The week before the start of another adventure

Our 6 bikes including our chariot trailer all boxed up and ready to go

Written by Jenn

Where has the time gone? Our summer in Edmonton is quickly coming to a close. I can’t believe that we have exactly 6 more days until our big move to France. We’re filling our last days here packing and preparing for our year away; visiting with good friends and family one last time before we leave them, and walking away with many of our loved ones’ promises to come visit us in Southern France.

We’re renting a pink house in a little town close to Perpignan, 4 km away from the Mediterranean beach and half an hour’s drive to the French-Spanish border. We’re a 6 minute walk from the schools and less than 2km away from the grocery stores and markets. We’re taking our bikes with us this time and we’re looking forward to living car-free again. In fact, Brian said earlier today how much he was looking forward to not having to worry about the price of gas again. I’m looking forward to a healthier lifestyle of walking (and biking) everywhere and eating fresh foods from the outdoor markets.

So what are we taking with us this time around? Here’s our rough list:

  • a total of 2 large suitcases of clothes for all 6 of us
  • a duffel bag of bike helmets and foot wear (eg. rain boots and sandals)
  • a box of homeschooling books (I’m really having a hard time paring this down)
  • a suitcase of ski jackets and ski pants (we’re half an hour away from the Pyrenees Mountains)
  • a suitcase of the children’s toys (dolls and legos and art supplies)
  • our 6 bikes and chariot trailer
  • our laptops and Brian’s large computer monitor for his Forex trading

I’m carrying inside me a mixed bag of emotions: nervous excitement with a pinch of anxiety for this upcoming adventure in France; joy & hope because we’re living out our dreams to travel and learn new things together;  sadness because it will be several months before we see loved ones again. But I look at this as necessary work, akin to going away to post-secondary school. We need to do this to grow in so many levels.

Brian and I grew teary-eyed as we drove away from the farm a few days ago. Leaving “home” again is never easy. I’m dreading the moment when I’ll have to say goodbye to my siblings and their families, especially to my sister and brother-in-law who have been so generous to open their home to us these past couple of months. They’ve been so patient and understanding with the zoo that comes with our family of 6 living in their basement.

As I was swaying my baby niece Anji to sleep the other day, I was struck by the reality that I would not be seeing her for at least 6 months (they’re planning on coming to visit us in France). She’ll have grown so much the next time I’ll see her. This realization filled me with such a deep sadness that my tears watered her cheek as she slept peacefully on my shoulder.

Brian and I are trying not to let our sadness of leaving loved ones or our fears of the unkown hold us back from fully living. I’m counting on what we learn during our time away to all be worth being away from our loved ones. Needless to say, our homecoming next summer will be a happy one.

   “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” ~Eleanor Roosevlt

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13 Responses to The week before the start of another adventure

  1. renee the ratfink says:

    We will miss you guys so much too!! We’ve grown accustomed to the zoo in the basement (a.k.a. The 6 ratfinks). But we’re so proud of you guys for holding fast to your dreams and doing the action to make them come true. Its an inspiration for all those who hear your stories. So keep on dreaming and living! I commend yours and B’s strength and courage for living this extraordinary life. Love yous!! (Even though you’re ratfinks) hehehe

  2. claire says:

    Have a great adventure! Hopefully we will be able to connect with you when you return next summer to Edmonton. We’re looking forward to living vicariously through your blog.
    Judy and Claire

  3. Fr. Tom says:

    Dear Jennifer, Brian and Family,

    You have a lot of courage, but the Lord goes with you, and I’ll be praying blessings upon you during this year. Your brother in Christ, Fr. Tom at Marian Centre

  4. Amy says:

    You guys are going to have such an amazing time, I am so excited for you!

  5. Lisa says:

    Wow Jenn. Time has gone by so fast and wow also for how effecient you are with your packing! You guys will have a wonderful time in France and as difficult as it is to part with family and friends again, they are happy to see you living your dreams and being able to share your experiences through your blogs, emails, skype etc. The wonderful thing is that you have a homebase where you will have time to skype with them and connect with them which will be nice. Thank goodness for technology! Have a safe journey and will see you this Saturday! Wow … I can’t believe I am saying that. I am so looking foward to seeing all your beautiful smiling faces here in Germany 🙂

  6. South of France and biking or walking everywhere – it’s a dream! I am eager to hear more once you settle, how the children adjust to school and what the family routine looks like in a small French town.

    Good luck with your departure. I know how hard that is =( Hopefully people will visit. We get our first visitor next week (my twin sister) and my mom is coming end of October. Helps with my home sick days.

    • Thank you Rachel. The image of Henry playing with his cousins – the post you wrote before leaving for Isle of Man – came to me as I read your comment. Departure is hard, and you’re right, it sure is good when family comes to visit. I’m so looking forward to that! Have a great visit with your family! -J

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