Expat, Packing

Unpacking Memories

June 26, 2017

Unpacking Memories

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My jet lag fog is lifting and the stomach bug that hit me a few days after landing is finally over, which meant that I needed to tackle the six suitcases I brought home. The big issue with this is that I really don’t have a place of my own to put all the stuff I brought back. Unlike many expats and nomads, I don’t have a storage unit. My few possessions live in a building on my parent’s property, in what we call “The Office.”

Before coming home, I had asked my Mom to clear some room in the closet and a drawer for me so I wouldn’t have to live out of suitcase for the month I would be home. She hadn’t gotten around to it by the time I arrived. Which ended up being good as yesterday she and I went through what used to be my old closet and unpacked some memories together.

The closet is now a mash-up of her off-season clothes, my nieces hand me downs, and clothes that have sentimental value. My prom dress is there. My Mom’s first formal is in there. All my sister and my oldest niece cheerleading jackets are in there. So with each handful, my Mom pulled out, we would say, “Remember this!” or she would say “You never saw this costume.” We had a great time looking at things we hadn’t seen in awhile.

Then there were the things my Mom hadn’t seen from my travels and Qatar. While I am not a big souvenir buyer, I do occasionally buy things. I have also been gifted many things over the years. We oooh’d and aahh’d over these things as they were unpacked only for most of the to be packed again. I am mostly sad that all my lovely things will not be on display again.

Memories continued when I took some things down to the office for long term storage. I found some knee high heeled boots from my New York days. They promptly went in the trash as the leather had dried out. I returned Christmas decorations that had been taken to Qatar to their box and admired the ones I hadn’t seen in awhile. I went through a few boxes and decided it was time to let go of a few things in them as well.

So many people have commented on the fact that I have gotten rid of so much stuff when I left Qatar, but that is just it. It is just stuff. I am sure that when I return home again, I will have forgotten half the things I have packed away on this trip. Just like those boots I had forgotten about!

What memories would you like to unpack?

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  • Reply Lana June 30, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Great article! I love reading about all those who spend their time travelling from place to place with no base. I love hearing their stories and how they go about full-time travelling! Thanks for sharing your memories 🙂

    • Reply Tiffany June 30, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Thank you! I am just starting so stay tuned.

  • Reply Ritu July 2, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Oh there are so many things!!! But I need to release some of my memorable bits.. no space lol!

    • Reply Tiffany July 2, 2017 at 7:50 am

      I still go through the stuff at my parents house and think, why did I keep this! It’s hard to let go.

  • Reply Lucy July 2, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Great post and I hadn’t thought about unpacking memories. I suppose I would like to unpack adventures and friends made on holiday 🙂

    • Reply Tiffany July 2, 2017 at 7:51 am

      Thank you! I love that idea. Love when I meet knew people I connect with.

  • Reply AnHistorian July 2, 2017 at 7:46 am

    I’m bad for keeping far too many things, so I tend to go on “sprees” where I just throw out a huge amount of stuff without really looking at it. I have to say, there’s nothing I’ve regretted yet. I do plan on doing more journaling and photo diaries, but then again, I suppose my blog kind of acts that way currently!

    • Reply Tiffany July 2, 2017 at 7:52 am

      I was really bad before I moved to Qatar. But I then learned you don’t remember what you threw out. I need to do more journaling too!

  • Reply Noemi of Pinay Flying High July 6, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    My recent move to London made me realize how much junk I’ve accumulated in my 2 years in Doha so I vowed to myself that I’ll live a minimilastic life. Didn’t really happen 100% but I am trying. I don’t buy clothes anymore, also shoes. I just don’t buy things which aren’t really necessities.

    Must’ve been a great “bonding” time with your mom while you did it. 🙂

    • Reply Tiffany July 11, 2017 at 10:06 am

      I did a big declutter before I moved to Qatar and realized then that I would be doing it again on the way out. I am also trying not to buy much since everything has to be in storage now.

      It was good bonding time with my mom! We had fun.

  • Reply Lynn Caldwell July 9, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I love those treasures I’ve acquired from my travels but it is so good too to declutter. Totally can relate to this article! Thank you.

    • Reply Tiffany July 11, 2017 at 10:09 am

      I have learned to enjoy decluttering. I get rid of things every time I come home too.

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