As we move into 2018, this month marks half a year since I moved out of my cosy house in London with some awesome creatives, sold a lot of my belongings, and decided to live out of a suitcase for a while.
My work began moving me in new directions (literally, rather than metaphorically speaking) and instead of feeling pinned to London with ever-increasing rent prices I decided that instead of resisting it I'd move with it - responding and going wherever it took me. "If I can't do it now, when can I do it?"
Since then I've lived in six different countries for short amounts of time (for a mixture of work and play - and let's be honest for me they are the same thing) without the guilt of also paying rent somewhere in the capital whilst I'm away. It's living on the move - a sort of willing-homelessness I suppose, which offers me freedom, languages, new people and space to work and create.
Sure... you have to be super organised and you're far away from the comfort of those you use as pacifiers or human night-lights - but when it works the rewards are huge - and if you're lucky the world hasn't changed all that much when you return either. (Saying that though I was in Italy last year when Brexit happened but you know what I mean.)
I've learnt that opera is a heavy duty industry - right now I'm working on four projects so that's two scores and two play texts within my 23kg of baggage allowance not including my note books which is tough. I'm a visual person and the thought of doing all of my preparations on a computer rather than with old fashioned pens and paper makes me a little sad but perhaps that's the only lighter option I really have. You learn to prioritise; how many highlighters you really need and how to fully utilise a kindle but it's all for the greater good.
My next project at Scottish Opera will allow me to stay put for a little longer than recently, but I'll still really be living out of a suitcase - but now I feel like I've worked out a better balance than six months ago. In the mean time it's taught me what material things I really need, what I just want for comfort and how to wear those all important final kilos on the plane with you.
And before I forget - I must say another thank you to The Opera Awards bursary who have sponsored me through my time in Germany... but a future post is dedicated to it so watch this space...