Posts Tagged With: repatriotation

Travel Bug Bites Again!

There is a reason why we picked Travel Bugs as our blog name. My husband and I both love to travel, have a quest for adventure and a lure to wander about. Sure we love home, and home will always have a special place in our hearts and a place we will return. In July, we hung up our passports and decided to settle back into the life at home. We planned on getting jobs, buying a house and setting down roots. We looked forward to reconnecting with family, friends and Canada. The transition for me was easy at first, although I missed friends and the adventure of life abroad. The reaction when people find out you lived in China never got old. I had just started to pick up some of the language and had a better understanding of those difficult tones. I found myself drawn to Chinese tourists and their joy as we spoke a word or two in Mandarin. My health was suffering there, so the move back to Canada was a little bitter-sweet. My husband also got a job back on this side of the world, so it was time to come home.

As you know we moved out to Calgary. Originally it was meant to be a few short weeks for me to come out. Hubby had a type of job where he could live anywhere and fly in and out, as he had before China. Many turns of events lead me to staying here. I looked forward to a new home, the mountains a short drive away and experiencing a new part of the country I call home. It wasn’t always easy though. Settling into a new city it is hard to find your way around, make friends and just feel connected. Living abroad we had the same issues, but in an international expat community where we all were experiencing the same things, so it bonds people and creates friendships. Here people have their circles of friends, and lives. Why let someone new in? It was lonely especially when hubby was working away from home and only had 1-2 days off a month. Another reason why I stayed here alone. If I was in Ontario I would have friends and family close, but how would I ever have time to see my husband? It was hard, but over time it has gotten easier.

Then the economy had started taking a down turn and the price of oil has dropped drastically. It is easy to fill up at the pumps, but in Alberta a province driven by oil it hurts. Many people lost their jobs and more cuts to come. Hubby’s hours started to get reduced. Then plans for future work put on hold as the oil industry tries to save money and skate through the unknown crisis. The uncertainty of steady work sent him searching jobs. No one was responding as they were overwhelmed with applicants. However, one company soon responded and a Skype interview ensued on my birthday weekend. Hubby got a new job. Full time. Paid overtime hours. Benefits. Awesome right? Well just wait for it. You will never believe where it is. The job just happens to be in the Cayman Islands! Where it is summer all year long. We thought one day we would move abroad again, but not this soon! It is away from home, but much closer than China. Only a 4 hour flight which, happens to be about the same distance from Calgary to home.

Cayman Islands from above as the plane comes in for a landing

Cayman Islands from above as the plane comes in for a landing

Hubby has been there just over a month and getting settled in. I would have loved to have gone with him straight away, but his work discouraged family to come until later. I also had just started working in November and hated to quit only a few short weeks later. It is better for me to look for work from home also, another reason to stay behind. Over the Easter break I will go and visit John and our new home. It will break up the time before he will come home and help move me down there. I can’t wait!

Who would have thought this could be my backyard?

Who would have thought this could be my backyard?

So soon the Canadian Travel Bugs will be expats once again and exploring a new part of the world. Stay tuned for our new travel adventures!

Categories: Canada, Expat Life, travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Repatriation Emotions

It has been a few weeks since I posted. I have been buried in a forever growing “To Do” list. The end of the school year is coming fast, like a runaway train without any brakes. This year all the major events came at the end of the year right in the middle of assessments and report writing. Add packing and moving to quickly increase your stress level. My work is busy, to put it kindly, so I was smart and asked to extend my stay a week after school ends. I could worry about the majority of packing after all the school stuff was taken care of. Well as Murphy’s Law would have it Murphy threw a monkey wrench in those plans. Another teacher is not able to stay at their apartment and needs to move; you guessed it into ours. They wanted to physically move things at the end of May and I said NO WAY! Right in the middle of reports I couldn’t clear out our spare room and have all of our packing things spread all over the rest of the living space. At least the spare room I can avoid and close the door.

Them needing to move has been an added stress that could have been easily avoided. But remember this is China and HR and they don’t think about life and people, they think about what looks good on paper. My weekends have been spent between home and school sorting, packing, selling and giving away. Time is ticking down and I am afraid soon it will explode with jobs left undone. Outwardly I am not showing stress, but inside my body is worried. It will get done, somehow it always does. The unfortunate expense is the enjoyment of the last few weeks in exploring a city we are about to leave forever.

The sun is setting on our Shanghai life

The sun is setting on our Shanghai life

Next weekend is a 3 day holiday and for months our little group planned an outing to a nice quiet city outside of Shanghai. Spending time with friends we are about to leave, exploring and relaxing was all well needed and deserved. However, we are all feeling the stresses and it was decided to cancel the trip and go out for the day in Shanghai. Allowing time at home for those import “To Do” list jobs. Part of me was disappointed, but secretly I was relieved.

Lots of emotions are happening right now, I feel almost bi-polar. I am looking forward to home, but something is tugging on me about Shanghai. The list of reasons to come home outweigh the list to stay, but I think I will mourn the city that was my home for 5 years.

I feel like Frederick from Leo Leoni’s book where I need to soak in all the colours, words and feelings so during those lonely times I can close my eyes and feel I am still here. It saddens me that we are too busy to get out and travel around to do this, so I must settle for the little day to day experiences.

I get a lump in my throat as I think this is the last time for…. These thoughts come more and more lately. June is finally here and those months have melted away into weeks. School is only days.

Life in China has changed me. Will I fit back into life back home or will I be that one piece of the puzzle that just doesn’t work?

Categories: Canada, China, Chinese Adventures, teaching overseas | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments