People like real, they like raw. As requested, I wanted to share how I am really dealing with the upcoming move, with the painful goodbyes and the whirlwind of excitement all at the same time. My move from my homeland of Canada to Austria where my Irish fiance lives is 37 days away.
A little over a year ago I went to Cuba where I met my Irishman who was also on vacation. It felt like a magnet pulled us together and I felt like I had known him all of my life. As it turns out, he’s someone from my past life. He was a teacher to me and in this life he is returning a favour, which I believe is to be my soulmate after a series of bad relationships. We both got on that tour bus to go to Matanzas for a reason other than to get out of our resorts that we were each going stir crazy in. Our paths were meant to cross. My heart broke the morning I was flying back home from the hot paradise. Saying goodbye to someone I had just met had never been so hard. I knew I would see him again. It’s been a whirlwind fairy tale romance ever since with flights across the ocean, being whisked around Europe…Ireland, Italy, Germany, England, Austria and Paris where he popped the question under the sparkling Eiffel Tower. I had been dreaming about Paris since I was young and I always had Eiffel Tower art hanging in my room. I didn’t know why I was so drawn to the Eiffel Tower my entire life but I like to believe that a part of me unknowingly manifested the magical moment where a man asked me to be his forever.
I wouldn’t have started a relationship with someone that lived across seas if I wasn’t willing to move one day. Why put yourself through falling in love and inevitable heart break if you aren’t willing to move to make the relationship work? It honestly wasn’t even a decision for me to think about. Though I am born and raised in Alberta and have never lived anywhere else other than my family farm for the first 15 years of my life and in Medicine Hat the last 10 years of my life, I don’t really feel like I have roots here. Without putting much thought into it, I was willing to move across seas for the adventure, the opportunity to study a whole new culture, and of course, to follow my heart.
Excitement has built over the months as we get closer and closer to the move day. My heart aches with how much I miss my fiancé, only seeing each other every few months has been tough, and this last stint is a total of 5 months apart. The closer we get to the day, the more relieved I feel that our time apart is almost over. When life has gotten hard, more than anything all I needed was a hug but instead we had to look at each other through a screen.
In 37 days, there will be no more “see you in 3 months.” There will be no more goodnight and good morning texts. It will be goodnight and good morning kisses instead. My 8 year old dog Lyla will be there too, meaning that my heart won’t ache when I’m in Europe wondering how my dog is doing back home, because she will be at home with me on European soil. We will live a life of adventure and wandering. I had told the Universe that the next man to steal my heart would be the one that I stay with forever, one that lives and thinks outside of the box of normal society, one who is far from ordinary and isn’t boring. And that he is.
Instead, it will be a long distance relationship with my friends and family back home. Texts, video calls and Snapchat’s will be our new normal for when I want to have a coffee date with my best friend, taco night with my best male friend, and wine with my parents.
I have cultivated a beautiful life here. One of my best friends has been my best friend since we were 4 years old. Not a lot of people are lucky enough to say that they’ve had a friend who has been through all seasons and chapters of life by their side. I am close with my parents and my niece and nephews are such lights in my life. I’m not going to be as big of a presence in the kid’s lives which is a tough pill to swallow. I’ll be that Auntie that lives far away that they only get to see once a year rather than at every family function.
Today, I said goodbye to my 90 year old Grandma and last weekend I said goodbye to my 86 year old Oma and 95 year old Opa. I was surprised how choked up I got. It suddenly felt real that this very likely could be the last time I see them with them at the ages that they are. My Grandma had tears running down her cheeks today as she said that I’m her only granddaughter and she wished “I found someone over here instead.” She doesn’t mean to guilt trip me. She’s never met my fiancé other than a picture she has hanging on her bookshelf of the two of us at the hoodoos in Dinosaur Park right after we said I Love You to each other for the first time. After her guilt trip she always follows up with, “Just by looking at that picture though I know he’s a good man and very down to Earth.”
Saying goodbye to my tattoo artist was obviously a lot easier even though it too was a long drawn out hug after a few years of sometimes very late night sessions together as he worked on my sleeve. It’s a weird feeling knowing you probably will never see a person ever again. They will be a distant memory from what will feel like a totally different life.
I had my first bout of culture shock the other day which sent me in a tail spin when I found out that my perspective of fancy attire wasn’t actually very fancy compared to what is the norm at certain events across the pond. Between my hormones being all out of sorts with me recently pulling myself off of birth control pill and Mercury being in retrograde, I had a very messy emotional day literally over a dress. I panicked thinking that I wasn’t going to fit in the world over there because that level of fancy doesn’t even really exist in Alberta. It was dramatic and overly emotional and I fully blame it on the hormones, but it also was the day I realized that I am starting to get nervous for the big upcoming change.
This upcoming week will be the last time all of my siblings and our families will all be together for at least a couple of years. It’s a bittersweet feeling as this gathering only happens once a year and it is always a special day, but I know it’s going to be a kick in the gut when the day is over.
So far getting rid of my things hasn’t tripped me up at all. I’m not really emotionally attached to my things as I already live quite minimally. That being said, I’m going to be that crazy lady moving 3 suitcases over and 1 of them will be filled with my crystal collection – so I guess some things I am quite attached to.
I have a lot to look forward to these next 37 days. I have pledged to be nice to myself and not to feel guilty if I am having a sad day. I am a human being with emotions and just because I try to live positively doesn’t mean that I don’t get days where I just need to have a good cry. I am totally in the grief stage of the preparation of the move, as I know that once I have arrived I am going to be so swept up in the excitement of my new life that I don’t see myself having homesickness that will consume me. Right now, it’s the stage of goodbyes, or realizing this is the last time me and another person do something special together, or realizing that this is the last spring I will see the snow melt over the Alberta prairies. In the next 5 weeks, I have a lot of family time, my stagette with my best friends, and 37 more prairie sunsets to watch.
Last year on May 1st, I had a close call in Dominican at the resort I was staying at with a friend. We were targets for a sophisticated prostitution ring being ran out of our resort. We were very fortunate and managed to get out, but with it came months of darkness as we dealt with the aftermath of trauma. Depression. Anxiety. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Anniversarys of traumas often can trigger someone. I decided to rewrite what May 1st means to me so that’s when I booked my flight. I am starting the 24 hour trek to get my dog and I out to Austria on May 1st. My life changed last year on May 1st. And this year…it’s going to change for the better.
I will be continuing my blog to share with my curious followers, friends and family about my experiences with culture shock, homesickness, and of course, the most exciting of all…wanderlust as I emerge myself in a brand new culture and country permanently.
The most thrilling adventure of my life is right around the corner.