Travel Writing by Cory Hanson

Living Small(er)


A long time ago—in the distant mists of 2013—I first wrote a series of pieces about packing up our possessions and adjusting to small-apartment living. Having moved from a three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom job with a galley kitchen and a phonebooth bathroom, we had our share of growing shrinking pains.

We adjusted to our new reality in a new home in a new city in a new country. And now, three years later, we’re preparing to make a mirror-image adjustment—packing up and selling off our meager Irish possessions and flying our tiny apartment coop to a suburban home in Colorado.

After taking one load of clothes, books, and souvenirs home when we visited our future hometown in April, we’re down to the bare essentials: a few T-shirts, the Homer Simpson talking bottle opener, and the laptops that are our only window to the outside world. Just as we did when we prepared our old house in Iowa for sale, we cleaned our rental unit from stem to stern, scrubbing all those nooks and crannies that should probably be cleaned more often, but aren’t.

We thought we were living light before, but now that we’re down to two suitcases of home goods, we’re finding ourselves reaching for things that aren’t there.

It’s freezing in here. Where’s that comfortable sweater—oh, wait.

Man, we had fun in Edinburgh! What was the name of that little corner pub, again? Let me get out Rick Steves’ Great Britain and look it up…oh, that one, too.

Living without even the few comforts we picked up in Ireland is really ramping up our anticipation to turn the page, just as living out our last few weeks in an empty house in Iowa did. Now, just as then, we’re actively trying to enjoy the last of our very limited time here; trying to remember that this place that we are so eager to leave is the tippy top of the bucket list for so many other Americans not as lucky as we are.

With three week-long trips around the country in our final six weeks of Irish residency, I think we’ll be giving Ireland a fitting farewell.

1 Comment

  1. April 27, 2016    

    Looks like the countdown has officially begun!! Time goes so fast! I hope you keep on writing about your new adventures back in the US 🙂 And we really really have to organise some meetup before you leave Ireland.

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