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getting ready to go, life, Manchester, travel

Packing is such sweet sorrow

Squidge is helping me pack.

A torn ticket stub. It’s yellow and has a tear down the middle, stopping short of the only black text on there which says ‘admit one’. At first glance, it seems indistinguishable from the rest of the seemingly random and yet useless paper products that seem to inhabit my room which have only been unearthed whilst packing. Old newspapers, always weekend editions, that were kept with the intention of one day being read in their entirety and not just the travel inserts. Receipts, quite often for values less than a pound, also seem to be a mainstay as they were never thrown away with the thinking that no doubt they will be integral to my future financial security, when I one day get round to sorting it. And of course, this torn ticket stub.

Welcome to the world of my room or more specifically, my room whilst packing. I’m about to travel to the other side of the world to embark on an exciting, yet scary, new career as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in Cambodia. I leave in little under 3 weeks and have quite a lot to do. My room which I predicited would take a mere few hours to tidy and sort has, in fact, taken a few days, and I still do not have the end in sight. However, despite the stress involved it has, in many ways, been a major relief to start packing my room up for many reasons:

It means it’s all becoming real, that in a few weeks I will really will be on the most tremendous adventure of my life and every time I think about it a big bubble of excitement rises up my centre. Also, it is always good to have a big purge and there is a genuine cleansing feeling that comes with seeing the bin bags pile up. And let’s not forget that it is also comforting to be able to actually see my carpet and know that each time I go to bed, I’m not running a gauntlet that my life will be ended by tripping on a pair of two sizes too small ripped trousers and cracking my head on the wardrobe door that won’t close due to the overflow of the contents within. I can say this with all honesty, I am amazed that after all this time, I haven’t at the very least broken a bone.

Nonetheless, packing my room is taking a lot longer than planned and it’s all due to that damned ticket stub. And the newspapers. And the receipts. I know I should just throw them away and be done, but it’s so hard. These are not just ticket stubs, newspapers and receipts. These are memories, and very fond ones at that.

This particular newspaper is from a few months ago when me and Chris spent a weekend in Betws-y-coed. It had rained so hard that the roads flooded, so there was little else to do but sit in a pub and read the paper. This may not have been the best trip we’ve ever been on, but to me it was great. We had good food and good beer, and best of all, we had each other.

One receipt is from Chester Zoo which we went to in April 2009. It was an amazing day, we laughed at the monkeys, cooed at the baby Elephant and acted like big kids on the swings. Perhaps a standard day for many people, but I will always think of it and smile.

And the torn ticket stub. Although it has very little information on the ticket, I knew immediately when and where it’s from. We had spent the day in Redcar, a lovely, but suffering from a sense of faded glory, seaside town in the North East. It was sunny, and the wind was strong which I think is a perfect combination for the coast. We played in the amusements and won a ball in the cup toy, we ate fish and chips from what is reputedly the oldest fish and chip shop in the world and finished this all off with lemon top ice-cream, which seems to be native to Redcar. Then we went to the cinema. And I don’t mean a 14-screen, run of the mill multiplex thing. I mean a cinema, a glorious art-deco cinema. It had one screen and showed 3 films a day at set times. It had only 2 members of staff working who were incredibly enthusiastic about film and cinema. We handed over our money and received in return two yellow tickets which was purposefully torn by the attendant. I pocketed the tickets and we made our way in. A fantastic end to a fantastic day.

The day in Redcar was amazing, but it was always marred by a strange sense of finality for me and Chris. We had gone at the end of April this year, my travel plans already well under way. We knew we had to make the most of it because all too soon, days like these would be over for us. And now in what seems to be within the blink of an eye, that time is upon us.

I had never planned on keeping the ticket stub or the newspapers or the receipts and had they have been previously thrown away without my knowledge, then I would probably not have missed them, but they weren’t. Now they’re still here, creating a dilemma for me. On the one hand, I need to clear and get rid of as much stuff as possible so that I can start my new life abroad, but on the other hand, if I am to throw these away i’m scared i’m throwing away a part, a very important part, of my life. Perhaps for now, i’ll leave them in the ‘to keep’ pile and hope that one day I will sort through it.

And so, as an archeologist must sift through the sands of time to unearth the past, I must continue to pack my room. Maybe, just maybe, somewhere in the depths, in the stratum of mess that is my room, perhaps I will dig up more treasures like this torn ticket stub.



241 thoughts on “Packing is such sweet sorrow

  1. hey jess lovin your blog!!! the 1st one I’ve seen…..can soooo relate to it I’ve been collecting ticket stubs for everything from cinema tickets to visiting castles in alicante since 2000! ๐Ÿ™‚ because like you I’ve realised that they hold memories, which when i’m old (hopefully lol) they will trigger the good times I’ve had and can relive, if only to tell as stories ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    Posted by Bhavisha Patel | June 3, 2011, 4:26 am
  2. This post is beautiful. Best of luck abroad.

    Posted by ohiochelle | June 3, 2011, 3:35 pm
  3. I’ve saved ticket and movie stubs to for a keepsake. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ll let them go when you’re ready. Great post!

    Posted by The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife | June 3, 2011, 3:38 pm
  4. I have been working as an ESL teacher for the past year! And can’t wait to move back to the US! The best of luck to you!

    Posted by beingzhenya | June 3, 2011, 3:38 pm
  5. Memories are sometimes hard to confront — but it sounds like you have amazing times in store. Congratulations!

    I wish you the best of luck. And be sure to keep the ticket stubs of the future … one day you’ll treasure them all.



    Mikaleeโ€™s latest post, โ€œMy Big Fat Poop Wedding,โ€ is at http://mikaleebyerman.wordpress.com/

    Posted by Mikalee Byerman | June 3, 2011, 3:39 pm
  6. Best of luck for your journey. And you need not discard your old memories. Why don’t you put them inside a diary? Then after unpacking you can make a memory album and put all the stuff inside.

    Posted by Debashrita Panda | June 3, 2011, 3:57 pm
  7. Cambodia sounds like the adventure of a lifetime! Good luck.

    Posted by Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide | June 3, 2011, 4:19 pm
  8. Everything will go with you… within.

    Posted by maru | June 3, 2011, 4:23 pm
  9. Definitely had to sift through this like this when I emptied out my room (and attic) at my parent’s house. It’s amazing the things that we hold on to. Still have two plastic boxes of those things that I couldn’t bear to rid myself of sitting in the basement of my new house. Maybe the next move will be a better time to get rid of those things!

    Posted by Kim from Wonderings of a twenty-something | June 3, 2011, 4:40 pm
  10. I love them. I only have them from trips. Maybe I should have kept the ones from around Australia as well?:)

    Posted by gaycarboys | June 3, 2011, 4:44 pm
  11. I am such a hoarder of things like that, everyone else would call it rubbish and my mum used to go nuts at my cluttered room! Enjoy your trip and congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    Posted by pipheath | June 3, 2011, 4:45 pm
  12. Great post. Good luck to you.

    Posted by A Cameo Life | June 3, 2011, 5:31 pm
  13. I love them, I really enjoyed this post. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Posted by California Answering Service | June 3, 2011, 5:56 pm
  14. You should write a novel, your writing is awesome! (please do let me know if you write a book about your time in Cambodia). I hope you will keep blogging over there, I’ve wondered what it’s like to be an ESL teacher abroad! Best of luck and safe travels!

    Posted by midnitechef | June 3, 2011, 6:05 pm
  15. Oh, the memories of packing for the big international life-changing trip! Love the kitty in your case…

    I was chosen for an 8-month fellowship in Paris when I was 25, and was so terrified/excited/ambivalent about leaving (knowing my life in my native Toronto would, as it did, change forever once I did) I packed in the final few hours before our trip to airport, even cutting my hand so badly on the bag’s zipper my first Paris visit was to an ER!

    Your decision must feel scary, but you’ll have a terrific time and, as Maru so wisely said, you carry your memories within you. I left behind boyfriend, dog, apartment and freelance career…but came home (as you will) with tremendous confidence, new friends for life and a sense of the world that’s worth everything you feel you’re leaving behind.

    Have a great time!

    Posted by broadsideblog | June 3, 2011, 6:07 pm
  16. Having been through a move of my own recently, I can relate, although I’ve moved around enough now my momorabilia has long since become organized–maybe too organized. Thanks for the reminder.

    Posted by RMutt | June 3, 2011, 6:10 pm
  17. Good luck and God speed on your journey. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by magnifique100 | June 3, 2011, 6:28 pm
  18. Great post. Good luck on your trip! I’m sure that it’ll probably be everything and nothing that you expected. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by cheratomo | June 3, 2011, 6:42 pm
  19. I know what you mean, you feel like you’re throwing away a memory. My vote is to hold on to them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Posted by ournote2self | June 3, 2011, 6:56 pm
  20. Beautiful written. Of ticket stubs and knicks and nacks, memories are made of these. To be held in ‘nervous tension’ like you obviously are is to be really alive and wil allow you to walk through doors that otherwise you would never have found the handles of. God Bless

    Posted by ritchie77 | June 3, 2011, 7:08 pm
  21. I’m a ticket collector too, and I keep discovering priceless relics like these from my many handbags ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by Sampurna | June 3, 2011, 7:13 pm
  22. Hope your new ventur goes well. Love the cat.

    Posted by My Camera, My Friend | June 3, 2011, 8:20 pm
  23. Mazel Tov in Cambodia – great post!

    Posted by Monique | June 3, 2011, 8:25 pm
  24. Beautiful post! Good luck on your teaching assignment in Cambodia. It will definitely be an experience of a lifetime!

    Posted by Things You Realize After You Get Married | June 3, 2011, 8:26 pm
  25. I have the same ‘problem’ – keeping all those tickets and receipts and stuff. They get culled every time I move, finally threw out a whole cookie tin of receipts last winter, but the tickets and old bus passes and such are still there. I have a large envelope I put them in… having to crawl behind my dining table to reach the drawer I keep it in somewhat reduces the temptation to keep everything.

    Posted by Ivynettle | June 3, 2011, 8:51 pm
  26. Manchester = where i live. Redcar = where my gf owns a house she rents out (many a sweet memory of this faded town). chester zoo = best zoo in the world, i was only there last week! Lovely to find you blog.

    Posted by My BlogJect | June 3, 2011, 9:21 pm
  27. just seen betws-y-coed in your post too! so nice to read a blog, with so many familiar names to me. i grew up now far from betws- it’s beautiful isn’t it!
    Oh shame you’re leaving so soon. although to cambodia – im tres jealous, im a passionate traveller!

    Posted by My BlogJect | June 3, 2011, 9:25 pm
  28. If you find something hard to part with–don’t. It doesn’t matter what it is, in due time you will either laugh and toss it or decide it is part of you. Great blog.

    Posted by newsy1 | June 3, 2011, 9:25 pm
  29. Part of the problem mostly in the western world is people bying things, they don’t need and cluttering up their lives. Also people keep all sorts of useless things for memory purposes to the point where one has to ask themselves, ‘am I going to waste the rest of my life living in the past and document what has already happened or am I going to let it go because life is short and I want to make the most of it?’ In the modern global world where one is in Toronto today and Tokyo tomorrow, success follows people who are light, agile and mobile, ready to pack a suitcase and go anywhere quickly. Besides what happens to all these keepsakes, when we die anyway? We can also ask about the ethics of letting something be hoarded while it could be out there being used by someone who would need it. Plenty of poor people in poorer countries with not even two good sets of clothes to wear.

    Posted by forestshakespeare | June 3, 2011, 11:44 pm
    • Hello ForestShakespeare –

      All of the statements you made above are 100% true. However, each of the points you made have zero percent ( 0 %) to do with Miss GoneGirlโ€™s fantastic blog post. Nada. Not a darn word you said in your โ€œuselessโ€ comment applies to her situation.

      I understand your concern for poor people that don’t have enough clothes to wear. Would you suggest that she weave a sweater from the Sunday glossy, or will the black print pages make better pants? You could also consider down-grading your cell phone or tossing in $100 USD your self, and maybe a few of the candy bars stashed away in your desk drawer just to help out feed the world as well. Iโ€™ll gather a list of charitable organizations so you may begin thinning out your house. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Naked people need shoes you know. You will do this all in good faith of course. Your humanitarian efforts are admirable.

      Does hanging on to a โ€œuselessโ€ ticket stub really sound like a woman who is going to waste the rest of her life? Does holding on to โ€œuselessโ€ mementos really prevent her from making the most out of her life? Seriously, lol! Living life with resentment, remorse, and lies, is what prevents people from experiencing the most out of life. None of those active thought processes are seen in Miss GoneGirlโ€™s great post. Are you a Martian?

      Here’s the real deal about “useless”. If you read the woman’s post, she spent a wonderful weekend with Chris. It was so special for her that she wrote a blog post about it that thousands of people are reading. Secondly, is it possible that Miss GoneGirl had some awesome experiences with the man? Her written and un-scribbled words suggest that she did? Possibly she realized passionate kisses that she’s never experienced before. Could it be that the pair really connected in a way that is dynamically special within her heart? The last part of your spanking comes now. Hold it. Wait. Here it comesโ€ฆcover your bumโ€ฆ

      The author stated, โ€œThese are memories, and very fond ones at that.โ€ Nope. Miss GoneGirlโ€™s words donโ€™t sound โ€œuselessโ€ to me. Her used ticket stub doesnโ€™t seem to be โ€œuselessโ€ in my view either. While a ticket stub is weight bearing and anchoring for future drive towards excellence in your life, it could be the driving force for Miss GoneGirl on a day when she’s feeling homesick in Cambodia.

      Holding the heavy anchor stub in her hand late on a lonely Friday night in a foreign land, could ignite a magical telephone call and the words, โ€œI miss you Chrisโ€ or โ€œI love you Chrisโ€. Maybe the ticket stub helps her to paint a pretty smile on her face or afford her a good cry that relieves some stress. Both emotions are special and maybe ones she needs when that time comes to fruition. The ticket stub is the catalyst. โ€œPriceless!โ€

      While you find a lowly 100-kilo ticket stub โ€œuseless,โ€ I hear Miss GoneGirlโ€™s words clearly. I find your time spent writing a ridiculous comment โ€œuselessโ€ but no worries here. Miss GoneGirl stated it has personal value in her heart. She said, โ€œI pocketed the tickets and we made our way in. A fantastic end to a fantastic day.โ€ Does a fantastic day sound โ€œuselessโ€ in your view? Seriously!

      In closing, I hope Miss GoneGirl has that โ€œuselessโ€ ticket stub when she is 70-years old. I love to read another wonderful blog post from her telling us how she sat her great granddaughter on her lap, discussing the happy weekend she had with Chris. If youโ€™re trying to tell me and thousands of individual blog readers that the feelings in Miss GoneGirlโ€™s heart for a man and the time they shared together are not important, are you a Nazi?

      You know, please don’t tell Miss GoneGirl but…Iโ€™m just aching to steal that hoarded ticket stub from her in the middle of the night so I can auction if off on ebay. The proceeds will help feed a city of hungry people. Whatcha think Forestshakespeare? Do you want in on the action too so we can help clothe the naked homeless people on Mars? Have a nice weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Posted by charlie nitric | June 4, 2011, 2:24 am
      • Whoa! ๐Ÿ˜€

        Posted by Mun | June 5, 2011, 7:24 am
      • Wow, Charlie! Amazing response, and I’m really grateful you took the time to write it and got the gist of my post. I wrote the post for me, because one day in the future I may just forget all the amazing times I ever had and the brilliant people I met, and it scares me. Genuinely scares me. Forest Shakespeare has good points though, and its definitely worth taking them into account.

        Thanks again for the comment! Jess x

        Posted by thegirlhasgone | June 7, 2011, 12:37 am
  30. Hello GoneGirl –

    Couldn’t you keep a shoe box or suit case box full of goodies that you can keep safe at home somewhere while you travel to Cambodia? A family member, a friend, or with Chris? If you’re having mixed feelings then why not hold on and revisit those items after your half way around the world teaching assignment ends? Thank you. Have a great weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by charlie nitric | June 4, 2011, 12:51 am
  31. Great post. Best of luck teaching abroad. I hope you have a great time in Cambodia. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by Cassandra | June 4, 2011, 1:39 am
  32. love cat!

    Posted by yingyingxue | June 4, 2011, 3:27 am
  33. Thank you for the sweat post. It is good to know that besides me ,there are also other people on the earth who feel it is hard to throw away those old tickets and stubs. Wish you good time in Combodia.

    Posted by zhaodonglei | June 4, 2011, 5:32 am
  34. Oh gosh, I have a box full of stuff like this. Every now and again I pull it all out and go through it and it just makes me smile to remember the things I’ve done and places I’ve been.

    Good luck with your adventures ahead.

    Posted by myonepreciouslife | June 4, 2011, 6:57 am
  35. Hi!
    Nice post. I hope you enjoy teaching English in Cambodia.
    I know how hard it can be to get rid of physical things that hold a lot more meaning than can be thinkable. At home I’ve got a small ‘Memories’ box where I put anything such as tickets to movies etc. It’s really convenient and doesn’t take much space! That’s my idea if you don’t want/cannot throw them away ๐Ÿ™‚
    Best of luck.

    Posted by The one who can't dream | June 4, 2011, 7:46 am
  36. freetyrakiztah@yahoo.com was already edited through mobile phone i knw that it so very secure way to safe account.what can i do to get my previous account manually .i m not trusted to code by cellphone because its useless

    Posted by benjolheen | June 4, 2011, 8:21 am
  37. Ha, thanks! My eyes are beginning to take strain.

    Posted by qcwhfytl | June 4, 2011, 8:28 am
  38. The article in your blog reminds me some old memory.It gives me happy.I think we will have a harmonious talk.

    Posted by qcwhfytl | June 4, 2011, 8:32 am
  39. Ticket/receipt collector too. Not just for tax purposes but for memories’ sake too. It also helps when I’m trying to remember what I did while in a country. A scrapbook would be a good idea.

    Cambodia. Hated it after my month volunteering there. Miss it now in retrospect. Great kids, hot weather, cheap and good food. And don’t forget to see Angkor Wat. Apparently it’s a Wonder of the World??? ๐Ÿ˜€

    Though you might run into a few creepy ex-pat English teachers at the schools who you’ll wonder how they ever got into the country.

    Posted by stephanusoptimus | June 4, 2011, 8:49 am
  40. Squidge in your suitcase reminds me of my cat Charlie helping me pack when I got ready to go in the Air Force. He insisted I was trying him.

    Posted by carolynsworld | June 4, 2011, 9:43 am
  41. Hi..

    Just blogwalking ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by NiceHomez.com | June 4, 2011, 10:58 am
  42. Freshly Pressed, with a great article: well done!

    I’m Tom. I’m a Belgian, but I’ve lived in Cambodia for the past five years. The first three years I worked in Phnom Penh as an English teacher. For the past two years I’ve been running my own little English school in a far corner of Cambodia.
    If you happen to have any questions about Cambodia, teaching in Cambodia, or anything else, I’d be glad to try and help you. My blog’s at tommickx.wordpress.com/.

    I’m sure that with an open mind and a healthy dose of patience and perspective, your stay in Srok Khmae will be good fun.

    Posted by tommickx | June 4, 2011, 2:13 pm
  43. I recently moved myself, and was smilarly torn by the dilemma of throwing away things that bring back fond memories and are gret conversation starters. Yet, things had to go…and, luckily, a good friend was there to help me through the letting go process. Unlike you, though, I didn’t have extra room in my “keep for now pile” to store them longer. I think that if you ever get ready to let them go, or come to a point where you have to let them go, you will see how easy it is to retain the memory of those things, even after they’re no longer physicaaly present.

    Posted by nunya-biznazz | June 4, 2011, 2:22 pm
  44. I’ve done the TEFL thing in Japan, I’m sure you’ll have a fabulous time in Cambodia. Good luck and try to find time to keep writing when you get there ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by lacunamalachi | June 4, 2011, 4:40 pm
  45. If you ever come to Argentina (South America), youยดll have lots of work as a TEFL teacher. I am one myself, only that my first language is Spanish. Good luck!

    Posted by marcela k | June 4, 2011, 4:45 pm
  46. I’m teaching English in Greece for the year, and will be on the other side of this process in just four weeks, when I pack up my Greek life and go back to fuse it with my American one. Sweet sorrow is a great way to describe it. Best of luck in Cambodia. Teaching English in a foreign country is a life-changer; get ready to have your world rocked in the best ways possible!

    Posted by wrap me in phyllo dough | June 4, 2011, 5:29 pm
  47. hey I also keep tickets and receipts! You can use a book to put the receipt or the ticket, make them as bookmarks! but make sure the book you’re choosing is not the one that you’re reading right now, you don’t wanna drop a single ‘bookmark’ in it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by elisa beth | June 4, 2011, 6:21 pm
  48. I have kept movie tickets of some films that I loved, and receipts of hotels, and small restaurants that I collected over a period of time while traveling. They all go in a small little notebook. It’s nice to have them all safely pressed..for memories + talk about them to someone.
    Useful thing is, the receipts of hotels and restaurants have phone numbers and addresses on them..so when a friend says he/she is traveling to the same place…and ask for stay/eat recommendations, I’m able to suggest them precisely the place.

    Posted by Manou | June 4, 2011, 8:05 pm
  49. Squidge is the greatest pet name ever.

    I tend to keep my tickets, too – train stubs, especially. Often I’ll toss them in a box somewhere in my room, and a year later, or at some serendipitous point in the future, I’ll find them and stare at the proof of my wandering – just to make sure it was real.

    But those tickets aren’t mine anymore – I’m beyond them, grown from the person who purchased them, thought them necessary, watched the person with a name tag tear them. Those tickets are but a line on a map, and I’m out in the world, off that map, and out to find what new tickets will grant me access to the smaller things in life.

    But they’re still fun to see again ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by tradersolstice | June 4, 2011, 8:11 pm
  50. I’m sure you’ll be great in Cambodia collecting all the receipts and ticket stubs to remember it! Your blog reminded me of when my grandma died and we had to empty her house. We found a spike with all receipts on going back to the 1950’s. We even found a receipt for some bunk beds my gran had bought for my mum & aunt when they were little kids. It was quite funny seeing how many shillings they’d payed per week.

    Keep saving your momentoes but continuing adding to them x x

    Posted by Coelura | June 4, 2011, 8:18 pm
  51. wow! I have moved several times, the last I upped an walked away from an ex into my new life and left so much behind that I wanted that meant so little to anyone else, the tickets and receipts, revel in your memories they are more valuable than anything! And good luck in the future! what you have planned sounds amazing! xx

    Posted by artreviewed | June 4, 2011, 8:55 pm
  52. Where will you be teaching?

    Up to you, but I would throw away the ticket. You already enshrined the memory….in your blog post! The joy of blogging…for many different reasons.

    I know how it feels, I’ve moved to a different province after accepting a job offer.

    Posted by Jean | June 4, 2011, 9:08 pm
  53. Best of luck to you on your next big journey. Enjoy the adventure of a lifetime!

    Congrats too, on being Freshly Pressed. (So was I!)

    Posted by monicastangledweb | June 4, 2011, 9:33 pm
  54. Take care my twin ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Posted by Mr G.E Mini | June 4, 2011, 9:51 pm
  55. your blog is to cool

    Posted by danilasblog | June 4, 2011, 10:53 pm
  56. i’m in the process of getting rid of all i own…except necessities. i have 60 years worth of ‘stuff’ to sort through and it’s very emotional. what i decided was to photo and scan everything i love or holds a memory i want to keep. then i put the photos on a photo website and also onto a cd or a memory drive. This way i can see all my things that i no longer have room for and they can be with be anywhere i go….it’s making it way less painful.
    i wish you the best on your adventure..traveling is so worthwhile….have so much fun you can’t stand it!

    Posted by darrolyn | June 4, 2011, 11:58 pm
  57. You are going to love Cambodia… why? Because I do.

    Local Khmer are very warm and generous people – it doesn’t take long to get to know them… if you let them know you.

    Enjoy and feel free to peruse my stories about Cambodia and life there as I experienced it in 2010.

    Questions? Ask away, I’ll be happy to answer and assist where I can.

    Congrats on getting freshly pressed and best of everything!

    Posted by Maria | June 5, 2011, 12:33 am
  58. So did I miss what happens to your cat? Squidge looks ready to go, too!

    Posted by Marcia Davis | June 5, 2011, 1:04 am
  59. I moved into an apartment some years ago and did a bit of cleaning. I found a similar ticket stub under the carpet.I hope that the person that left it behind had as good a memory attached to it as you do to yours. In fact I am sure of it. My short tenure in that apartment was blessed with many happy memories. It may have been Karma from the stub. Leave a good memory behind for …If you do you will no doubt find more in Cambodia.

    Posted by anonnickus | June 5, 2011, 1:26 am
  60. This is the first blog I have read and I loved every word of it. Sentimental and poignant, you write in a style that I wish I could adopt.
    Just want to tell you that you are about to have new memories, created by amazing adventures that you will treasure for the rest of your life. I look forward to reading more from you as you embark on this journey.Cheers.

    Posted by s | June 5, 2011, 1:36 am
  61. what a loooooonnnng paragraph

    Posted by Anonymous | June 5, 2011, 1:45 am
  62. hi hope u don’t mind but i quoted u in my blog ‘packing is such a sweet sorrow’.. all sorts of packing is such a sweet sorrow!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    nice blawg btw!

    Posted by erlbiggirl | June 5, 2011, 2:20 am
  63. Yeah, what about the cat? Are you taking the cat with you?

    Posted by allzermalmer | June 5, 2011, 2:23 am
  64. With each adventure we grow a little wiser, more empathetic, and gain a piece of the world in our hearts. I wish you all the best in your travels!

    Posted by Sister Earth Organics | June 5, 2011, 2:41 am
  65. I couldn’t agree with you more. Recently, I was packing and came across a tonne of receipts, movie and concert stubs, newspaper clippings etc…all from my teenage years. I couldn’t believe it. I sat there, looking back with tears of joy running down my face. Sitting in the middle of the floor laughing, crying and plain ole smiling at all the wonderful memories that had suddently reappeared.:)
    May you make many more wonderful memories on your new life journey. Good luck and keep smiling. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by alanawynne | June 5, 2011, 2:52 am
  66. Gorgeous post about your journey and coming adventure! Keep us posted as to your wonderful, colorful experiences along the way. You seem full of life and awesome!


    Posted by Samantha Gluck | June 5, 2011, 2:55 am
  67. Great blog post. Last time I moved I hired a dumpster service and tossed everything out. Best decision ever. Did not have to worry about moving old stuff across the Country. Most furniture is not worth keeping. It is more fun to buy new stuff that does not have as many dust mites inside of it. LOL. Great blog. Mine is http://autographattic.com where I share my 1950s autographed photo collection. The one thing I have kept all these years each time I move.

    Posted by spacefuels | June 5, 2011, 3:17 am
  68. Lovely post, Gonegirl! Where in Cambodia will you be teaching? I will be in Cambodia in the next few months, also teaching. Be great to swap resources with you! Or just have a curry. :).

    What an awesome experience you will have. Best wishes!


    Posted by christynichols | June 5, 2011, 4:26 am
  69. Teaching English in a foreign country is actually my dream job right now. How do you sign up for it? I can see where it would be intimidating though, especially if you haven’t done much traveling before. Love your puss by the way. I’m sure he will miss you while you’re gone.

    Posted by Lisa | June 5, 2011, 4:31 am
  70. I love your blog! And I totally agree with whatever you had to say about packing.

    Posted by rukhshiixoxo89 | June 5, 2011, 6:22 am
  71. Beautiful post. I, too, collect ticket stubs from everything I’ve done everywhere.

    BTW, Squidge is so cute and such a great name for a pet. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by creativeconfessions | June 5, 2011, 6:54 am
  72. What a relate-able post! I used to be a lot like you until I got indoctrinated by a few feng shui books that I happened to peruse….now I KNOW I don’t miss those things that I previously used to ascribe memories to. My two-bit? It gets harder and harder to part with ‘junk’ (I don’t mean that insensitively!) the longer you hold on to it ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Anyways, memories of happy times always make you bawl afterwards ๐Ÿ˜›

    Posted by Mun | June 5, 2011, 7:14 am
  73. What a lovely cat, suddenly I miss my cat. He didn’t come home, busy chasing the female.

    Posted by titieprihananti | June 5, 2011, 8:30 am
  74. Hey, great post!

    Something we can all relate to…. I must have soooo many of those tickt stubs floating around and they all bring back individual memories and more often than not – a smile. In fact some of those places you mentioned, we’ve been to as well.

    Good luck in your new venture. Hope it all works out for you.

    Just remember though, you cannot pack your room into a suitcase ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by cypruslifeinpictures | June 5, 2011, 10:11 am
  75. beautifully written.memories are so important to me also. i have so many sentimental items i dont even remember where half of them are from anymore just that they were special to me at one point

    Posted by po1songirl | June 5, 2011, 11:35 am
  76. You taking your cat??? I don’t think I can live without mine. :S

    Best of luck…. xoxo

    Posted by kendiat | June 5, 2011, 11:41 am
  77. Best of luck. I was in Cambodia in October last year. It was awesome and I didn’t want to leave. I will keep an eye on your blog, it looks like it will be a good read.

    Posted by xiaomao | June 5, 2011, 11:46 am
  78. There are many things I keep for memories, including cinema tickets. It’s lovely to find them years later and to remember an awesome moment. Good luck in your big adventure!

    Posted by l0ve0utl0ud | June 5, 2011, 12:03 pm
  79. After reading this I’m full of regret, I recently trashed my bunch of stubs.. oh I wish I hadn’t.. great post gal.

    Posted by Arch | June 5, 2011, 12:33 pm
  80. Yes….you are truly going on a great adventure. I spent 5 years teaching in Thailand, the richest most amazing experience of my life. My wishes for you are that you will enjoy…soak up everything…feed the monks…sit in temples…eat incredible food…love your students (which will be so easy)and deepen around the marvels of what makes humans so different and at the same time so similar.

    Posted by erinaree | June 5, 2011, 2:39 pm
  81. I began keeping ticket stubs and other paper bits, and diaries (I called them Journals) in 1972 and it turned into more than 80 plastic file boxes in my Garage. Yes, it is good to preserve your memories in some way, but you’ve got to do it in a way that will not weigh you down for the rest of your life. I suggest taking pictures of those paper items and then posting those to a blog, or maybe putting them in a cloud server or something like that.

    Best wishes in your adventures and congratulations in being Freshly Pressed.


    Posted by Jay Bee Dee | June 5, 2011, 4:39 pm
  82. Nicely written! Good luck in Cambodia.

    I was Freshly Pressed last week — its a trip in itself ๐Ÿ™‚ Must feel funny happening for you during this big change time in your life…

    Posted by Luna Kadampa | June 5, 2011, 4:54 pm
  83. Good Luck on your Teaching Career in Cambodia and hopefully we shall all continue to read your wonderful posts when you arrive.

    Posted by preobrazhenskii | June 5, 2011, 5:04 pm
  84. Good luck with the teaching, you must be very intrepid!! Enjoyed the read, and will be coming back to the archive later on, just off on a journey down south.

    Posted by amonikabyanyuvva | June 5, 2011, 5:49 pm
  85. Interesting blog reminds me of when I first left home for the army so much uncertainty and excitement. Neat blog Come visit http://thor27.wordpress.com

    Posted by thor27 | June 5, 2011, 6:10 pm
  86. Oh, how I relate to this, to packing and the fear and leaving a cat and a life behind. Good luck with all my heart, let this be the beginning of a great new life for you.

    Posted by etcherin | June 5, 2011, 6:50 pm
  87. wonderful article Jess. 1st let me congratulate you on being freshly pressed! 2nd wow!!! what an amazing adventure you are embarking on! TEFL is something I have wanted to do for a very long time….my only question of course is why I havent yet? But look at you….off on what I am sure will be a fantastic period in your life. and from one magpie to another….when I packed up my house in South Africa, and put everything into storage back in 2001 I was meant to be away for 4 months!!! 10 years later…..I am still in London and have no plans to leave ๐Ÿ™‚ so I still have all those newspapers, and tickets stubs, magazines, books and my daughters baby clothes to sort out, not to mention the now very out of date clothes et al!
    Have a fabulous time…I will be touching base from time to time to see how you get along! I am sure it’s going to be marvellous.
    warm regards for a safe and wonderful journey

    Posted by notjustagranny | June 5, 2011, 7:23 pm
  88. Congrats on this new adventure of yours. I could relate to your blog and the room. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by learningwithliz | June 5, 2011, 7:37 pm
  89. That’s a seriously cute cat, packing is always going to be like this whether you’re moving to a new room/house or to another country. There will always be dilemma’s about throwing stuff away.

    Posted by Kate Longman | June 5, 2011, 8:31 pm
  90. The ticket stubs aren’t what is important, it is the memories. You’ll still have them, even without the little papers–I promise! Good luck with your travels ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by onechallengeaday | June 5, 2011, 10:42 pm
  91. Love Ur blog. I’ve been saving tix for all places ive been to. I’ve always thought that was a crazy idea especially savings the ones where I went to with exs. Even though i tend to throw out all the other parts of the relationship I save tickets; because it reminds me what I was feeling @ the moment what I wanted @ that moment in time. Love goes away the tickets usually last as a reminder. Cheers to ya!

    Posted by helen0104 | June 5, 2011, 11:00 pm
  92. I just got back from visiting my home country – Siberia, Russia. I found my old pictures and my granddad’s war letters to my grandma and post cards…I felt such a strong emotional connection to them! It was incredible how they brought me back to that very moment they were taken at.
    Hold on to your dearest memories – they are the most precious things we’ve got…

    Posted by saschacox | June 6, 2011, 1:34 am
  93. Great post. And adorable cat ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by themusicbzz | June 6, 2011, 3:32 am
  94. very cool! love your blogs. keep it up!

    Posted by Eva McCane | June 6, 2011, 4:31 am
  95. I remember the first time i had to pack leaving home for the first time (i stayed at home for college) and left for NYC. I said bye to my parents and said bye to my dog (which was the worst). Even though it was for the best, there’s always that one goodbye that you’ll never forget for the rest of your life. Packing is such sweet sorrow indeed.

    You’ll definetely do well. It seems like you’re up for the task.

    Posted by CrowdTheories | June 6, 2011, 4:39 am
  96. Nice post. Good Luck to you

    Posted by abhi | June 6, 2011, 5:02 am
  97. hey you truly are an amazing writer with exquisite taste of words,hope you &squidge re enjoying abroad.:)

    Posted by Writer's Apprentice | June 6, 2011, 5:13 am
  98. Oh how familar this is! Almost a year ago I moved overseas to work and went through the same process. I to want to save all those memories and had to purge. Some things were easier than others… some caused regrets later. I had to pack a life into boxes and a storage locker. It was an emotional process, a roller coaster ride that made packing and moving so surreal at times. One thing I learned was some of the material things are just things and others like photos and memories are important. I have discovered blogging and this is now my memories shared with all to read and saved as a small word document file :)It has replaced my need to save papers (although I still save some ticket stubs -who wouldn’t with the Chinese Characters?) I know one day all this needs to “go home” and digital is much easier and lighter to transport. I never re-read my blogs, but the security of knowing they are there and memories intact, never to be forgotten is most important!
    Happy travels and packing… the new memories, travel brochures and ticket stubs await you!

    Posted by Canadiantravelbugs | June 6, 2011, 6:57 am
    • PS I also saw the question of yours with laptop VS ipad… can you ask people at your school what they prefer? What is easier? I am in China and it seems easier for laptops vs ipads -technology here is good, but sometimes slower than what we are used to at home…. and wireless is not as wide spread as home. I haven’t been to Cambodia, but fellow workers have said that in big cities in China we are more modern than Vietnam, Cambodia and other Asian countries. Space and weight may be saved, but may not end up being as practical and easy as home. Before I came I asked the school and had a e-mailcontact of a fellow teacher to ask lots of questions so I felt more prepared to life away from home ๐Ÿ™‚

      Posted by Canadiantravelbugs | June 6, 2011, 8:37 am
      • Wow…..I’d love go hear more of your travels! I went for the iPad, I checked with some people who are out there and all seems ok but many thanks for the good suggestion ๐Ÿ™‚

        Posted by thegirlhasgone | June 7, 2011, 2:21 am
  99. I just spent the last 3 hours trying to find schools that offer ESL degrees, i opened up wordpress, and there was your blog. odd. i hope your stay there is more than amazing.
    p.s. i wouldn’t want to throw it out either.

    Posted by hugtreesxnotme | June 6, 2011, 7:26 am
  100. lovely cat!!

    Posted by misswerty | June 6, 2011, 9:39 am
  101. Loved this post – really great…I have kept a scrapbook all my life and it is crazy the things that you keep, and the memories they bring…
    Have an incredible time in Cambodia – what an amazing experience! (I am from Newcastle and taught in Kenya in 2009, so share your northern / travelling feelings!)
    Well done for making Freshly Pressed too – take care and good luck! Clare x

    Posted by birdwing | June 6, 2011, 10:10 am
  102. Excellent post my dear, thank you! I’m an expat (in France, not Cambodia)so you have my congratulations and sympathy. The experience truly is a mixture of emotions that starts with the ritual of packing…that mixture is (in my opinion) a crystalization of the whole experience–the purging and rebirth that will happen in all areas of your life (friends, interests, culture, etc.). And you will make more sense of it as you go/grow along ;0).

    Based on your command of the written word, intuitiveness and positive attitude, your future students are going to love you! All the best to you, sweetie and my sincerest congratulations to you, as you embark on the journey of a lifetime!

    Posted by expatriotgames | June 6, 2011, 10:51 am
  103. What a great post! I think you should keep all your stubs, they make up your memories. Congrats on becoming freshly pressed! nNd good luck out in Cambodia!

    Posted by 1cath | June 6, 2011, 12:48 pm
  104. Very sweet picture! I wish you good luck.

    Posted by Kuberamon | June 6, 2011, 1:05 pm
  105. What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing your memories with us all, and good luck abroad!

    Posted by The Food and Love Diaries | June 6, 2011, 1:59 pm
  106. I’ve done this sort of packing many times over the last year and it never gets easier. There are always more memories to sort through, and more decisions to make. I have slowly downsized with each new move, but it never makes it easier. And especially with pets (noting your picture above) when they crawl in the boxes and suitcases it breaks my heart to know I am leaving them! Best of luck to you in your new adventure!

    Posted by Anywhere Home | June 6, 2011, 2:25 pm
  107. Aw Jess that is just lovely!!! And yes you made me cry!!! :-)I wish you all the luck in the world but know you just won’t need it because you will be just fine. And for those who you end up teaching will love you and feel an angel has arrived to look after them! Will miss you loads & loads. Can’t wait to start reading how your new life starts to unfold! Big HUGs ๐Ÿ™‚ XXx

    Posted by Liz Mason | June 6, 2011, 8:47 pm
  108. I like your post very much. I always have the feeling of “sweet sorrow” when packing. I am Chinese. I don’t know how to express this feeling before in English. Reading this post is just like reading me.

    Thanks for your wonderful post.

    Posted by zhaoogle | June 7, 2011, 3:00 am
  109. Can I just say, bloody hell, I am impressed! Firsly, brilliant blog, but obviously, I don’t need to tell you that because all of these lovely and interesting people have already done that for me!
    Mainly, I’m impressed that you’ve actually taken the time to respond to more or less every single comment you received from people, I mean that is a real accomplishment. You must have the patience of a monk! Or if you’re anything like me, you’re just putting off the packing by preoccupying yourself with this ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Don’t worry, I won’t judge, I’m far far worse when it comes to the procrastinating!
    Anyway, like I said, fair play for taking the time to respond to everyone who’s taken an interest in your blog, not everybody would do that, it’s really very commendable :).

    Posted by Quinnzite | June 7, 2011, 12:06 pm
    • Ha ha, maybe there’s a bit of procrastination – I am prone to it! Mostly though, I feel if people have taken the time to comment then I should take the time to reply. I genuinely never thought that people would view this, and my blog was always started to be able to remind me in the future of the things I’ve got up to, and, as I’ve said before, it really is very humbling for all the comments and all the people who have read it.

      Thank you for the comment! ( I mean it!)


      Posted by thegirlhasgone | June 9, 2011, 10:21 pm
  110. oh yes a proper cinema.. that part actually brought a lump to my throat, thinking of our cinema now a bloody night club. Travel I plan to do this nxt yr except its a whole bloody maisonette to clear, 25yrs worth of shtuff,as I am selling up to go.keepyour memories,cards friends have given you, cinema tickets stubs,etc and get a close friend or family member to guard them with their life and when the time is right put them in a scrap book for your kids to look at or your friends kids and of course you…sweet memories…can`t wait for your nxt blog

    Posted by funkypish | June 9, 2011, 12:29 am
  111. I randomed into your blog, and I have to giggle a little at the coincidence, as my husband and I are both on a similar journey. We’re going to South Korea, but doing the same thing, teaching English. We’re cleaning out the house as well, and finding it an amazing experience.

    Posted by Tania | June 10, 2011, 7:27 pm
  112. How exciting! I’ve always wanted to do something abroad like that. Now I’m married with a kid so I doubt I’ll have the opportunity but you should enjoy this time in your life no matter how scared or anxious you may feel. Good luck!

    Posted by realanonymousgirl2011 | June 17, 2011, 6:33 pm
  113. Last night in England Jess !
    Just wishing you all the best and safe traveling. Look us all up when you come home on “holiday” LOL !
    Take care, good luck and enjoy yourself

    Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011, 8:37 pm


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