (as far as my home goes, at least). I've learned to love my space: It might not be perfect, but it's home. If you're ready to plant some seeds in your own town, here are my newfound tips.
Are you also plagued with chronic moving syndrome? What tricks did you implement to help you stay put?