Since our short break in the middle of last month, we have been working flat-out to pack up the house and our lives. All that work has been aimed at getting us to this morning, when the storage container gets taken to its new home, somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, not to be seen or heard from again until it shows up again next summer and we wonder where to put everything.

Somehow we did it, and now here I am, sitting on my mattress, which other than a few folding chairs is now the only horizontal surface left in the entire house. It’s kind of like leaving a hotel, but on a much bigger scale — you look around yourself before going to bed, and know that there is a slot to pack every remaining thing that you see. And in the morning, you get up and go about your routine, and as you finish a task, that item gets packed away to accompany you to your next destination.

Except this is not a hotel, this is our life, and the items in it (the coffee pot, my favorite breakfast bowl) are getting packed away for a full year.

You’d think this would be extremely difficult for someone who’s as much of a homebody and a creature of routine as I am. And it is, trust me. But at the same time, there is a big part of me that is slipping back into the life of a nomad like an old comfy bathrobe — you remember all its faults and holes, where the cold drafts leak through, but it’s comforting and familiar nonetheless. Yesterday I packed up the same big backpack I used when I traveled to Cuba in 2003, and then when I moved to London in 2004, and it felt… right. Familiar. Somehow the physical sensation and memory of packing that same suitcase triggered the traveler’s mentality that accompanies it, and I am comforted in the loss of my familiar environment by the knowledge of the new adventures that await.

As of today, my life is boiled down to less than 100 pounds of belongings. I will load them on my back (and tow them behind me), and I will see what my old friend the road has to show me this time.

Goodbye, house.