A research study shows that 'moving homes' is listed among the top 5 most stressful experiences in life after divorce, financial stress, death and a couple more. For me however relocation has a different meaning, it is how I identify with my life and myself. Relocation has been part of my life as far back as I can remember - whether it was changing homes in the same city, or moving to another country. So in every couple of years, I start anticipating a move even if I haven't planned one! From packing up carton boxes, clearing out the mess unsorted in months, going home hunting and haggling with property agents to finally unpacking and organising the new home - all are experiences that I have somehow enjoyed immensely in life. Moving is probably my third best adrenaline after traveling and my skydive experience.
Right now I have seven suitcases lined along my bedroom walls, ranging from empty, to semi, to fully packed. Its time for another move - Yes, I am now - after having lived in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and London (I'm sparing you of the different areas and number of home moves within those cities) - moving to Toronto.
Every city and every new move has added to who I am as a person, and even more so to my 'effortless learning bank'. What you may learn by roaming about a few hours in a new city, no encyclopedia and no travel guide can teach you. The insight you develop on people, cultures, diversity of thought, belief and customs cannot be gathered through reading notes on anthropology. Sometimes this insight can scare you - belittle you, make you realise how insignificant you are in this wide world. Sometimes it can shaken up your deepest belief systems. As they say - ignorance is bliss and too much irrelevant information may lead to confusion. So the job as an 'absorber' becomes quite difficult when it comes to deciphering all the input as we walk past so many systematic, cultural, institutional and behavourial changes. But I still find the benefits out weighing any draw backs of moving.
I am now looking forward to my next move, this time with my companion (this being our first move as a married couple) and I'm more than positive that this move will be more enriching than all past relocations. :)