The past two days have been hard. Really, really, really hard.
Friday was the last day of the lease on our Sydney apartment. We had to get all our things out and clean the whole apartment before 5pm, when our real estate agent was coming to check everything and collect our keys. On Friday morning our entire kitchen, wardrobes and various other piles of junk had not even been packed, and all of our furniture and the things that had been packed were still piled in the garage. Not good.
We got up at 6am, frantically packed what was left and hauled it down our building’s 3 flights of stairs, finishing at lunch time. We spent the entire afternoon maniacally scrubbing walls, cupboards and floors, cleaning the oven, bleaching the bathroom and laundry, removing cat fur from the vertical blinds and generally making the apartment spotless, to ensure we’d get all of our bond back. After handing over our keys at 5 o’clock, we still had to load all of the boxes (piled in the garage) onto the trailer, and dispose of all our furniture. Our furniture was all very inexpensive and it would have cost us more to get it moved interstate than it would to just replace it, so to keep costs down we made the decision to leave it behind and start from scratch. Luckily our apartment was just 2 doors down from a Salvation Army store where you can leave furniture and things for donation, so at about 10pm Friday night the two of us hauled all of our (extremely heavy!) furniture (up hill!) to the op-shop. By 11.30 pm we were finally done. The apartment was empty and clean, the furniture was gone and the trailer was loaded. Exhausted, we waved goodbye and drove until we were too tired to go on, finally collapsing into a motel room at about 3.30am.
Yesterday we got up, and set off on the rest of the drive to Victoria. Unfortunately it was a wet, wet day. We had tarps covering our things but they kept coming loose and letting rain in, so we had to keep stopping to adjust them. We also had some minor car troubles. When we finally arrived at Katie’s mum’s place at about 7.30pm last night, a lot of the boxes were damp. We were so tired all we wanted to do was leave the boxes on the trailer until the morning and go to bed, but the trailer was wet, so we had to get them off to prevent them from absorbing any more water. Miraculously, the water hadn’t seeped through any of the boxes containing delicate or papery things, so nothing has been ruined.
It’s days like yesterday and Friday that make regular days seem wonderful. Today we are tired, but relieved that the worst is (hopefully!) over. Now that we are here, we begin the rather daunting task of starting from scratch. In the short term we need to find work and a new home and new furniture. More long term, we have to get settled, meet new people and build a new life for ourselves. Despite the aching backs, the lack of sleep and the uncertainty of unemployment, we feel really, really positive. It was a big risk leaving Sydney but somehow we know it was the right thing to do. Despite how hard the last few days have been, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders. We are no longer tied to the city and jobs we were unhappy in. We don’t know what will come next, but we are free, and there is a whole wide world of new opportunities to explore and experiences to have. Despite everything, we are happy.