So moving out of anywhere is going to be stressful, especially when you have no choice but to somehow get 9-month's worth of your precious things into a 30kg container. However, this did give me time for a much-needed 'minimalisation exercise'. And I felt so good afterwards. There's something so cleansing about ridding yourself of unnecessary clutter in your life and knowing you've really thought about what you actually need to keep and what you thought you needed but in fact is completely surplus to any needs you might or might not have. Anything broken, holey, or imperfect was out (it was quite shameful how many clothes I had that fitted this category actually). Toiletries were out (not because I've suddenly decided to live with the earth and not wash, but because these can definitely be replaced back in Blighty). And bringing back any kitchen utensils was a definite no-no - these were kindly donated to the next lucky language assistant.
Yes, moving out of a country and back home involves a lot of stress (if you've been tight enough to not book an extra bag onto the plane) in addition to the weird emotional turmoil. It's strange how you suddenly feel of the room you've been living in for so long as an old friend when you shut the door for the last time. You might even want to vocalise the goodbye - don't feel ashamed - no-one's watching (unless they are, in which case you might want to weigh up whether or not you care if this person thinks you are an emotionally unstable fruitcake whose best friend is a room). But I digress. My emotional turmoil also involved feeling really happy and excited about going home and seeing friends and family, and really sad about leaving the people and places in Bautzen that I've come to know and love. I was very aware of doing things for the last time, especially during the last week, and getting to the airport knowing this was it - my little room in Bautzen is no longer waiting excitedly to welcome me back - was strange and exhilarating in a happy/sad kind of way. They do say that coming home is one of the best parts of travelling don't they? Well, I wouldn't say the best, but it is one of the nice parts.
So goodbye Bautzen. Goodbye for now Germany. Goodbye little bedroom. This language assistant has shut the door for the last time.