In January, Bridget, the cats, and I moved out of the apartment in Berlin. Both of us wrote a few lines about that moment. There was way more tension, stress, and emotion involved than these lines uncover. And instead of starting a long-planned and longed-for one month road trip together which would have been our first holiday since 2020 we had to improvise and find the first Airbnb to start our “Digital Nomads, but not really, with cats” life.
I guess it’s worth writing a bit about these next months. You know, to be able to remind ourselves later that we did this all voluntarily.
Bridge: Beginning our new nomadic life.
Leon and I love to see new places and be out in nature. I specifically moved to Europe to travel as much as I could. But then between getting established in Berlin and then Corona, we were feeling a little stuck. Then they raised the rent on our already overpriced flat. Neither of us were happy there, I felt trapped working there all day with construction going on and the growing kid upstairs stomping away every morning and evening. Leon dreamed of living a van life but with two so far “house only” cats and my job requiring extremely good internet, that was a difficult idea to pursue. But I’ve been really lucky in that the cats are good with moving from place to place. Viola has had at least 10 different homes and has stayed with me in hotel rooms and at friends’ houses. Westley’s numbers aren’t too far behind, and they actually seemed to enjoy exploring new places.
So I suggested to Leon, what if we moved month to month to different Airbnb’s? We could find plenty of places that were the same price as our rent, and then I would get to experience living all over Germany (and maybe actually learn German) and maybe we could even go to France or Austria, or further.
So we did it. We canceled our Berlin lease, downsized 2 people and 2 cats into one car and we will live in Airbnb’s for the rest of the year. Let the great experiment begin!
First stop, a friend’s flat in South Germany to catch our bearings.
Leon: Moving on.
It’s our last night in our Berlin apartment. Tomorrow we’ll move out. Not into a new one but rather to start a nomadic year. To stay in different places and to get to know more people, farms, and nature.
But this post isn’t about that. It’s about the last 6 weeks where we tried to sell, donate, and giveaway most of our things. I can’t believe how hard it was to find a good new place, new hands for the things we used and took care of.
How did it become cheaper to buy something new than picking up something used – and keep its value and story?
It’s not for too long that we’ve been such an over-consumptive species on this planet. But it’s too long for earth, her resources, and her efforts to keep us alive as part of her.
The many stories of people who picked up a specific item ring in my head.
- The young designer looking for a specific IKEA lamp to upcylce it in a series.
- The young guy with his best friend stopping by one evening, looking for an emergency suit, and leaving with a „that looks better than the other“.
- The woman who took my orange record player because she loves orange.
- The lady with the hip surgery who went all the way to pick up things for her neighbors, her sister, her son. And who had to walk because her social support ticket for public transport was denied.
And the endless packages I sent across Germany.
I can‘t tell how much time it was that we’ve spent finding new places. So much that I understand why it is easier to just open the garbage can and get rid of the worries and the bad conscience.
But what we don’t need anymore in our society is the easy way. We have to face the uncomfortable. We have to think before we buy and before we give it away. We have to cut back. We have to actually use the things we have.
It’s the last day, the last night. We were so focused on getting everything a new home that we are sleeping on torn up foam pads tonight.
I guess we will get some good cat cuddles.