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unpacking kind of a home-home feeling

I haven’t been blogging for a while, but today is an incredibly good morning to start over. You know why? Because I had my morning coffee and some quiet minutes to wake up on our super dooper couch, went for a run and then I got the news that I don’t have to work today! And all this before 10 am. Yay! It’s Friday!

The reason I haven’t been writing for over a month: I changed hemisphere (NZ -> Europe) and moved house, visited friends and family in Berlin and started to work on a regular basis again. All this is actually a bad excuse, but it’s the reason why I didn’t really get up to much writing. So here I am, from now on trying to not let my beloved routines be swallowed by all the must-dos in my life.

I actually wanted to tell you about how it feels to settle in* and unpack your boxes after years of living out of a suitcase:

As you know, I’m kind of a modern nomad. I have my home where I feel home. However, being home in many places, often means you have stuff in every spot. Over the past years I’ve had my belongings cluttered over at least four places. Sometimes practical, most of the time it was a hassle and I was simply carrying things from here to there just to exchange them for other stuff: Winter clothes for summer clothes, hiking boots for business dress, banking statements for travel guides.

In an organizational sense, I’m making a huge step forward now, because the extraordinary thing this year is that I have all my stuff with me for the first time in six years!!! (Well, almost all of it, apart from a bag at a friend’s place in Berlin and that travel bag I left in Jordan once…)

So yeah, it is the first time in years that I unpack my boxes – on one hand, I’m quite excited about it, on the other it is kind of a weird feeling…


First about the excitement: I don’t know how many of you can relate to this almost childish sense of delight over your toys: Looking forward to some of your favourite bits.

In my case these are: All my lovely cups, cherished pieces from my grandma’s place, my travel guides, baking gear as well as some other small bits and pieces. Little things and pretty things lovely to have. They bring some of my personal touch to this house.

And some of them simply make life a little more comfortable: baking cake with a handheld electric mixer, for example, instead of just using my muscle strength and a wire wisk. Or toasting my bread in a proper toaster instead of a pan on the stove. Little joys making life so much easier and prettier!


It’s funny: I’m pretty convinced that I got less focused on material things over the past years, but I am still so thrilled with some of these things now. Stuff that has to be left home while traveling, but that kind of defines your home. Things that give your home a familiar character.

And maybe this is exactly the reason why I’m so excited: It is these things that make your home YOUR home. Because you attach memories to them, connect them to good times, ascribe a sense of homey-ness to them. (Writing this, I realize that I actually never thought about it this way…)

Two of my things reflecting this sense of homey-ness in a very good way are one of my favourite cups (the “Good morning” cup featured in the picture above) and my yellow kitchen curtains from my flat in Berlin. They came out of the boxes with many other things, but somehow made their way to the top. They colour our new place with sunny, happy vibes, especially in the mornings. They connect me to my past and to my former home in a way, yet giving me kind of a present home-home feeling: that this place for the first time in a long while is MY home – for now, of course.

Now the other side: Unpacking these boxes also comes with a weird emotion. There is a certain resistance to it.

A resistance to unpack everything. To do all this work of unpacking for an unknown period of time. Not knowing for how long I will and want to stay in this place, not being a hundred per cent convinced of all this. Kind of getting cold feet. I unwrap the paper and look at things, then I put them back in the box.–A typical inner reaction for someone leading a life in many places? You could call it a commitment issue, I suppose. Like in a relationship, but in this case you are emotionally not ready to bind yourself to this one place.

And there might be another reason for stuffing things just back in the box and back in the basement. It probably has to do with the way I’ve lived over the past years: Not very fancy, rather minimalist. I learned to improvise and – a lot of the times (as far as I can judge myself) – lived with what was there. No fancy furniture, no fancy dishes. A yoga mat as dinner table (which is one of the BEST tables, btw!), one plain white coffee cup. And life can be so good like that!

That’s when you sense the abundance of material goods: We have too much! There are a lot of things that are nice to have, for sure, that make life cozy and comfortable (like my little blue toaster), but most of it we could happily live without. Yes, we could!

Seeing the abundance of my possessions right in front of me really makes me think– no wonder I am so hesitant with unpacking. I have too much and carry around too much. This is my ongoing struggle, something popping up again and again in my life. I saw a great post on instagram two days ago. Fellow blogger Anita Wing Lee posted: “Everything I own fits into these two bags… [The suitcase] only weighs 14.3kg! Down from 20-23kg when I arrived in Europe.” And I thought ‘wow!’

Alright. So far my non-materialistic ramblings. Some food for thought for you?

Anyhow, because I feel so comfy and happy in my new, bright living room with the sun shining in, I will close this post with a toast: To all homes & home bases, to places that instill you with a feeling of homey-ness and happiness! 

*Side note: “Settling in” still defined in a very liberal way, not meaning to live in this one place for the next years. No. More in a sense of ‘I live here for now, I have a home base here, but still will be on the road for a good part of the year’. Just to get that straight – hehe.

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