Goodbye; Hello

28.March 2011

Our Journey

Downtown Victoria and James Bay

Photo Credit: TTCopley

 

Today is the last day in our latest hometown. Tomorrow we get on the ferry one last time (oh, how I won’t miss the ferry!) to cross the ocean (oh, but how I will miss the ocean!) and ultimately the mountains to our new home town of Calgary, Alberta.

I’m finding that it’s not hard leaving but it is hard to tell people why.

We’re just done here; it’s time for us to leave.

How do we tell people that the place that they have grown up in, are raising their families in, have chosen to come to, isn’t right for us anymore?

There is nothing wrong with here; other than it’s too easy to stay…and we don’t want easy.

They look at me with blank, uncomprehending stares; tell us how good we have it here; and wonder how we could possibly want to leave.

I get that they don’t get it; sometimes I don’t either but I have to leave. If I don’t I never will. And I need to.

There is something in me that compels me to keep going. I don’t know why. I don’t feel like I’m searching for anything; I just like different…but I also like not-different and if I don’t push myself toward different I will just stay. And I don’t want to stay.

Is it the same thing that compelled my parents to come here? Or before that maybe. I’ve always been fascinated by the first settlers in Canada and the US. What on earth compelled those people to leave their lives in Europe to come here and set up camp in the middle of nowhere?  And why, pray tell, did anyone stop in Manitoba or Saskatoon or Wyoming or Montana where the winters are brutal and the mosquitoes make summer unbearable?

I know it doesn’t make much sense and I don’t try to make sense of it. I want the same things everyone wants; happiness, a sense of peace, and a feeling of having done what we want to do.

For some, that is raising a family in the same hometown they were raised in; giving their kids a sense of security and belonging. For others it’s watching the seasons, and the landscape, change slowly over time; a chance to really know a place and all it’s nooks and crannies. For me, it’s that feeling that I’m always pushing myself; not too far, just into uncomfortable. The sense that I’m trying. That I’ll look back and say ‘yeah, that was worth it’.

We’re looking forward to new challenges and the excitement that exploring a new place will bring. We will miss friends and family; bootcamp buddies and riding mates; but it’s they who have put us up to this…always supporting us and seeing our potential. And for that we are grateful. It’s been fun; thank you.

And so we say goodbye to Victoria, and hello to the next GiantStep in this great adventure.

Calgary Skyline

Photo Credit: James Bremner

 

To help transition across the ocean and over the mountains into a new home and job, I have asked some friends to help me with posting in the next couple of weeks. It’s a great chance to hear some new voices here as they share their stories. Please welcome them warmly and visit their home sites too. Cheers!

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17 Responses to “Goodbye; Hello”

  1. Glenda Says:

    Thanks for this… it is appreciated and I do understand. It’s how I felt when I moved here…sniff, sniff…will miss you guys. On the bright side – you guys being in Calgary is an excuse to drive to Saskatchewan!
    Glenda recently posted..Citrus Cupcake

  2. Angie Says:

    WHOO HOOO!!!!! Another grande adventure- I am so happy for you guys! Can’t wait to hear the tales of Calgary.

  3. Ali Says:

    I can totally relate to that need to push yourself to keep going. It’s too easyto stick with what’s easy & familiar because it is just that. But easy & familiar doesn’t always mean it’s what’s best for us. Good luck with the next stage in your journey!
    Ali recently posted..Adventures in Flight Booking

  4. Dalene - Hecktic Travels Says:

    It’s funny for me to read this, in a way, because my cousin just moved a couple of weeks ago from Victoria back to Calgary (he lived in Calgary for many years prior, claimed he hated it. Lasted one year in Victoria and moved back). I lived in Calgary for almost 15 years, and can’t imagine ever going back there, and would move to Victoria in an instant (IF I ever get the desire to settle again!)

    All this is to say that everyone has their own mo, and chances are most people will never understand it (or even try to!) But that’s okay.

    Good luck in Cowtown and I’m looking forward to hearing your take on it!!
    Dalene – Hecktic Travels recently posted..The Definition of Success

  5. Debbie Beardsley Says:

    Sounds exciting! A new environment to explore.

    I’m curious, how did you decide on Calgary?
    Debbie Beardsley recently posted..European Travelista – Month 2

    • Gillian Says:

      @Debbie: We didn’t decide on Calgary, it decided on us! We knew we were ready to leave Victoria and so started a cross country job hunt saying that whichever of us got a reasonable job first would determine where we would go. The only limitation was not Vancouver (b/c I love it so much and would never leave) or Toronto (too big). Calgary had the most opportunities and, in the end, that’s where the jobs lay. It’ll be interesting to see how I do in the winter!!

  6. Dianne White Says:

    Good luck with the next chapter in your life.I’m sure you will both do wonderful.I look forward to the Giant step blogs.Keep up the great work if you have time. Take care Dianne

  7. jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World Says:

    Congrats on another giant step. Looking forward to hear how you guys’ exploration of the new hometown.
    jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World recently posted..The Best Chicken Noodle in Indonesia and A Tutorial

  8. Susan Z Martin Says:

    Best of luck. I know you say you won’t miss the ferry but I bet you will eventually – when I travel internationally that ferry trip is part of the ‘ritual’ of both departing and really being back on familiar ground. But I totally hear what you are saying with Victoria being ‘too easy’.

    After 11 years in Calgary I came back to Victoria nearly 20 years ago and I too am ready to move on although my goal is Stockholm (in fall 2012). Again, all the best, you will have wonderful adventures in Calgary I am sure. All of us online hope you keep us posted and share with us when you have the time.

  9. Mandy Says:

    Fabulous post! To those who don’t understand the WHY of moving on, I don’t believe they have ever pushed themselves into that ‘uncomfortable’ place. And, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as that is the conscious decision they have made. You and Jason have made a different one and I APPLAUD you for it. I wonder how many people you have inspired (besides me) to realize that it is perfectly OK to go into that space where we are not comfortable. Every time I go there, I look back and have always learned something out of it. I cannot wait to hear all about your next adventures…the winter could be challenging, but you can do it!

  10. Asa Says:

    You make total sense and I completely understand. As I’ve said many times, it wouldn’t have worked for us to return to Seattle after our trip. However, after almost a year living in Boston (gasp that it’s been that long already) it’s starting to also feel comfortable, maybe a bit too comfortable. Good luck with the move;we can’t wait to come and visit you. Maybe this summer?
    Asa recently posted..We survived the winter

  11. Amy Says:

    Good luck with the move, Gillian! I admire your willingness to keep pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.
    Amy recently posted..Happy Birthday to Sean

  12. Kim Says:

    Congrats you guys on your next Giant Step. I agree with Amy, I admire your willingness to keep pushing. I think to live, to really live, you have to keep pushing the boundries of your life.
    Kim recently posted..14 Questions for One Giant Step

  13. Erica Says:

    My friend talks about how amazing Victoria is – I can imagine it is quite the easy place.

    Best of luck in Calgary!
    Erica recently posted..Photo Essay Friday – Balcones Burner Bash 2010

  14. Anne McKinnell Says:

    Hi Gillian! It’s too bad we didn’t meet during the time you lived here! But I’m so glad that you found my blog because now I’ve found you and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Thank you very much for the encouragement. Your blog is going to be very useful to us when we are planning our trip. Right now we are at the pre-trip stage trying to get all the financial and medical stuff sorted out. I know this is going to be an excellent ongoing resource on our journey. Thank you!
    Anne.
    Anne McKinnell recently posted..Creating photos that suck

  15. Mike Lenzen Says:

    I’m glad you made the decision to move. The more I talk to people from Calgary and Vancouver, the more I have to wonder why I’ve stayed so long in Saskatchewan where the winters are cold, and you only have the mosquitoes to look forward to in the summer.

    Who knows, maybe we’ll get a chance to meet. I’m hoping to make a trip or two into Calgary before we start our RTW.
    Mike Lenzen recently posted..Traveled Earth Business Cards

  16. Sofia - As We Travel Says:

    I think I know what you mean. You get to a point where you just feel “done” with a place, I’ve felt that a few times as well.

    When something gets too easy it’s not really fun anymore, life is about challenging yourself and pushing boundaries, and I’m sure your friends in there will understand.

    Good luck with the move!