From Quebec to ...
I’ve realized in the last few day, thanks to your kind messages and comments, that lots of you didn’t know what we experienced the past few weeks as I actually haven’t explained anything on the blog! We moved !
We arrived in Montreal November 2, 2012, diplomas and work visas in our hands, ready for a two year adventure, and ready to start our life together (at 6000km away from our countries, it was actually quite risky!). I started almost immediately my speech therapist job, while my boyfriend (who could not really speak French at that time) worked in a few different small jobs for several months. As we had one of my university friends (and her boyfriend) as neighbors, we spent the first two years with them constantly, and did a LOT of road-trips just the four of us.
Two years later, they returned to Belgium, and we decided to renew our visa. As my boyfriend found a job he liked (and becoming quite good in Quebec French) and enjoying our life there, we were really not ready to leave. We moved to another neighborhood, we spent time with other friends (french of course and fortunately Quebecois as well), we invested ourselves in our jobs, we made the most of the weekends… And then we started the challenge to become parents! A real joy.
However, in the last weeks, we had to ask ourselves an important question: as the second visa was expiring in November, what did we want for the future? Getting into permanent residence and stay for a few more years at least? or go back to Europe? I will not deny that this decision was long and painful to take. Canada is a wonderful and welcoming country, the scenery of the various provinces are beautiful and life is sweet. We loved our lives in Quebec (with two good jobs, friends, and full of great activities to do), and it was hard to imagine living anywhere else. But something was missing: the family. And this feeling of lack has expanded since the arrival of our little girl. So of course, skype is good, but this is not how I imagined my baby to know her families. We had a great chance to receive them several times in Montreal, but let’s be honest, they would not have kept coming like this for 10 years …
So…. we decided to come back. But where? It will be England. As, for my part, I’m unable to seek for a job for now either in France or in England (the happiness of the Belgian diploma that is recognized everywhere except in my own country … because in England it is a question of language / English test that takes time to pass which seems logical … but in France ?!), it was easier and faster for my partner to find a job there. In the last few weeks, we had to start all over again: sell all of our furniture in Montreal, re-let the apartment, quit our jobs, go back to Europe with our suitcases, pass interviews (well… for him), having to wait to get a job to know our future city and look for accommodation … Scatter boxes everywhere (in a transatlantic boat, with my parents, to his own …).
Challenging with a 10 month old baby you would tell me ?! Not really … Ok, a bit anyway. But we were lucky, she was truly amazing and easy.
In the recent days we have therefore settled in England, ready to start this new adventure. About 9 months in Somerset to start, then around next summer, we will properly settle down in Exeter in southern England.
It is impossible for me summarize our four years in this beautiful country in a few sentences. I still have difficulty realizing that we won’t be living there anymore (never say never). But I’m happy to reconnect with our past, to discover a new country (I love adventures abroad) and to be closer to family and friends (of here).
To conclude, here are four photos taken in recent years, each representing a season in Quebec. Because season are really marked there, and I loved that.
Autumn : Cap-aux-oies beach, Les Éboulements
Winter : Quartier Westmount, Mont-Royal
Spring : Plage de Cap-aux-oies beach, Les Éboulements
Summer : Mont-tremblant