Less than 3 months…

to do list

Wow, it’s sinking in more and more… I’m going to be leaving. Sometimes it hits me in waves, other times like a truck. For soooo long it’s been just a project to get to July 19th. So much stuff to do. Like stuff you never thought of that you had to do, we’ve done it. It’s also totally possible that we’ve done way more than we “had” to.

Not long ago, we really started getting asked more and more “Are you excited? You must be so excited.” To be honest the first thought that would come to my mind was “there’s so much to do”. Which then had me feeling guilty for not being excited, for not being grateful for this amazing opportunity, for actually considering the stuff to do, was a burden.

Wow, that’s when I knew I really wanted to shift how I was relating to the to-do list. If you remember, I got a tattoo of the word “journey” on my arm. Yeah pretty hard to forget that this is all my journey through life, even the daily grind.

When I forgot Violette’s birth certificate and didn’t notice until I had stood in line for 15 mins at the passport office on my flex day only to realize that I’d have to come back again two weeks later with the passport. As annoying as that is, it’s also part of the journey. And when I returned 2 weeks later and the woman at the passport office quite clearly was missing some happiness in her life, I could have easily looked at this as how much I really didn’t want to be there anymore than she did, but instead I zoomed a little extra love her way.

This journey has already started.

More recently, I’ve been looking at how Luc and I communicate with each other. We’ve did a very little bit of relationship coaching with Ruth Sowter from Intimacy for Intrepid Souls the other night. First of all, she’s amazing and offers 1 hour free sample coaching sessions for couples. Secondly, she helped us to distinguish a new practice for how we will operate when it comes to determining how we’re going to make a decision.

It’s so interesting, you would think after 14 years together, we’d be on some sort of common understanding. Oh god no. And it’s things like planning a trip around the world that really tests that. Luc loves to do a ton or research and come up with the best logical plan. Thank god for him because research is not my forte. I more like to move with how I feel in the moment and that doesn’t always jive with logic and research.

For example:

  • After we are finished in the South of France I could have come back to Switzerland for 2 days before going to Spain to walk the Camino. It would have cost the exact same amount. Logically, why wouldn’t I? I could drive for an hour back to his parents, see Violette’s first day of school, drop off some stuff, drive back another hour to the airport and then start my walk. Same price. But instead, I chose to just go straight to the Camino. Mostly because I didn’t want to fly back and forth, and I just wanted to get walking. Neither way is right or wrong. And notice if you sided one way or the other. 🙂

So we determined through the coaching, that we would state our feelings and research and what we each wanted to do. Then we would really check-in: is this something that I need to have go my way today? Am I tired and just want to lounge on the beach? Could I do my own thing? Or could I choose powerfully to do what he’s suggesting because it really doesn’t matter to me. On a scale of 1-10, aligning with our intentions for our trip, where do we see this falling? Worst case, if we both dig our heels in, a coin toss (or Violette) makes the choice.

It might seem so small. But these conversations are important to sort out before you get into these scenarios or trust, love, connection and communication are thrown into the mix (the above example we hadn’t had coaching at that point so Luc couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to do his logical suggestion). And by no means are we going to master this… but we’re practicing and hopefully together we’ll find more communication,  support and ease along the journey.

And there you go… be ready to read about what we’re up to – but with a twist. You’ll get a bit deeper into our lives, how I’m growing, being outside my comfort zone and how that feels; essentially more authenticity and vulnerability than a regular travel blog. I want to share not just the nice stuff but the humanity I face, being ok with failing at things, and that the journey is not always a straight line. After all, I’m a life coach that is travelling… this whole experience is one big growth, love, connection and joy project.

Get ready 🙂

to do list

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3 bedroom, 1 bathroom fully furnished suite on main level for rent

Our suite is for rent as we’re leaving for a year! It’s starting to get really real now!

This is a one year rental August 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 for the main part of our house. $2222/month some utilities included.

Fully furnished suite on the main level is a great house for a family. Hard wood and cork flooring through out. 2 queen beds and a twin. The bedroom with the twin bed is doubling as an office and does not have a closet. Bathroom has shower/bath and double sink.

Wide and bright open concept living room with two couches, gas fireplace and 55in big screen TV. The  kitchen has a gas stove, dishwasher, microwave, oven, double door fridge and freezer.

Master bedroom has windows that are south facing and a sliding glass door out to the deck overlooking the backyard. Perfect for star gazing. Laundry is shared with the other tenants.

Entrance is a separate mudroom with double glass doors out to the deck. Large deck with arbor, Wisteria and grape vines.

Detached double garage with green house in the back to plant tomatoes, peppers, etc…
Big backyard with a cherry tree, 2 apple trees, and a pear tree. There is a brick fire place in the backyard with plenty of wood to burn.

Large driveway, parking area. Plenty of gardens if you like to grow veggies/fruits. There are raspberry and logan berry growing on the side of the garage ready for you to eat.

Lots of privacy. Family friendly neighbourhood. 

  • Bus 72 to Downtown 5 min walk
  • Groceries etc. 20min walk 
  • 25-30 min to Downtown. (no traffic jam)
  • 15min to Airport and BC Ferries. 
  • Awesome elementary French-immersion school 5min walking distance. Looking for a family looking to stay in Victoria for the 2018-19 school year.

Please tell us about yourself and provide references when sending your application.

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C’est la vie!

C'est la vie

My dear husband, Luc, after many months of research and editing, has launched a YouTube channel that will showcase cooking Video’s with Violette and himself. The idea is for them to source locally grown food where ever possible, to teach in French, and for the two of them to move around the world cooking as they go.

I think it’s possible that the channel will include other things than cooking but for now that’s the focus.

I’m so proud of them! I know that they’ve got a couple of other videos waiting in the wings that have already been created, now they just need to be put together. I can’t wait to watch them create together!

I’m also very proud of Luc learning to do something that is outside of his comfort zone.

Without further adieu, here is the kick start video for C’est La Vie! Enjoy!

Please subscribe and like the video. Please also share it far and wide on your social media streams!

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Island Parent Submission #2: Trip around the world: getting into the nitty gritty

travel

This is being submitted to Island Parent for publishing.


Last time I wrote, I let you peek inside the realm of what it takes to go on a trip around the world. I’m going to break down some of the bigger topics like money, world schooling and what to do with your home.

Money

How much money does one actually need to travel the world? My husband, Luc, created a spreadsheet that had the daily cost to budget when travelling to different countries. Estimate how long you will be in each country and multiply that by the daily cost and that will give you an estimate. Lonely Planet is a great resource to find out how much the daily costs are in certain countries.

Slow travel is something to look into. Not only is it cheaper, it also integrates you more into the daily life and culture of a country. You no longer are visiting somewhere, you’re living in it.

Airplanes/trains/boats are expensive! Look for credit cards that give you cash back, or where you can redeem points for travel. We got a credit card that had a big signing bonus of points and we were able to travel from Victoria and New York for a family of 4 for approx $75 (one way).

Look for places you can stay for cheap or free. We’re staying in a studio apartment that Luc’s dad owns in the South of France. We also will be living with them for 4 months in Switzerland (big savings!). You can’t go wrong with Airbnb either.

Sell your stuff. Start as soon as you commit to travelling. All that money adds up!

Schooling

I was surprised when we talked to our principal of Violette’s elementary school how easy it is to pull your child from our school district. I believe Violette will be transferrer to SIDES (South Island Distance Education School) while she is away so we can take advantage of any long distance resources we might need.

I am definitely not an expert by any means on world schooling and there are many different terms when it comes to this: unschooling, home schooling, world schooling… the list goes on. I don’t believe there is a strict way we will be doing this. I also believe that it really depends on the age of your kids too. It’s quite different if your child is in grade 2 versus grade 10.

How we will be doing it is going to be a combination. We will teach a lot by doing, interests, visiting museums, asking lots of questions, using our 5 senses, learning in the moment and observing different environments. I’m looking forward to opportunities to learn about nature, different money, patterns, reading, being curious and finding the answers. We will look into khanacademy.org, SIDES distance learning and the BC curriculum to support us. We will bring electronic books and try to find libraries where we can.

The world will be our classroom to learn!

Your home

What to do with your home? If you rent, consider ending the tenancy or subletting if that’s allowed. If you own, now comes the big decision of what to do. Do you sell or keep? If you keep it, do you rent it out? Who looks after the property. I’m not going to lie, this part of the puzzle has been the most challenging for us. We have changed our minds so much on this, I actually thought that we weren’t going to go because this part was just to hard to figure out.

We decided to rent out our house and we’ve enlisted one of our friends to “property manage” the place while we’re away. Currently, we’re getting the place ready fixing, cleaning, packing. If you can believe it, our ceiling and hot water tank both decided to start leaking in the same week. When it rains it pours. Luc continues to remind me that it’s better it’s happening now. Yes, and we still have so much to do!

We have also chosen to rent the suite fully furnished so that we don’t have to store our big belongings. This works for us.

This entire process has been a journey of learning, creating, being open to other opinions and ideas.

If you have a passion to travel and you have kids, a job, a house and feel like there’s no way you could even consider a trip around the world until you retire, I’m here to say, you can do it. All that’s stopping you is just the logistics of how to make it happen. It’s all possible – I promise.

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Island Parent Submission: #1: Trip around the world

Journey

This is being submitted to Island Parent for publishing.


My family and I are going on a trip around the world. It sounds so crazy to say that. It’s like a dream come true.

We’ve had the idea about 5 years ago, and we’ve been planning it for about 2 years. We are now 4 months away from leaving. It’s getting real.

I have a 7 year old daughter, Violette who is in French Immersion. My husband is from France/Switzerland. I also have an 18 year old daughter who is on the other side of the country going to university. My husband and I both have full time jobs which we’re taking 1 year leave of absences from.

Violette, who is Canadian/Swiss, will go to school in Switzerland for 5 months at a French speaking school and then we will world school her after that (I’d be lying if I said I know what I’m doing).

I will walk the 800km Camino de Santiago in Spain at the end of August. It will take approximately 40 days. A journey within a journey.

The voyage hasn’t even started and yet it has in so many ways… it’s a journey of the heart and soul, a journey to seeing what is outside your comfort zone, a journey in relationship with my family, friends and work. A journey to entrepreneurship as I started my own business as a life coach to support our travels while we experience the world.

I’ve been asked a lot about a few key pieces of the prep and the trip. I’ve shared them here in priority of what comes up most.

  • Budgeting: How much money does one need on a trip like this? We created a budget to save money and another budget for while we’re on the road to know how much money you anticipate spending. This enabled us to know where we could scrimp and save prior to leaving. And then how we can ensure we stretch our dollars/euro/francs/etc… the furthest.
  • Our home: Are we going to rent it out or sell it? We will be renting it out. Currently we’re getting it ready to post and find our perfect renters. We have spent days working on the house, fixing, cleaning, repairing.
  • Our child: What are we going do for schooling? We are pulling Violette out of grade 2. This is quite easy in our school district. We spoke with the principal and she has given us lots of ideas and resources. We hope Violette will be a pen pal to her friends at school for her to practice her writing and keep those important connections and relationships.
  • Our jobs: What are we doing with our jobs? We’re taking a 1 year leave of absence. Something for you to consider is: could you quit your job or find a location independent job? Could you work remotely? There are a lot of websites out there now that support location independent lifestyles. While on the road I will continue to life coach and Luc is going to be looking for jobs along the way. He’s also starting up his own YouTube channel soon with Violette. They will be father/daughter cooking around the world.
  • The itinerary: Where do you want to go? Think cheap to start… Thailand or Vietnam. Could you stay with friends or family in distant countries? Also consider slow travel to make the money go further. We will be spending about half our time in European countries and then heading over to South East Asia, Indonesia and Australia.
  • Our friends and family: When did we tell them? We started telling people about a year ago. This helps to socialize it early for people to get used to you leaving. Also, throw a big going away party for them before you go.
  • Many many extra things to think about: Visas, what to pack (you’re going to be gone for 4 seasons and only one backpack? This makes my head spin), mail, travel insurance, vaccinations, passports, automating monthly payments, cancelling your cell phone and all businesses that know that number, and so much more.

It’s a lot of work and a lot to think about, and it’s all worth it. Sometimes it feels like the preparation is never going to end but before we know it, we will be leaving on a jet plane in July.

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Gratitude

Youre going to Paris

This post is hard to write. Mostly because I’m afraid of what you’re going to think. I think you’re going to think that I’m bragging or wanting everyone to know how great my life is.

That’s not it at all. I think what I want you to know is that it’s just hit me, that I do have an incredible life. I’ve known it all along, but the lightbulb went off and has shifted my entire perspective. Entirely.

I’m so so so so grateful for this incredible life I have. What really hit home was something that happened yesterday. I woke up and there was an email in my inbox that read:

Youre going to Paris

And it hit me like a ton of bricks. My dream is coming true. We’re making it happen. How incredibly lucky I am to have such an amazing life to see this message in my inbox. How grateful I am for the chance to see this city and so many others. How fortunate I am to be here in this moment and have everything that I have.

So while I’m sharing, I’ll share that we have plane tickets now for Nice, France and Biarritz, Spain. Biarritz is the start of the Camino de Santiago which also means I’M DOING THE CAMINO. No shit, no kidding now. I might be alone, I might be with others; regardless, it’s happening.

I spent the rest of yesterday (and will carry this forward now as a practice) being so immensely grateful for what I have. I had an opportunity to thank the postman so I acknowledged him. I said hi to every single person I walked past yesterday. I was fortunate enough to go on a date night (which Luc scheduled – so grateful for that) and there was live music so I thanked the musician and gave him some money. The woman who served me, Carmen, was so wonderful and spent so much time chatting with us and joking.Jesse (who I’ve met once) called me and he wants to workout with me to support me with my health and fitness goals. I coached yesterday with my AMAZING coach Maria who I am over the moon with gratitude for her beautiful soul and the contribution she is for me and my life.

My heart is wide open with the gratitude and love that I have for everyone in my life and all that I have.

So while I don’t want you to know how amazing a life I have because I’m afraid you’ll judge me – I also need to say it – mostly for myself. I’m excited for what I’m creating and I’m so incredibly grateful for what I have and every single person in my life.

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