Travels of the Exotic

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I realized over the weekend that the significance of Friday had passed me by.  Distracted by a mad fit of packing for what was a wonderful couple of days in Vancouver, my ‘one year abroad’ anniversary had arrived.

With regards packing you’d think it couldn’t possibly take a whole day and in the case of normal people I would agree! However, in my case it’s a completely different story.  It’s the butt of many a joke between my boyfriend and I that my OCD leanings produce an extensive routine which exhausts him to even think about.   I start packing like a regular human being only to take everything out again.  This leads to double checking, repacking, adding clothes which are once again unpacked.  This pattern repeats until I am satisfied and relaxed.  My surprise trip to Las Vegas was particularly entertaining as my partner wanted to leave it as late as possible to tell me where we were going.  Knowing me as he does he’d thought it through and left it as late as possible giving me a grace period of a day and half to ensure I could exercise my packing technique!  I am truly envious of the fact he chucks clothes into a bag last minute and hopes for the best.  Furthermore, he’s never left anything behind that he can’t do without! Anyhow, I digress.

With Friday 13th just passed, unlucky for some, it was somewhat pleasantly reflective for me.  I was thinking of how bundled up I was the year before.  Dressed in my winter coat during the height of summer which I cooked in, I was accompanied by the many bags that my entire life had been condensed into. (Oh yes, it took even longer to pack those, plus a number of trial runs before the ‘final’ pack!).  I had brought only the essentials onto the exciting adventure I was embarking on in Canada.  I finally had the opportunity to start a life together with the man I loved having spent seventeen months in long distance communication.  However, we survived which shows the love we have for each other provides us with the strength and determination to keep it alive.

My Vancouver life was very different to my English life.  The culture, isolation and unemployment meant I was required to put an immense amount of hard graft into the basic aspects of creating normality in my environment.  It was a real test but I embraced it. The stress elimination had a noticeably positive effect in the reduction of absences.  I studied the Bach Flower Remedies which is probably something I would not have done due to being caught up in the whirlwind of work.  It gave me ample thinking time which doubled up as therapy sessions with me as both client and therapist!  I had the opportunity to move forward having collected the materials that had been consciously and subconsciously acquired and using the tools I had developed over the years.  It was a cathartic experience.  Practicing yoga every day combined with studying became my relaxed, peaceful and healthy reality.  I had the time to cook, bake, knit, clean (it had to get in there, my love of it is inevitable!).  More than anything else I nurtured my creativity which established a peace and contentment that I hadn’t felt in a long time, if at all.  Not everyone has this opportunity which is why I treasured every moment.

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When an unexpected employment offer came to my partner, it tempted us to a life in Seattle which was too good to miss.  It was incredible to think that such a prospect had entered our lives.  With employment experience that was life changing we found ourselves moving in January.  It hasn’t been without its challenges but the daily blessings are enormous.  For me, being able to volunteer has made such a difference in how busy I am and the enjoyment I get of being able to give something back to my new community.  It makes me feel nourished and fulfilled.  It’s surprising how much you learn about yourself when you are put into a situation which takes you out of your comfort zone.

So as life continues, new friends have been made and we are slowly shaping our home and life into how we want it to be.  Blessed doesn’t quite cover it and with a forthcoming vacation, I once again have the pleasure of packing to look forward to!

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