In January, 2011 my husband and I stored or sold our worldly possessions, crammed six stuffed plastic tubs into our CRV, and drove over 3, 000 miles from Seattle to Quebec City, Canada.
The open road. Somewhere in Wyoming
Not to go all ‘Oprah’ on you but…
I started this blog to inspire everyone to take giant leaps of faith or small, sure steps into the unknown. Whether it’s moving to a far-away land or starting your own business or writing the very first pages of a novel, I’m hoping you do it. I say that swaddled in a blanket, my dog curled on my lap, the weather a balmy negative 20-something outside.
It’s days like this, when the wind is too fierce to leave the couch, when the language barrier makes a simple thing like ordering a cup of coffee or buying a phone seem really difficult that I wonder what the hell I’m doing here.
And then I remind myself: uncomfortable moments make you grow.
Scenes from a car window: Tim Burton trees.
I can’t live the “linear life.” I’ve never once believed in a straight route from A to B to C. I believe in taking chances, jumping off cliffs (literally and figuratively), listening to the little voice inside my head that wants more than the old work-home-kids-work-home-kids-work-home routine.
When we’re little, we believe that we could be anything: butterflies, mountain climbers, professional equestrians, painters, poets, scientists. Year by year, that confidence washes away and we’re stuck imagining what life could’ve been.
I always longed to live abroad. I just turned thirty and it was still lingering on the crumpled bucket list I wrote in college. The one my husband found and read to me when the packing, the goodbyes, and the to-dos left me in a sobbing, exhausted pile on the living room floor.
Actual items from an old bucket list:
“Get paid to write.” Oh how I loved the moment when he read this back to me. I’ve been a copywriter for years now. When I scrawled that on paper, probably while lying in my dorm-room bunk bed, it seemed like such a distant dream.
“Learn to hanglide,” I think that one is going to stay put.
“Live in a city.” Seattle counts!
“Learn another language.” French classes start on Monday
“Live in another country.” Done and done.
When the opportunity came to live abroad, we took it. I have a clear vision of myself kicking my own butt years from now, gray-haired and unhappy because I was the girl who could’ve lived in Quebec, who could’ve learned French, who could’ve….and didn’t.
So I did.