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According to research, moving ranks among the most stressful things that can happen to a person in life. It ranks close to divorce and losing a loved one. But even without the research, you already knew that.

I don’t have to tell you about the tearful goodbyes you will have with people and places. You’ve thought about that. You notice in saying goodbye that there are so many ties to break. Of course, there are the good friends, but there are also colleagues, acquaintances, teachers, parents of you children’s friends. And what about the baker where you buy your bread every day? Will you say goodbye to him? Will he notice that you’re gone? Where do the goodbyes end?

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Then there are the places. How do you farewell a place? How do you say goodbye to the backdrop of your children’s childhood? What about the familiar places that saw you through your everyday life for the past years? The favourite café where you knew the owner, the path up to the mountain where you held and adventure birthday party, the path you took home from work every-day, where you did some of your best thinking? And so many other places linked to important moments in your life. It is harder to say goodbye to them. The loss is so one-sided.

Then there is the stress of the physical move. The packing and the administration of moving a family is overwhelming. In the middle of packing you pause and wonder, “Do we really need all this stuff?” But you are not on your own. You cannot just pack your backpack and head off like you used to. You have a family to look after and these are the things they love, the things that will make the next place a home. So you pack the 30 stuff animals even though you think they may have outgrown them by now. But what if they haven’t? You can’t let them down when you are already asking so much of them.

There is the stress of the unknown. Will the kids settle into school and find friends? Will you find a good home? Will the neighbours be friendly? Will you have what we need to make a good life in this new unfamiliar place? Have you made the right decision?

This is the hardest part.

It’s also the part that opens the door to the best part of moving. Moving is stressful, scary and exhausting. But it’s also a chance.

Despite all the heartache, there is also something very freeing about moving. It’s not just the freedom from the things that get left behind. There is also the liberation from place and the life led in front of that backdrop; a freedom from the persona, the version of yourself that that place and the people you were with required – the form your life took as it adapted to that particular environment.

With a move there is a chance and sometimes a demand to reinvent yourself; bring certain aspects of yourself to the forefront while others fade into the background and go dormant. A slightly different version of yourself emerges as a new chapter begins.

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Moving can be an adventure as a family. You set off, just your little family, making its way in the world. The bonds tighten through no effort of your own, simply through the vacuum left by all the goodbyes you’ve said to the rest of the people in your lives. The sense of adventure becomes is acutely felt at certain points: the excitement of exploring a new home, unpacking, discovering things you love about your new neighbourhood. Of course, some of the adventure is harrowing. Your parental heartstrings get played to the point of breaking as your kids confide in you just before going to sleep how much they miss their friends. You wonder if their new school will meet all of their needs. Again, you wonder if you’ve made the right decision for everyone. But they are children and despite their own moments of doubt, they quickly make new friends and begin to find what they need. They are the ones who lead you out of your worries and into this new place, making it your home.

Für FJYAY, eine meine Lieblingsfamilien auf der Welt. Egal wo Ihr seid, Eure Zuhause wird immer ein willkommenden Hafen der Wärme, Gastfreundlichkeit, Gelächter, und tolles Essen zu dem Deinen Freunden stets sich hingezogen flühlen werden. Es wird immer einer meiner Liebelingsorte auf der Welt sein, egal wo es ist.