For anyone who has ever experienced long-term travel, either by choice or vocation, or has had to live an itinerant lifestyle for other reasons, you can appreciate how living out of a suitcase can wear thin after a while. For the past couple of years, the boy and I have been packing and unpacking our suitcases at intervals ranging from two weeks to six months. We've gotten pretty good at it. However, there are still times when we can't find the right charger, extension cord, converter, game, book, journal, sock, the list goes on, and it is maddening and can make you feel slightly out of control of your world.
This is one of the reasons, among many, that we are in the process of trying to create a more permanent home at the moment. A base from which we can make shorter travel excursions around Europe, and eventually, beyond. But finding that landing pad, on a writerly budget in one of the most expensive cities in the world (London!), feels like scaling the Himalayas at the moment.
This weekend we had to leave our temporary lodging, with old family friends, in the posh and leafy neighborhood of St John's Wood where the boy invented the game of how many Lamborghinis and Bentleys he could count each time we went out. Easy access to Regent's Park was amazing and will be missed, but we will perhaps feel more at home in down to earth Ealing, with other old friends, while the flat hunt continues.
Regent's Park was especially good for pick-up football (soccer) games for the boy. He takes his football very seriously for a 12-year-old and is rarely intimidated by groups of adults playing rec games. His tact is to sidle up, size up the number of players on each team, angling for a group with an uneven number, and when a ball goes off the pitch, he runs to get it, and returns with it and a request to join the game. Sometimes he is fobbed off, but more often than not, they let him join. And they are almost always surprised when he holds his own and in some cases, runs circles around them.
But back to the day to day grind of apartment hunting. I have seen more flats than I can count at this point and my answers to the litany of estate agents' questions have become rote and clipped. I am trying to not be too picky, yet I don't want to move again too very soon, so some critical boxes must be ticked like safe, good transport, garden, and the possibility of at least owning goldfish.
As to living out of suitcases and long-term travel, here are a few tips I've gleaned and gathered from time on the road:
actor-writer-director, improviser, mother, traveler, general renegade and rabblerouser.