When I first had a daughter (and later, a son), I found that costs could be counted in baby units. One baby unit was about a hundred pounds, so there was
- A cot: 2 baby units
- A sterilising unit: 1 baby unit
- A pushchair: 3 baby units
- … and so on
I was relieved when I left that rather expensive phase of my life behind. At least, I thought I had.
The move is starting to cost a lot of money, and it seems that baby units are back in fashion, though in the guise of a new currency: the emigration unit, or eu (no pun intended), where one eu is equivalent to 10 baby units. If I ignore the time off work and trips to the tip, charity shop, etc, and focus on tangibles, the costs are as follows (approximately)
- Trips to view the area and, later, the house we are to live in: several eu
- Rent deposit: several eu
- The first rental payment: several eu
- Removal fees: several eu
- School fees: a few eu as deposit, with more to come
I have just booked our passege to Europe via a one way Eurotunnel ticket and can now add the following costs to the ever growing list
- Channel crossing: one eu
- Hotel stay en route to destination: two eu
- Fuel for the journey: one eu
I am sure there are many other costs to come and I shall re-visit this costs summary at a later stage. I think you can see that the costs are mounting up, and more than once I have asked myself what the hell am I doing. But I need to remind myself that life is more about the accumulation of wealth. It is about the journey and the experiences along the way, and hopefuly this trip will provide me with many experiences. Of course, it already in fact has, and I know there will be many more to come. I didn’t plan this adventure to make money and become financially wealthier, but to become emotionally richer in my experiences.
All this reminds me of an interesting and particularly eloquent statement by Ellen Goodman.
Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it.
But then, who would aspire to be merely normal?