Flight From Paris

Life Update: Living Out Of A Suitcase & Where We Go From Here

August 26, 2013

The transition from living in Paris to life in the U.S. has been a rough and bumpy one. With no clear destination in mind it seemed.

But today, I can finally reveal where I’m going with certainty.

Flight From Paris

Since moving back, I have been coping with copious amounts of instability and uncertainty.

My travel trajectory has been staggered and zig-zagged. Like that of a drunken bumble bee’s.

During the past two months, I have literally been living out of a suitcase. Crashing from one family or friend’s place to the next. And even working a little side job in order to give myself time to figure out the next step of this transition.

It’s been… tough.

I am the kind of person who needs routine and a regular rhythm in order to be productive. And when I don’t have these things, my focus is scattered.

Leading such an irregular lifestyle has greatly reduced my productivity and creativity. Which is why I haven’t been as active on this blog as I would have liked.

Flight Of The Bumble Bee

[My travel path during the past two months.]

The hardest part of all has been the uncertainty of not knowing where I was going to live next.

The decision basically hinged on my boyfriend’s job and where his company was going to send him.

The process of finding out where we were going has been more complicated and ridiculous than you could possibly imagine.

There were many times when we thought we were moving somewhere, became excited, made preparations for it, only to have our plans dashed with no other clear destination given to us.

I was incredibly frustrated.

Where We Go

[Where do we go from here…?]

Granted, the options dangled before us had all been alluring. There was talk of moving to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and even New York.

Each time I became fixated on an idea, it was difficult for me to change that vision which I’d already begun to flesh out in my mind.

But mainly, I was frustrated because of the little control that I felt we had over our lives and where we were going.

I felt like we were being strung along with the promise of security and stability. But only after we’d endured the most unstable and irregular of circumstances. And actually, this has been going on much longer than I’d like to admit.

It got to the point that I no longer even cared about where we were going.

I just simply… wanted… to know.

In the end, I got the destination I’d originally really really wanted.

But only after I’d stopped wanting it.


San Francisco

The verdict is finally out…

We are moving to San Francisco. And this time, it’s for real.

There are a lot of other details about how complicated nomadic life has been for the past two years. But there’s no need to talk about that here.

All I have to say is that I’m rather surprised and impressed with the way I’ve carried myself with such grace during this transition period.

There was a time when I used to deal with stress and uncertainty very very badly. I’m talking about always being on the verge of a panic attack or a nervous breakdown.

But I have come a long way since those days.

Tea and Breathing

Now I cope with stress much more positively. I practice mindful breathing. I regularly do yoga and meditate. I carefully guard my health.

When I start thinking too much, I stop. And bring myself back to the present.

These coping mechanisms are not something I developed overnight. They are habits that have been years and years in the making.

And the difference that they now make in my life could not be more evident.

Am I excited about San Francisco? Oh god, yes.

But the truth is, I will never have that perfect stability that I crave. That’s just life, filled with unexpected curve balls.

So I will no longer allow myself to get too attached to the way I would like for things to turn out. 

That was the most important lesson I’ve had to learn during this transition period.

Welcome Home

So maybe, just maybe, all that uncertainty and ridiculous complexity was worth it in the end…

But, nah.

I still think I probably could have done without it.

What about you? How do you deal with uncertainty and the complexities of life?

Do you deal with it head on, or stick your head in the sand like an ostrich?

20 thoughts on “Life Update: Living Out Of A Suitcase & Where We Go From Here

  1. jeni

    I am so excited for you two!! What an adventure this will be! I know it is not easy knowing where life will take you next. We move almost every three years. It definitely is trying to start over everywhere but, as you know all too well, it has it’s positives. You meet so many different people and experience so many different ways of living. I wish you both the best there!

    1. Kareen

      Thank you Jeni! You’ve probably had it worse than I have, having to move around so much. But you’re right, there are so many wonderful people to meet and experiences to be had. So here’s to looking forward and embracing new experiences!

  2. Aida

    I’m happy how things finally worked out for you and hey, maybe you will have that perfect stability when you stop wanting it 😉 just embrace what you have got and enjoy it! 🙂 I haven’t been through any such stuff yet, but I think that’s about to happen soon after I finish my university. Which I’m kinda forward to but at the same time I’m scared to death.. Oh well..:)

    1. Kareen

      Very wise words Aida! I am going to try and do just that, embracing what life gives me and being grateful. Life after university is one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking periods! Good luck on your new adventure!

  3. Luchessa

    Exciting news darling. Thought you were going to the sunny California, but i guess San Francisco is not a bad place to be neither 😀
    Glad you know where it goes next. This waiting for something experience is just exhausting…
    Wishing you much energy for the actual move & stay healthy! HUGS

    1. Kareen

      Hello dearest! San Francisco is still in sunny California, but more in the northern cooler parts of Cali. Which is perfect for me as my skin cannot handle heat and humidity! Ohmygoodness, yes, the waiting thing has been absolutely draining. But really looking forward to finally being able to call a place home! I hope you can come visit at some point. Big hugs right back!

  4. Alison Harriman

    I’m so pleased for you! I lived in Vancouver for a year and regret agreeing to move to England from the beautiful Pacific Northwest. A mistake we are now remedying I should add. I just know you’ll love California. Looking forward to lots of interesting blog posts on all this.

    Ali x

    1. Kareen

      Hi Ali! The Northwest is one of the most underrated regions in North America and perhaps all of the world. I have heard so many awesome things about Vancouver, so when you say that you are remedying your situation does that mean you are planning to move back? If so, we will be living again in the same side of the world! Haha. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  5. Emilia

    I seek change daily! And since look for change, I think it hides. So in the end when I do experience change I embrace it & try to point out the impressions made on my perspective on the world & feelings about about myself. I am happy you guys finally figured it all out. Loves

    1. Kareen

      Thanks Helene! I am looking forward to finally being settled in my new home, the way you seem to be happily settled out there in the wild lands of Canada 🙂

  6. Sunshine

    Kareen I literally LOL’d at the drunken bumble bee.

    I admire you for being able to cope with so much change at the drop of a hat. I wish I could travel as much as you do.

    It’s so exciting that you’ll be living in SanFran! I will have to visit you one day :)x

    1. Kareen

      Hey, Sun! Having to move around and living under so much instability has been soooo difficult. But I’m glad soon I will finally have a place to call home. And YES!! Of course! You must come visit!!!

  7. The Girls On Fire

    Hiiiii Ziba !!

    Contente d’avoir de tes nouvelles ^^
    Oh ma pauvre : quel périple !
    Je n’aurai pas pu supporter autant !
    San Fransisco : c’est super 😀 I hope you’ll be happy and nice there !
    Je t’embrasse fort !

    1. Kareen

      Merci Ms H !!

      Ouai, la vie (surtout ma vie!) est souvent pleine de défis… mais bientôt, je crois que les choses vont changer. Je suis un peu triste que je ne sera pas ici à NY quand tu visite, mais peut-être un jour tu peux arriver à San Francisco! C’est aussi une ville très cool!! 😀

      1. The Girls On Fire

        J’y ai pensé aussi .. Je serai à NY en octobre.
        Mais je viendrai à San Fransisco avec plaisir et nous ferons les boutiques ensemble 😀

        Je suis très contente que tu parles en français : don’t forget french !

        J’espère que ta vie va se stabiliser un peu plus : je comprends que tu sois lasse de tous ces changements.

        Je t’embrasse fort ♥♥♥

        1. Kareen

          J’ai hate de voir ce que tu pense de NY! Le rythme de la vie à NY est trop fou pour moi. Je suis contente que dans le fin on nous envoie en Californie.

          Je ne peux pas oublier mon français, mais ça va assurément devenir pire. Sauf si je continue de pratiquer le français avec toi! Je suis très contente d’avoir une amie super parisienne comme toi 😀

          Gros gros bisou! mwah! xo


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