Living a Transient Life: Packing Up My Apartment (Again)

I just finished packing up my belongings to move out of my apartment in Ottawa, Canada.

I feel like I repeat this same process every year…

Ever since I moved away from St. John’s, Newfoundland in 2010, I’ve been moving city-to-city on a regular basis. All within a fairly small radius of distance, mind you.

I moved to Montreal for college in 2010 and lived there for four years, with occasional summer stints in St. John’s. What a blur.

Upon graduation in 2014, I moved to Toronto for five months to be trained for my full-time job.

After five months had passed, my employer shipped me back to Montreal for an assignment.

Nine months later, just after I started feeling at home again in Montreal, work sent me to Ottawa to replace a colleague of mine who had been promoted.

And I’ve been living in Ottawa ever since that latter relocation in September 2015.

I’ve enjoyed my time here! Ottawa is a fantastic city for young (or old) professionals looking to live and work and relax and get some thinking done. People are nice and laid back here and it’s a very sensible city.

People care about things here – the political vibes are more apparent than I would have expected before moving here. I guess it makes perfect sense in retrospect.

Anyways, now I’m moving again.

Can you guess where to?

Berlin…? Hong Kong……? New York City………?

*Drum Roll*

Nope — Toronto!

Back to the center of the universe:

I’m actually quite excited.

My girlfriend got accepted into a prestigious Masters program in her field of Law. She’s waiting to hear back on a few interviews as well so it looks like she’s going to have options. I’m so proud of and excited for her.

Now that my office is my laptop, my mobility allows me to move freely with her to Toronto. We’ll be moving there together effective September 1st.

As for the next two months, we’ll be traveling to India and St. John’s, Newfoundland. I’m excited and mentally unprepared and unbelievably grateful at the same time.

Stay tuned here for regular updates on our travels to India!

The effects of frequently moving to a new city

As with many other lifestyle decisions, there are pros and cons to frequently moving to new cities.

Here are some of the potential pros:

  • You’re constantly meeting new people
  • You’re faced with regular “checkpoints” in your life – moving to a new city could be viewed as a fresh start or opportunity to reflect on what you’ve accomplished in a specific amount of time
  • You’re provided with a regular opportunity to assess what material belongings you own and what you should probably consider giving away. I’m biased on this point because I personally dislike hoarding and tend to believe that if I haven’t used an item in a year or more, then I’ll likely never need to use it. I like being forced to review my inventory of possessions every so often.
  • Depending on where you are moving, you might be able to experience a totally new culture. If you are moving from Chicago to Beijing, for example, the cultural learning curve will obviously be a huge pro in and of itself.
  • Your willingness to be mobile could accelerate your career progression.
  • And more…

On the other hand, here are some of the potential cons of moving to new cities too often:

  • Moving is invariably an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Whether you opt for the cheapest of the IKEA lamps or not, that U-Haul is still costing you a pretty penny. And packing up your apartment or home is either going to cost you a significant amount of time or money.
  • You run the risk of potentially losing contact with good friends or family members in your former city.
  • You have to change addresses with all of your major services, such as banks, government revenue agencies, etc. (I’m lazy, I know)
  • Your fleeting presence might cause you to hold back on commitments or relationships in your current city due to the expectation of an upcoming relocation.
  • You might be stuck renting apartments or buying and selling houses in a less-than-financially-optimal way to accommodate your lifestyle.
  • And more…

At the end of the day, everyone has different priorities in their lifestyle. To some, moving cities every year sounds exciting and fun, and to others it sounds like a nightmare.

Personally, I was anxious to move around and live in various cities as recently as a couple of years ago. I’m finding myself increasingly attracted to the idea of settling down in a city for a little while at this point though.

(Has Ottawa changed me…?)

The idea of calling somewhere my home for more than 2 years is sounding great to me right about now.

Or maybe this is just my physical exhaustion from having packed up my apartment today speaking.

Who knows.

Anyways, I’m going to bed.

Thanks for reading. Night!







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