empty apartment

(re) moving home from the map

About closure and letting go of places

Before we begin: Some good news to start this Tuesday. On Sunday, it was the 32nd Grand Final of the Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy. This wonderful initiative has managed to raise a whooping 175 426 813 PLN this year.
I’m so incredibly proud and grateful to announce that with the support of friends, family and Mastercard Poland & Nutrified.vet, we have managed to raise a 26 342 PLN.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the generous gift-match of Nutrified, for which I am incredibly grateful!

Yesterday was once again one of those days of walking out the door for the last time. I took one last look at Apartment 43, which had been home for the last year, handed over our keys, and left.

After 16 months in Poland, having meanwhile moved to Italy, Monday morning was the moment we officially vacated the apartment. I won’t lie, it was hard. I’m still not sure at which moment it hit more: carrying out the last box of our things on Sunday, sitting down and writing this post in a once-again empty apartment, or Monday morning and the symbolic “hand-over”.

It may seem silly to have such a hard time letting go of a place we haven’t lived in for quite some time, and which now was restored back to the way we found it when moving in. (Albeit cleaner, because Natalia has incredible attention to detail and organized an excellent service to clean before move-out).

It may seem weird to be sad for an inanimate object, one that no longer was “ours” in the true sense of things.

Hear me out; it’s not the apartment itself that is the saddest; it’s all of the beautiful memories that were captured in these four walls.

It’s all of the early mornings, sipping a hot cup of coffee by the table in the kitchen as Cosmo heated himself in the rays of sun in the window. It’s the mornings spent working at our desk, which, over the months, we perfected to be the most suitable workstation for both Natalia and me. The afternoon snacks we could get delivered by Wolt straight to the door, because of the central location. The countless flavours discovered both on our own, and the ones shared with friends. It’s the evenings, sitting on the couch after a long day, Cosmo laying on one of us, snuggled up under our huge, warm blanket, watching Netflix or TVN.

It’s the nights started in our shower with the boiling hot, uninterrupted water that washed away the worries of the day, no matter how grim it may have been. (It’s also the screams of anger after a certain someone forgot to switch off the rain shower option, gifting Natalia a wet and cold surprise in the morning).

It’s the feeling of laying in bed with the lights turned down, a firewood candle dipping the room into a golden light next to the person you love, sinking into the comfort of the mattress, and hiding from the world under the fluffy duvet. It’s getting to read books, watch reels, talk about the day, plan for the week ahead, and reminisce about the good times we had.

It’s all of these memories that were made here, the good times and the bad, that are sad to say goodbye to. This was our safe haven. Our little enclave, away from the outside world, isolated and quiet.

Apartment 43 was perfect for the time we had in Poland. With an easy train connection to grandma, all the stores we could possibly need within walking distance, and a short walk or run to our offices, it was the best possible thing we could have asked for after our time in Cyprus. I guess it’s also hard to say goodbye because this was the first step we took in 2022 towards healing, the first step towards complete independence from the problems that once plagued our lives. This place was transformative, and I’ll forever be thankful for the memories we got to make. It was a new beginning, both literally and figuratively.

It’s also the fact that this really means having moved out from Poland, where life was so much easier; with Paczkomats, Amazon Prime, and a Biedronka, you could contemplate your life in waiting for the queue to clear. The trips to Żabka late at night to grab some milk, which had run out, to indulge in the guilty pleasure of a glass of Łaciate 3.2%. The 30-minute trips to hang out with my grandma and mom, to see family so easily after having spent the last decade living abroad. Moving out also means leaving behind the awesome people we got to meet, the places we could work from, such as Cluster and Spaces, as well as the comforts of living in a brand-new building in a bustling city.

I know that all these memories will come with us. They will forever be part of our hearts, and we’ll look back fondly on them. I know that home is where the heart is, and that is where Natalia and Cosmo are. Home is now in Milan, where life brings a whole set of different challenges, and our new little safe heaven provides shelter from the outside world. I’m incredibly happy with our new home, and I love the new memories and rituals we get to make.

Nonetheless, it’s sad to let go. Change is scary. Goodbyes are hard. Walking out for the last time is always bitter-sweet.

Now, standing in front of the complex, in the freezing cold and snowy Krakow, it’s time to remove Nowa 5 Dzielnica as home from the app in Waze and Google Maps. I don’t know why I didn’t get around to it until now, but now, it’s time to set the new address. It’s time to (re)move home.

With the apartment vacated, Grandma visited, and the last open issues taken care of, it’s time to go home to Milan.

Until next week, friends,

Love from wintery Kraków.

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