The mental overwhelm of moving country

The mental overwhelm of moving country

I’m sat at my computer. I’m looking for songs to use for a slideshow of my favourite Doha photos. The movers arrive in less than 2 weeks. My house is a tip. I haven’t eaten lunch. I have a writing deadline. So obviously sitting at my computer going through songs and photos is the absolute best use of my time.

The to do list

I’m supposed to be packing. There’s piles of stuff everywhere and there are too many rooms that I’ve barely touched. I’m supposed to be emailing the Things’ potential new school and chasing for the results of the dog’s rabies test. We have to sell furniture we aren’t going to have room for when we get there and we need to find someone to buy our cars.

The reality is we don’t yet have school places and quarantine in Singapore is booked up for months so the dog can’t fly with us. We have looked and looked for a place to live and find ourselves coming up short. Our realtor has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the housing market… and the patience of a saint dealing with me, a closet wannabe estate agent.

The list in my head is bewildering and disorientating to say the least and I find myself hoping for a miracle until I realise I don’t know which issue I would solve first if I even had the choice.


Reality is kicking in this week Wanderlusters. We had our leaving party at the weekend and the goodbyes start in earnest tomorrow.

I realised yesterday, like a punch in the stomach, that next weekend will be my last in Doha. The last weekend I will spend living here in over 4 years.

It’s a big milestone.

The end of an era.

I oscillate between obsessive research and planning, panic, excitement, sadness and sheer denial. The range of emotions in a single minute is exhausting. This is the first time in my entire life that I’ve had high blood pressure.

I can’t think how the Things must be feeling but they are showing it by being super emotional and acting out. But how can I blame them? I’m asking them to say goodbye to the only friends they’ve ever really known. Their best friends. It’s simply heartbreaking to watch.

The Fear

I’m looking around me and I’m starting to get The Fear. You know that feeling when you suddenly realise that time is running out. That all those things you were putting off because they couldn’t be done until the end… they can’t be put off any more. I remember it from school exams and university essay deadlines. We had it at work with deadlines for big projects and even had it before our wedding although at least that was fun lol.

Everything will be ok

In my head I know it doesn’t matter.

The house will get packed. If things end up on the boat that we need or that weren’t supposed to come with us at all then so be it. We will find places in schools for the Things. The dog will get there – be it on our flight or with one of us coming back for him.

It will all get done and it will all be fine.

In the meantime, it’s all enormously stressful and emotional. It’s taking every ounce of strength to hold it together and not be a complete mess for the next few weeks.

I just have to cling on to the hope that everything will all be ok in the end.

If you are moving soon, let me know! I feel your pain …

Emma Morrell
Emma Morrell

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  1. 25 June 2019 / 14:56


    • 19 April 2020 / 09:25

      right back atcha xx

  2. 25 June 2019 / 15:52

    I wish I could hop on a plane and come help. But know that I’ll be in your situation next year, fingers crossed and I’ll remember your post. You’ll get there, you have this. And the adventure you’re about to embark on will be friggin’ awesome! ๐Ÿ˜˜

    • 19 April 2020 / 09:25

      That would have been so nice!

  3. Suzanne
    26 June 2019 / 19:53

    Honey we all feel your pain.. We so easily forget when we are settled until the next time the stress we all go through… But you are right…. All will be okay

    • 19 April 2020 / 09:24

      Thanks lovely lady x

  4. 10 October 2019 / 13:50

    I totally feel you – I am a military wife, about to make our 6th house move in 7 years…. and this time with a toddler and a puppy in tow!

    I write about family travel too, for a new website called BabyBreaks. I’d love to have a chat about a possible collaboration, as it seems like we’re aiming for the same audience -parents with a passion for travel. I bet we can have some great ideas between us ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve left my email below, hopefully hear from you soon.
    Emily X

    • 19 April 2020 / 09:21

      Thank you so much for getting in touch and sorry for the late reply – I will email you now!

  5. Liv
    10 December 2019 / 11:46

    There is only one thing worse than moving countries as that is NOT moving countries. The emotional part for the kids is the hardest bit but in terms of logistics, I packed up the entire house, had small renovations to coordinate, rent out the house, sell the car, work, look after two kids…on my own. What kept me going was reminding myself that the alternative is NOT moving and that is a MILLION times worse!

    • 19 April 2020 / 09:19

      It’s a huge undertaking but I completely agree – we were ready to leave and as hard as it was, the alternative of staying wasn’t something we could really handle!