My Move to Canada: 1 Week In
I've already been officially living in Vancouver for a week! So I thought I would take a moment to sit down and reflect on the rollercoaster ride that has been the last few weeks of preparing for my move across the world.
It feels like I have been here for a lot longer than a week and honestly like a lifetime since I said goodbye to all my beautiful yoga students and finally left the UK for Canada. The process of leaving was so much harder and more emotionally complex than I was prepared for. For weeks, people had been telling me that I was brave to be leaving my life, my family, my friends; to be parting with most of my physical possessions, my car, my clothes, my home, my work; to be transforming my whole life as I knew it purely based off an intuitive feeling (an impulse, really) that life could be more beautiful somewhere else.
In all honesty, I thought those people were being over-dramatic and that they were simply projecting their feelings of fear at the thought of up-rooting their own lives onto me. I thought I was fine and the process would be fairly easy, because I've lived abroad before, and I knew that what I was doing was right for me. What I had underestimated was how gut-wrenchingly difficult and painful it would be to say goodbye to my loved ones without knowing when I would be seeing them again. I also had no idea how hard it would be to part with things and clothes attached to the life I knew and the version of myself I had grown accustomed to being. And I consider myself a fairly non-materialistic person!
My final week in the UK was extremely stressful, emotionally distressing and physically draining. I was not as prepared as I thought, and I hadn't given myself enough time to fully prepare for the amount of possessions I had to sort through. On the day I left Suffolk, it took a 2 hour long 'packing school' with my wonderfully patient mum and brother to successfully whittle down the few things I had left into pure essentials that could fit into the two small bags I was bringing with me. I cried, and I had to let go of things that I didn't want to.
Now I know why people were telling me that I was brave! When you make scary life decisions, there will be a moment right before it happens where everything feels impossible, the world gets heavy and dark, and you have to watch all the anchors that you've built around yourself to stabilise and ground your life get destroyed. It's terrifying and it takes courage and strength to push forwards and ignore the urge to turn back.
Thankfully, I know from previous experiences that just because something hurts, it doesn't necessarily mean it isn't the right thing to do.
So I pushed through the hard bits, cried many tears and got on the plane anyway.
The good news is that, one week later, I am feeling nothing but gratitude for my decision to forge ahead and dive headfirst into this adventure. Vancouver is a beautiful, diverse and interesting city. In the past week, I have hiked through Stanley Park, seen seals playing in the water of the harbour and watched a golden eagle flying above the buildings. I have scaled the heights of Capilano Suspension bridge, I've made new friends, I've gazed upon snow-kissed mountains and I have enjoyed the total freedom of having no commitments, no plans, few possessions and the ability to say yes to any opportunities that come my way.
I was speaking to a friend a few days ago and I stopped myself from saying that I felt so lucky to be here. Instead I said, "I would say lucky me, but I worked really hard for this. So yay for me! It was worth it."
And I think that's the message I'll leave you with, for now. Rarely do the sacrifices not pay off, if you have made them for the right reasons. It might feel horrible right now, but somewhere down the line you will look back and think 'that pain was worth it'.
Much love from across the Atlantic,
P.S. I just want to pop a little appreciation here in particular for my incredible family, who always support me no matter what and have been the strength I have needed when I've had nothing left to give. I couldn't have done any of this without their love and encouragement. And huge thanks too to my wonderful friends, my colleagues, my students and all the incredible people who made me feel so loved. It was really quite a wonderful feeling to know that I am loved and held so tightly, and I know that the goodness and breadth of the community around me made the decision to leave so much easier. I am eternally grateful for the incredible people I am blessed to have in my life. X