Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


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The Art of Saying Goodbye

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Elwood wondering about the next time he’ll see his friends from Quebec

Goodbye is part of life, especially for travel writers and expats. I said goodbye to a very good group of people recently. As someone who has made three big moves in six years, I should be accustomed to this.

I am not. Especially because I know I probably won’t see these people again.

The Very Good People I speak of are a refugee family from Libya (originally Somalia) who I helped transition here. I showed them bus routes and where to find jobs and taught them simple English phrases. They cooked dinner every Sunday. Heaping piles of rice and pasta with sides of bananas and salads. Never a question if I would stay and eat. They assumed and set up a plate and ushered me to the kitchen.

I worked with the family for a few months. As I watched them pack, (offering to help, but not knowing what to do), I noticed they still didn’t switch their clocks over for daylight savings. I should have explained daylight savings to them. I should have showed them where to buy rain boots and jackets. I could have done a better job as their appointed American mentor. Continue reading

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Living,growing, and still not a snob

Quebec City, Expat, Chateau Frontenac

C'est moi

Listening to study abroad stories is like hearing about someone else’s weird dream: it’s a snooze fest. It also incites extreme jealous in the poor bastards confined to life in the states.

I firmly decided that I would never become one of those people.

“In (insert country here), the bakeries are just so much better.” 

“They have (insert random food item here) in (insert country here)…”

“The government is soooo much better in (insert country here).” 

And yeah, please don’t tell me because I live in Canada and not somewhere in Europe that I’m not “abroad.” I will remind you, while I snarl that the US and Canada aren’t the same and that Quebec is unlike everywhere else in the country.

Before taking the leap, I felt worn out and old. Eight months in and the creases beneath my eyes have disappeared, I lost about 10 pounds, and I can now get by in French conversation. I feel better somehow – maybe it’s because I’ve fallen off the corporate wheel and started getting a regular dose of exercise and brain activity.

What’s changed the most? I stopped caring. I stopped feeling competitive and started writing, for realz. My new friends span all ages and all countries, from a 70-something-woman Falconer to a 17-year-old Venezuelan. They inspire me to get up and get movin’


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There’s No Place Like Home – A Revelation

 

expat, expat to Canada, Quebec City

Where I live - Quebec City

 

With the passage of time, a move, even a Big One becomes easier. I am starting to pick up French words on television and in restaurants. Some day, I’ll clip them out of the air and make them into collages.

Milestones: I took the bus and didn’t get lost. I wandered into a French bookstore and spotted the book “Snow White”. I successfully completed three transactions in French. One day, I won’t be able to count them.

Nothing scares me anymore. Continue reading