As I pack for our return trip to Canada for Christmas and the New Year, it feels as though things have come full circle. This time last year my husband and I were packing to get ready for a year in France, only we didn't yet know that we would in fact be heading for Paris rather than Toulouse. A last minute job offer had us changing plans and cities, and meant we came to France in January on visitor's visas and had to return to Canada to get those visas changed to reflect our new status. Heading back to Canada for the Christmas holidays reminds me that this time last year I thought that December of 2015 would mean a return to Canada for good rather than simply for a two week vacation.
Life is funny that way. Even the best laid plans have a way of rearranging themselves. Rather than returning to Canada to resettle, we're actually going to be shipping some of our things. The job offer came only about a week before we were scheduled to leave last year that we didn't have the chance to organize the shipping of most of our personal effects, particularly our furniture. This time we will be spending a few days getting those items organized to be sent to Paris in the new year.
The kids are excited to be returning to Canada to visit the family, and already have a list a mile long of what they want to do while there. I'm looking forward to seeing my family again and to be all together on Christmas. Plus, last year we spent New Year's Eve on a plane, so spending it having fun will be a nice change of pace!
The past year and a half have interesting, exciting, and challenging in so many ways. All the travel we've been lucky enough to do as a family has given us memories that will stay with us forever. We've introduced our children to different ways of life, new languages, new foods, and new cultures. They've adapted to life on a different continent and spending their days immersed in French.
My husband and I are grateful that we've had this opportunity to do so many exciting and extraordinary things with our two boys. Heading back to Canada to spend the holidays with my family is one more thing to be thankful for this holiday season.