I’m no stranger to moving homes. When I was a child, we were always moving from one house to another. My father worked hard but money was scarce. Every year, when our landlord decided to increase the rent, we would pack our bags and move once more. We moved around SS2, SS3, SS4 and Damansara Utama, until my father bought a house in Kajang. I was 7 at that time and it was exciting to settle into a home for more than a year!
I remember being very sad when we had to leave Kajang for Subang Jaya. Being only 13 years old, I wondered if I would make any new friends in my new school. Amazingly, I lived in that house for the next 16 years until I ventured out of the country. The plan back then was to work in London for a few years and go home to Malaysia. That was 10 years ago!
My first apartment in London was a small service apartment in Camden Town, a temporary haven whilst I got myself settled in. Ms L, an ex-colleague turned good friend, moved to London a few weeks before me had already been scouting out an apartment for us. She found a spacious apartment in Canada Water (rent was a lot cheaper then!), just 3 minutes away from the tube station. We absolutely loved the apartment. We lived there until Ms L went back to Malaysia for good and a couple, who are my friends as well, moved in. I then moved into my husband’s tiny Canary Wharf apartment with his brother (and my future sister-in-law) for less than a year before realising that we wanted to try living somewhere else for a change.
So we packed up and moved again, further south to Tooting Bec into a huge 2 bedroom apartment. The commute to work was just too hectic (I hate the Northern Line) so a month after V0 proposed, we took our first step towards owning our own property. Funnily enough, I had tried for years before to convince V0 that we should buy somewhere instead of renting but he would always froo froo my suggestion. I’m not sure what won him over! We bought an apartment off-the-plan in Canada Water (seems like we love it too much here to leave!) and moved in after we got married. We were enjoying our 2 bedroom apartment immensely. As fate would have it, whenever you get too comfortable with life, something always changes. I blinked once and I fell pregnant with V1. I blinked again, we had V1 AND V2 and suddenly there were 4 of us. The little ones were little but their STUFF just took up so much space!
Acknowledging that the girls needed more space, we bought our 2nd property – an old 3 bedroom house and moved in whilst I was on my 2nd maternity leave. It was not possible, especially with 2 kids, to live in the house whilst it was being renovated, so after obtaining planning permission and sourcing a builder, we moved out again.
In a day’s time, I will have completed my 7th house move in the past 10 years. I’m sitting in this living room and feeling both nostalgia and trepidation. Nostalgia because the past 10 years have been filled with memories of each life changing event: working in London, changing jobs, my father’s death, my sister’s graduation, meeting V0, buying our first home together, getting engaged, getting married, having children, buying a second home and renovating it. The memories are flashing past me as I look at the boxes we’ve packed and consider the life we’ve made together. Trepidation because our house is not fully completed and it’s always the last hurdle that is the hardest!!! Everyone I’ve spoken to, who has had their homes renovated tell me, “It will all be worth it in the end”.
One thing is for sure, I am celebrating the fact that I won’t need to move in the next 3-5 years at the very least!