Updated: Feb 9, 2018
Well, it's been a fun, yet bumpy ride but I'm here in the moment and that's what matters.
The last two years have been very unsettled as my husband and I decided to uproot our new little family and leave our beloved home in England in search of greener pastures. Although London is full of enriching history and culture, not to mention the greatest group of friends anyone could ever ask for, we needed to explore our options and find the best place to raise our two girls.
bumpy ride - (a difficult time)
greener pastures - (a new, better and more interesting place, job or activity)
Our landlord was kicking everyone out of the building so that he could refurbish it and double, if not triple, the rent. As we looked around at our options, we realised we had been living in a bubble with our affordable rent and we couldn't afford to live in Hackney anymore. Feeling the squeeze and not being into the idea of moving further afield, only to work more and have someone else look after our kids, we decided to set sail. This decision was certainly not an easy one. We threw one last party to say farewell to all our friends and people who've continually supported us over the years.
Although we're both originally from Canada, we met and fell in love in London, England and it will forever be considered 'home'. Over the course of 17 years we had built a community and a business, which had made a name for itself.
kicking everyone out - (to make someone leave a place or organization)
living in a bubble - (to be living in an environment different from everyone else)
feeling the squeeze - (to feel like you are being squeezed/pushed out of a place or situation)
sqeezed out - (to force or push someone out of a particular place or role)
We decided to get rid of all our possessions and have a big sale. This helped fund our stopover in the Canary Islands, where we wanted to decompress before facing the reality of choosing where to live, where to work and finding a place to call home.
get rid of - (to no longer have/own something, to relieve or free yourself from something or someone)
decompress - (to relieve or reduce pressure, to calm down and relax)
We spent two glorious months in the north of Tenerife (not the trashy touristy spot). This was simply magical. We were able to fully relax and having so much space to run around in, the kids didn't know what to do with themselves. Being cramped up in a London studio flat for so long, this felt like paradise for all of us.
trashy - (of poor quality, inferior, cheap)
For the first month we moved around the island exploring different areas and staying in various types of accommodation. It wasn't until we found the dream farm house that we decided to settle there for the remainder of our trip; another fabulous month!
Days were spent doing morning workouts, picking lemons, oranges and grapefruits from our trees, going on long beautiful walks and picking wild flower bouquets, replicating beautiful Canarian/Spanish dishes we had tasted at the local restaurants, discovering new beaches and swimming as much as humanly possible.
Being so close to London, we were lucky enough to have visitors stay with us, most importantly, my sister, whom I had recently said a tearful goodbye to. We'd been next door neighbours for over a decade and we had come to England together way back in 1999. My girls adored having 'Aunty Aka' so close, she was like their second momma so it was a very painful parting.
After being blissed out with so much space around us and a back yard that the kids could run around in, how would we ever manage to go back to apartment living? At this point we still weren't sure where we were going to settle but the first destination would be Victoria B.C, Canada, where my husband's parents so lovingly offered us their downstairs apartment. They, of course, welcomed us upstairs into their living space as well and we shared many beautiful meals together. It was such a perfect way to make the transition back to Canada.
We stayed there for six weeks and although it was such a calm and picturesque place to live, it was perhaps maybe too chill for us at the time. Coming from London, we missed the vibrancy, multiculturalism and grit of the city and we were longing for something more along those lines so we decided to move on.
blissed out - (a trance-like happiness)
Next stop was Ottawa, Canada's capital and my childhood hometown. My parents have a gorgeous house with a pool and there way beautiful, hot summer weather there to boot. They made us feel like their house was ours and we knew we could stay as long as we needed but alas, we were still yearning for something MORE, someplace a bit bigger where we could find work creating, entertaining and doing events like we'd been doing back in the UK, so the next logical place seemed to be Toronto.
And here we are now. We lucked out and found the sweetest landlord when no one else would give us a chance. We were shocked by the discrimination we received having two small children. Upon learning about our wee ones, landlords wouldn't even give us the time of day. Seeing as we had just moved to the city and hadn't found jobs yet, we were probably some of the most undesirable tenants to have but luckily our landlord took a chance on us and saw that we were good people who just needed a break.
lucked out - (to be extremely fortunate or lucky)
wee ones - (very small, young children)
give us the time of day - (to be friendly. pleasant or polite to someone)
took a chance on us - (to take a risk on something or someone)
needed a break - (to receive a chance or opportunity, to get special consideration or treatment)
We've decided to give ourselves at least two years to explore our options outside of the UK and to see if there is another place out there for us with a better cost of living, where we can offer a brighter future for our girls. We still don't know if Toronto is the place for us but we are giving it a good ol' try and after being here a year, things are starting to look up!
things are starting to look up - (the situation is getting better, things are starting to go well)