Sure, it’s easy to complain on moving day, we’ve all done it at one point or another. But when it comes right down to it, we really don’t have it that bad. In fact, compared to our forefathers, we have it incredibly easy these days! Don’t believe it? Let’s take a look at moving through the centuries!
Moving on Foot
Long before the concept of motors, wagons, or even wheels; when people wanted to relocate they had to do so on foot. Obviously, you can’t take a whole lot with you, so forget bringing furniture and other large items. Even small keepsakes are limited to what you can carry, which is also taken up by supplies that you’ll need for the trip. Suddenly, packing up all those boxes doesn’t seem so bad!
The possibility of getting seasick during a move is quite unlikely today, but a few centuries ago settlers seeking a new home made the journey by boat, and not on the luxury vessels we have now. Most of the time trips would not go directly from point A to point B because merchant ships, the most often used form of sea transport, made stops at various ports in different countries. Also, repairs needed to be made en-route, meaning the total duration of your move could be two months or more using this option. Before you start picturing the trip as a two month long vacation touring across multiple countries, keep in mind that life on these ships was cramped and water-logged. One pilgrim aboard the Mayflower wrote that travelers were piled in like cargo, beds were damp, and the stench was unforgettable. Delightful!
Sailing on a merchant ship may have been less than ideal, but moving in a covered wagon was even worse. Settlers who traveled across the Oregon Trail could expect a 4-6 month journey, and along the way close to 10% of the travelers would perish. Worse yet, if the group left on their journey too early, there would be no grass for the cattle to eat upon arrival. If they left too late, the harsh winter would catch them off-guard with no time for preparation. Seems like an awfully rough trip, hadn’t they ever heard of U-Haul?
Fast forward to today. The hardest part of moving is packing up your boxes and loading them onto a truck. Actually, many people opt to skip that strain altogether and hire some Moving Help. Instead of taking a few months, the average move takes a few days at most. While it isn’t always fun, the advent of trucks and trailers truly revolutionized the moving experience and made it infinitely easier. Thank goodness for technology!
Can you think of any historical movers? Tell us about them in the comments!