Charlene’s Move | A Reflection on Relocation

At the beginning of my moving process, it was just about geography. It was all happening on the physical level – requiring the movement and organization of stuff both big (visas to ID cards to bank accounts) and small (closets to cutlery). However, by the end – once I had settled in, with my postcode officially changed, and a new local coffee shop found – I realized I had changed my external environment, but my internal landscape remained the same. For better or worse.

The good part was that no matter where I was, I could always align and ground myself through yoga, or a meditative session of simply sitting and being still. Connecting to the earth in these ways signaled to my body and mind that I had arrived. It wasn’t easy by any stretch. I think Eckhart Tolle said it best in his book A New Earth: “They haven’t really gone anywhere. Only their body is traveling, while they remain where they have always been: in their head.”

What was my biggest lesson learned? Don’t expect that relocation will be a silver bullet solution to re-inventing yourself, changing up your life, and letting go of baggage. Spending time and doing the work of rewiring old thought patterns will serve you better than changing your address.

And if you do go, ease into your new routine and try out different ways of finding calm in chaos. It could be a walking meditation, or sitting quietly with a coffee and your headphones. It doesn’t matter what it is; only how it makes you feel. Return to this space when the change and churn of life threatens to overwhelm.

charlene lo - mindful moving

Read more about Charlene’s move inside the guidebook How To Make Big Moves: Relocate Without Losing Your Mind. You’ll get her tips and international intel curated from 17 other big movers.