I miss my stuff. What do I mean with that? I guess what I am trying to say is that I am starting to miss having a home again. Don’t get me wrong; I like my apartment and I am extremely lucky with my flat mate. But it’s just not a home.
I gave up my apartment back in The Hague and sold most of my Ikea furniture before coming here. I did, however, put a number of things into storage; furniture which I have inherited from my grandparents, a beautiful Afghan rug, my high quality kitchen knives, my books, my beloved speakers, my paintings and a few more sentimental bits and bobs. Basically all the things that are dear to me, but for which I would have no use in Lausanne. So the only things that I took with me were my clothes, tv and coffee machine. I have to note though, that my flat mate and I took over the furniture from the previous tenant, so there really was no need for me to bring anything else. Our apartment is therefore kitted out with all the bear essentials required for life at IMD; a bed to sleep in, a kitchen to make your instant noodles and coffee, a bathroom to wash of the blood, sweat and tears off and wake you up, and a washing machine to do your midnight laundry sessions. Perfect, there is nothing more that I need. But it’s not home. I don’t have my pictures and paintings hanging up on the wall. I don’t have my kitchen utensils to allow me to make the kind of meals I want to make. I don’t have my music echoing out of my 15+ year old speakers which still sound amazing. I have what I need, but not what I want. And it’s those special things, filled with memories, that make an apartment into a home.
I must say though, that it’s been a nice experience to spend a year living with just the bear necessities (I know, I know…that is subjective…let’s say bear necessities from a western perspective). You get so accustomed to a certain lifestyle and income level, it’s good to see that you can live happily and well on a lot less. After all, you never know how life goes. So although I cannot wait to get my things out of storage, I do think that going forward I will be more critical when buying new things. Having moved house practically on an annual basis for the past 12 years (without professional movers), I have frequently had to go through my things and see what was really worth keeping. Having to lug the things up and down flights of stairs yourself is a good incentive, I must say. But it never ceases to amaze me how much crap I had managed to accumulate over one year. The only things you end up keeping are those that have real sentimental value or quality. So wherever I end up after this year, I am going to try to hold off on a buying frenzy when I get my first pay check and just think about what it is that I really want. If it will really add to my home or just add to the pile of crap.