Happy 6 month anniversary to Salzburg, Lyla and I!
6 months ago I put my senior dog on a plane, and we moved from the wild open prairies of Alberta where I was born and raised, to join my Irish fiance across the water in the lush hills and mountains of Salzburg, Austria.
It was a gut feeling, my intuition, that brought us here. When you put two unconventional, free spirited, wild and weird charactered, open minded, entrepreneurial people together, you have the foundation for a outside of any normal box type relationship – and that’s exactly what I desired. Our relationship has been different from the start. It’s been electric, magical, blissful, adventurous and it was 100% based off of a gut feeling on both our parts that was louder than any logic.
We had each booked a last minute trip to Cuba, staying at separate resorts, and on a Wednesday morning feeling stir crazy in the resort, we each booked a last minute tour into Matanzas, a local town where we would explore caves filled with crystals and see the “real” Cuba outside the touristy parts of Varadero. It was on this bus ride where we would meet, beginning our adventure together, and what would be what most would say was a vacation fling. The moon was full, the ocean was still just like a pool, where we would swim together in the late hours of the night, drunk on tequila and wanderlust, the water mirroring the pinholes of starlight above us, our legs wobbly from hours of dancing together. I felt like I knew him already, like crossing paths with an old lover. The morning I was to fly back home to Canada, which happened to be his birthday, a tearful goodbye was said in his hotel room. This was the moment I realized it wasn’t just a vacation fling, as I felt my heart crumble into a million pieces in his arms, and before I turned to run down the hallway to the elevator, I locked my blues to his green eyes, and I knew I would see him again, even though he lived on the other side of the world. I cried the entire cab ride back to my resort, holding onto the final words he said with his charming Irish accent. Back at my resort, I made my way down to the beach to say goodbye to the ocean, and as I sat in the sand facing the beautiful tropical waters, gently lapping at my toes, I felt this energy move through me, and I knew my life had just changed.
A few months later I flew to Salzburg, Austria to join him for a couple weeks to explore this connection that we had felt in Cuba. We had managed to keep the fire from our couple of days in Cuba together alive between texts and Facetimes, and that fire continued to grow the more time we spent together. He whisked me to Venice where we shared another full moon together, and took me home to Ireland to meet his family and his mates, putting me through the true test, to see if I could handle a day of drinking with the lads for a football game. My first ever big match that I had been to, my body was on fire from the electricity moving through the stadium of devoted fans, FOOTBALL fans. What hockey is to us, football (soccer) is to them, but it’s continent wide, not just country wide, taking the spirit and intensity a whole different level. I was still standing at 2 am, a smile on my face, and even though I didn’t know it at the time, I had passed the test. All of those years of me growing up with older brothers and hanging out with their guy friends rather than girls served its purpose to help me immerse myself with his group of mates as if they were my own.
A few months later, JP would fly to Canada to meet my family and friends, and of course, my dog, who I had told him that for him to ask me to move across the water to be with him, meant that Lyla would be non negotiably coming along too. Lyla and I have shared 8 years together. We literally started at rock bottom together. Lyla, a gift from my ex, was my best friend as I cleaned myself up from hard drugs and worked on gathering the courage to leave the abusive relationship I was in. I had lost her for a short period of time when I had finally worked up the courage to leave, which in my absence, she was abused. When I got her back, she was a different dog, her sweetness was replaced with leash aggression. I understood her and stayed patient with her, something that I’m not sure she would’ve gotten from anyone else. Lyla and I then lived a white picket fence lifestyle for 5 years, which were fairly good years compared to the relationship I had had beforehand. Kick starting the end of that relationship, I went on my first ever plane ride for a work conference. This trip changed my life. It bit me with the travel bug and opened up my mind to realize that I was living a life that was not true to me, it was merely a stepping stone as I put myself back together after the abusive relationship, and going off of a gut instinct, Lyla and I walked away from the house, the mortgage, the white picket fence to pursue a life of travel, adventure, and massive personal growth. I don’t know how many countries I’ve been to since, or how many planes I’ve been on, it’s been chaotic in a good way, wild and fulfilling.
JP’s visit to Canada was successful. He won over all of my friends and family (which was a first for me, I cannot say that my family approved of any of my past relationships) and I whisked him around my beautiful province of Alberta to show him all that we offered. A couple months later I flew back to Austria to spend the month of November with him. I had already decided that Lyla and I would be moving over to join him the following spring, something I had decided very early on in our relationship, otherwise, if one of us wasn’t willing to move, why waste the time and emotions. I spent the month immersing myself into what normal life would be like in Salzburg. He whisked me to Paris for the weekend for my birthday, a place that I had been dreaming about since I was young. I was infatuated with Eiffel Tower art which hung on many of my walls of many of my homes throughout the years. It was under the Eiffel Tower, sparkling flashing lights under the black sky, that he would get down on his knee and ask me to be his forever. It was a complete out of body experience for me. In complete shock and surprise, a series of very girlish screams that I didn’t know I was capable of, I made sure I told him he was fucking crazy before I excitedly said yes.
We went 5 months apart as I got all of my ducks in a row and saved for the cost of the move. The time, money, and stress that was all involved with preparing to move across the world with a large dog was insane, and I have a whole new level of respect for anyone who has ever immigrated before. I never doubted it for a second, and neither did he, that we were making the right decision. People on the outside I’m sure whispered and had their reservations, but not a single person asked me to stay or tried to convince me that this wasn’t the right decision, because I felt so strongly in my gut that this was where I belonged, with JP wherever he lives in this world, that those around me could feel it too. We both knew from the start that we were each other’s soulmates, and though I had heard people say, “when you know you know,” I never really believed it until it happened to me.
Here we are now, 6 months after our move across the water, and it has been such an adventure and roller coaster. I have loved it and hated it and loved it again so many times. I can tell you that living abroad is not for the weak, and I also can tell you that Canada is cushy as fuck and super spoiled, but Canada’s cost of living reflects the cushyness. Canada has conveniences everywhere you look. I miss big fridges, I miss clothes dryers, I miss driving my car to do errands, I miss convenient stores, and huge grocery stores that have everything I need. The more time I spend abroad, the more I realize just how friendly (and sadly, naive) Canadians are, as well as how safe my home country is. I learned the hard way here of how important it is to not talk to strangers. I had made a small comment about the weather to a stranger, which resulted in me having a stalker for months which could’ve ended really badly if my fiance had not dealt with the situation. In Canada, we talk to everyone regardless of race, gender or age, and nothing is thought of it. Here, I only speak to female tourists if they look like they need directions. I have now gotten used to not exchanging friendly smiles to someone I make eye contact with on walks or in the grocery store, as that’s more of a Canadian way and not exactly the way it is here. It was a hard adjustment, not having access to that friendly small talk with people wherever I go. My comment about the weather to a stranger, was received as if I wanted sex from him, and even though I had to be rude to him in future interactions (which felt so against the grain for my Canadian self), it wasn’t rude enough for him to get the hint, he still thought I was flirting with him because here, women don’t speak to strange men, so when you do, they assume.
I slipped into a bad depression in the summer months, just a month or so after the move. My PTSD symptoms were getting the best of me, and I struggled with the overwhelm of being surrounded by thousands of tourists everyday with the central location of our apartment. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t of had to take Lyla out for multiple walks a day, having to maneuver through the crowds to get a green space to give her relief. I was grieving everything that comes along with moving abroad, loss of identity, loss of normalcy, loss of routine, loss of friends and family, especially loss of independence because I had to rely on my fiance to translate everything and help me with the bus system at first. Though I had felt ready for the move leading up to it, there still was going to be a pool of grief to be dealt with as I settled into my new home and felt my relationships with loved ones change back home. I missed Canada so much, the familiarity, the open prairies with not a soul in sight, which I craved so much especially on the days that the most space I could find in my neighbourhood without someone with a selfie stick in my vicinity was 10 feet. The crazy amount of planet retrogrades and eclipses this summer amplified the chaotic emotions that were going on within me. My body was also adjusting to a new frequency of my new environment.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was living and learning yet another of my life’s lessons: to surrender. I was fighting and pushing back against Austria, angry that the people weren’t as friendly, angry that everything was more difficult and time consuming (running errands, grocery shopping, medical system, visa paperwork, having to google translate a package of rice’s cooking instructions), angry that I was surrounded by thousands of people passing through a small town that doesn’t have the space to accommodate them all, and angry that I didn’t love it at first the way that I had expected. Beneath that anger was layers of grief I had yet to process. My business coach encouraged me to take a few weeks away from creating content and enrolling clients to give myself space to truly settle in to my new home. We had been travelling every 3 weeks, which was awesome because I saw a lot of places in a short period of time, but I also wasn’t giving myself time and space to properly settle in and find my routine and flow. Following her advice, I took myself through a few processes to begin to move the anger in me, which would result in me finally grieving properly the way that my soul needed, which would finally result in me surrendering to my new life circumstances and enjoying the unfolding of it all, challenges and all.
I became very intentional of connecting to the wild part of Austria – the mountains that surrounded Salzburg. Before I felt the connection to the nature here, I felt very restricted and closed in energetically because of how many buildings and people were around me, and all that I could feel was the heavy energy that was trapped in the city center of Salzburg – most likely because of the dark history here. Getting up onto a mountain and feeling like I was on top of the world, above all of the frustrations of the day to day, I began to come back to my own. I began to get to a place of surrender, because I began to fall in love with the wildness of Austria, something I was not experiencing in the actual town of Salzburg. I felt a particular connection to the Untersberg mountain, which is a very strong spiritually charged place. As I fell in love with the wild version of myself and Lyla that came out on this mountain, I was able to tap into the higher vibrations of Salzburg because the water that I drank and bathed in daily comes from this mountain. The more time I spent on this mountain, the more I began to feel into the magic of Salzburg, which this witchy woo lady here, absolutely nerds out on.
In September I headed back to Canada for a visit for a couple of weeks, and it was exactly what I needed to gain the closure that I was craving. I enjoyed the open spaces, the harsh dry prairies, sunsets like no other, and vast skies of stars without the light pollution. I connected myself to my home roots of country living by going to a friend’s farm and riding a horse at sunset, enjoying the quietness of not a soul or a vehicle for miles. It was a strange feeling, being home, without really feeling like I was home. It was in that visit that I realized that I no longer fit in the “wild west”. My home is where my fiance and my dog are, which is exactly why I went back to Canada for a visit, to tie up energetic loose ends to get to that point of my journey.
Since being in Salzburg, I have grown and evolved so much, as has our relationship. I had to learn how to include my fiance in my healing, in my breakdowns, in my days where I was PTSD fogged out. I had to learn to surrender to him, to allow him to be my rock on days I barely could keep myself together. Everyday I wake up I am grateful that I am waking up next to him, rather than a good morning text message from across the world. I am grateful that our soul’s have found each other yet again in this life. I am grateful that he accepts all of my weird witchy woo stuff that I do in my day to day which in small apartment living, happens right in front of him. We just secured ourselves a bigger apartment which we will be moving into at the end of November. It’s in a nice area of Salzburg, far away from the busy city center which will give me the solitude that I’ve been craving. I am blessed it even has an additional room which will be my work and witchy woo space. Lyla will also have a backyard, which on this side of the world, they call a garden. I am looking forward to this new chapter in our lives as we prepare for the wedding in Spain next year.
Spiritually, I have ascended really fast and my awareness opens more and more everyday. I have been getting more visions, some of which include past lives with my fiance and my dog. I am stepping more and more into my power everyday, and becoming more aligned to my vision everyday. I am building good momentum in my business, and learning and taking myself through so many processes to heal the feminine wound which in turn, I take clients through. I am blessed that JP gave me the space and freedom to just focus on building my business from home rather than adding pressure on me to find work on top of everything else that comes along with settling into a whole new culture. I have never felt so supported and guided by the divine before, and I know it’s because I continue to learn new levels of surrender and continue to shed layers of old identities that are no longer serving me. I’ve done so much work on healing my relationship with the feminine and my masculine to excel me to new levels of fierce feminine leadership, and new levels of awareness.
I feel like I am a totally different person than I was 6 months ago. I am wiser. Stronger. Wilder. I am definitely weirder. I am living my life’s purpose, and I am so in love with my life.
Salzburg is exactly where I am supposed to be in this point in my life. Everything has happened for a reason to grow and evolve me. I live my work, and in turn, my work helps hold space for women as they unravel, expand and ascend.
Thank you, Universe, for all of the opportunity that has come my way, and thank you, for giving me the wild fierce personality to grab these opportunities and run with them.
It’s been hard, but it’s been really great.