Ready to Root

As you might have guessed, we’re back in Canada! Halifax, to be more precise. Though my initial intention was to move to PEI for the summer to help manage my dad’s estate, we ultimately decided that Halifax is home, and we can accomplish our goals with a few trips and some serious elbow grease. The hardest work is sometimes just in getting started, and thankfully we have done that. It’s been a tough road, but I thank the gods daily for my sister.

Matt has also been an absolute champ with the amount of travel and upheaval during this past month. You’d expect things might have slowed down once we came back to Canada, but somehow it feels like everything has sped up. Lots of family and friendship obligations have gone untended for the nine months I was overseas, so we’ve made an effort to do as much as we can with trips to Cape Breton and PEI. Not to mention apartment hunting. Yeesh!

What nine months abroad really taught me, and what I’m still learning as I reflect back on that time, is how much home and community means to me. I’ve definitely caught the travel bug over the past few years, but I think this trip *might* have cured me, at least for a while. Matt and I are pumped to finally move into our own place here in Halifax, after two years of visiting and travelling and not being able to put down roots. At the moment, it definitely feels like we’re a freshly-cut vine clipping in a big jug of water; that is to say, we are ready to root.

Now that the journey has come to an end, I may set this blog aside for a while. Our experiences as travelling cat sitters were kind of amazing, so I should probably at some point do a roundup of Europe’s Cutest Kitties for the benefit of all. But for now, please accept this as my “so long” post, and if / when that changes, you’ll be the first to know.

Thanks for reading and caring! xoxo

-Janice

Advertisements

Spring in the North

Over the past few weeks, we’ve visited a bunch of places in the North of England and Wales. This was my first opportunity to really see the lovely city of Lancaster where Matt grew up. We hung out with his fam, saw where he went to school, visited several of his childhood houses (from the outside, obvs), and checked out his old haunts. Conclusion? Lancaster is one charming place.

We also had a fantastic time in nearby Preston sitting for two of the chillest cats on the planet. Then we journeyed to Wales, me for the first time. We got a chance to meet and hang out with more delightful members of Matt’s family and to see some amazing views. North Wales is such an incredible part of the world! I’m basically now the self-appointed captain of #TeamWales.

Getting to spend time with Matt’s family has reminded me that even though I’ve lost my dad and my grampy in the past two years, I’ve also gained a brilliant partner and his lovely fam. Though we can never replace those who are gone, there’s a huge amount of love and healing we can get from the family we choose – whether it be a partner, friend, or even a pet. I’m so grateful that Matt and I met, became a part of each other’s families, and formed a little family of our own.

Alright, enough with the lovefest. Did you know in less than four weeks we’ll be back in Canada?! After our current housesit in Leeds, we’ll visit Matt’s mom, sister, and friends before we head to Brussels for our last housesit of the trip. Then, we fly back from Paris on June 3rd.

Anyone else wondering where the time went?

-Janice

Those Who Wander Are Sometimes Lost as Hell

J.R.R. Tolkien was one of those pure geniuses whose words never fail to inspire me. And even though it’s true that “not all those who wander are lost,” it’s also true that plenty of them are lost as hell. Including me, as it turns out. (And also John Travolta.)

AthleticLankyHedgehog-small
To be fair, I always feel at home in Whiterun. Travolta, not so much.

It makes sense, when you think about it – having lost my father, quit my job, binned or packed away most of my stuff, and left my friends and family to travel as far away from home as I’ve ever been – it’s hard to imagine a scenario where I wouldn’t feel a bit lost.

I feel like Samwise Gamgee at the edge of Farmer Maggot’s crop fields. Not only is this the farthest I’ve ever been from home, but as we’re now past the seven-week mark since I left Halifax, it’s also the longest time I’ve ever been away from the Maritimes.

Amidst feeling lost and confused, I’m trying really hard not to take for granted the beauty and opportunity of where we are at the moment. Prague is amazing, and we’re having a really lovely time here. You should definitely (wait for it)… Czech it out! 😂

This is only a very small sample of photos, but these have been highlights for me so far.
Vítkov Park near our Airbnb is stunning; Freya Kočkafé, the cat café in Žižkov, is a dream come true; and Prague Zoo absolutely earns its place in the top five zoos in the world.

I’m also trying the 6 Days to Decisiveness challenge, seeking out yoga and therapy (which I’ve been sorely missing since leaving home), and somehow still attempting The Artist’s Way, even though collecting rocks and leaves last week felt like a bit of a stretch.

What brings you back to yourself when you’re feeling lost?

-Janice