Technically, it’s two suitcases, a backpack, and a large box I’m still seeking out. All the equivalent of four suitcases Amtrak allows. In one month, I’ll decide what goes in these spaces and expunge the rest of it to friends or donation stores. I’m leaving my life in Philadelphia for good.
It sounds ludicrous to put your life into the equivalent of four suitcases, but it’s my only option to get to Georgia, where I’ll be leaving two suitcases of contents at my Mom’s house. I’m leaving my life in America, maybe for good. By then, I’ll be down to my 40 liter Ospery backpack and bright pink Michael Kors suitcase.
For the past eight months I’ve been putting my plans into action: getting rid of things, putting the majority of my paychecks into savings, and coordinating my future life abroad. And now it’s less than two months away.
I’ve been building up to these moments for years though. Ever since I was a teenager I knew I wanted to leave America — before I even took my first international trip. Ten years later, I think my teenage self would be satisfied knowing I’m making that dream a reality today. She’s getting what she wanted.
After four and a half years in Philadelphia creating a life, it’s time to put a stake in it. It actually feels incredible. I will miss my friends, my co-workers, and everyone who made me feel welcome, appreciated, and loved, but they all understand why I have to go. I won’t miss the ridiculous shit that Philly can be — and if you’re from Philly (or any other rough city), you might agree with my feelings.
After living in shady neighborhoods and experiencing low-blows I didn’t ask for in well-off parts of the city, I’ve been ready to dismiss this lifestyle just like the rest of my belongings. Luckily, the positive people in my life will become weightless, digital connections that still fill my heart after my departure.
My last three months in the city have been a blessing. I moved out of Kensington (a heroin-fueled neighborhood), and moved back to West Philadelphia, the part of the city I first lived in when I came to the city. My happiness soared being back in the part of Philly that feels like home, the negative feelings I adapted melting away. I’ve walked to work everyday, enjoyed the lovely Clark Park, eaten all the incredible foods offered along Baltimore Avenue, and started killin’ it in the Salsa classes only two blocks from my apartment.
I’m getting the Philly treatment and spending my last few months in the city right. While I’ve learned to hate my city sometimes, my city is sending me off with the love I’ve yearned from it.
A month ago my roommate moved out — another strange blessing. She was great, but to have an apartment to myself for the first time ever is insane. Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve it.
With only a month until I board an Amtrak train to Atlanta, I’ve been filling my soul-suitcase, knowing I may not see some people for years. It’s fast-paced, putting the finishing touches on my travel plans and my relationships.
So I guess what I’m saying is, wish me luck as I fill my two suitcases, my backpack, cardboard box, and my last memories Philadelphia.
& if you’re wondering, where am I going? Well, that will be covered in the next blog post.