Every Three Years.

By alison - April 21, 2008 (Updated: November 28, 2014)

Sorry I haven’t been updating regularly. I’ve been consumed with pre-move stress. Two things sum up the past week: Packing sucks – big time, and moving is expensive – big time.

You’d think I’d be used to moving by now. Andrew and I move every three years. This wasn’t a plan. In fact, it’s supremely odd to me.

I grew up in a house that my parents built before I was born. They still live there. I wasn’t one of those kids who lived in six different houses by the time I was twelve. I didn’t move until I left home for university. The first two years I spent in residence, moving home for summer. This wasn’t what I would consider a “real move” because I didn’t have much stuff, and I was only living in a room.

The summer after second year I moved into my first ‘house.’ I use the quotes because I believe a more accurate term would be ‘slum.’ Yay, student housing. There were four of us living in a two floor apartment in a house that was literally falling down around us. The following year we tried to move to a ‘better’ place. True, the kitchen floor wasn’t giving out but the overwhelming smell of wet dog (we only had a cat by the way) was a little hard to take.

So I really start counting the places I lived after university. The first was a pretty decent apartment in Clayton Park. It was two stories and two bedrooms. It wasn’t stellar and the carpet made Andrew sick but it was pretty good as far as Clayton Park apartments go. After 3 years though, Andrew and I got itchy feet and wanted a place of our own.

We bought our house in Tantallon, originally thinking that would be it. I figured I would be like my parents and live in the same house forever. I think it was only about a year before I realized that this wouldn’t be the case. As much as I loved that house (and there’s always a soft spot for the first place you own I think) it definitely had some flaws. It was great to own a place, but it soon became clear that our needs weren’t exactly what we thought they were.

Even so, had the Belgian move not come up, I don’t think we would have moved in that third year. Eventually, yes. But not right then. But as it turned out, almost exactly three years after we bought our house, it was back on the market.

And then to Amsterdam. It was only three months (even our Amsterdam times have been in 3s – 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 months) but I still consider it one of my ‘homes.’ I still wish I could have enjoyed it more that time around. Unfortunately I was too stressed about moving my life to Belgium and wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into, to really take advantage of living in my favorite city again.

Well, you know the rest – the past 3 years in Everberg. Again, I thought this would be THE place I would live in Belgium. There are still things I will miss about this house. But I’m ready to go. I just wish it was all done.

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Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
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  1. Comment by Megan

    Megan April 21, 2008 at 15:25

    Wait. Are you saying there are no mushrooms growing through the cracks in the bathroom tile?

  2. Comment by Alison

    Alison April 21, 2008 at 16:08

    Now now Megan… those mushrooms were a ‘feature.’ Think how much money we saved on fresh produce 😉

  3. Comment by pugwash pops

    pugwash pops April 21, 2008 at 16:46

    So … having been around for some of those moves I think it’s fair to say you’ve successively been “movin’ on up!” as the digs get better each time … worth the pain … wish I was there to help (a few weeks on the stairmaster to prep first, eh?) … once on the mountaintop slice a little cheese to go with that wine and enjoy! … love PP

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