Reality or Bust

“There are dreamers and there are realists in this world, you think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not the opposite is true.  See the dreamers need the realists to keep the dreamers from soaring too close to the sun.  And the realists?  Well without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.”
Modern Family

When I was a teenager I had an idea of what being an adult would be like.  I thought when you reached a certain age you would be satisfied with life.  There would be no more dreams or fantasies.  At least not beyond a green lawn or Sunday brunch at the Golden Griddle.  In my mind, grown ups reached a point where they sat down, said “Well I had a good run“, and accepted the inevitable march of time until their death. Boy was I wrong!  I am 45 years old and although my dreams have changed, I no longer think being a Formula 1 race car driver is in the cards, still my dreams are as large and grandiose as my youth.

Pretty nurse and senior patient in a wheelchair looking at camera outside - stock photo

In about two years I am selling my house, which will necessitate me to find a new one.  Here is the dilemma I am struggling with.  Do I purchase a new home, in a nice neighbourhood with parks nearby?  One with an open concept and decorated exactly as I have always desired.  A home where I can invite friends and family, where Jim, Anya and I can put down roots, make popcorn and have family game night.  Or, do we put our belongings into storage, pack our bags and traipse off someplace new and foreign with sun, exotic locale and large man-eating insects?

Sure the second one sounds fun; new culture, new foods and new experiences.  The dreamer in me doesn’t even know why I am hesitating.  The realist side of me has concerns.  I would be taking my daughter away from her friends and school, with its excellent French immersion education.  We would be leaving behind our closely knit family not to mention mine and Jim’s jobs.

I have Jekyll and Hyde in my head, each trying to shout down the other.
“You only live once”
“You can have a nice home and just go on a holiday.”
“New experience will expand Anya’s horizons.”
“What if the schools are no good?  What if she doesn’t make any friends?”

Have I been brainwashed by Hollywood (ie. Under the Tuscan Sun) and House Hunters International or have they just opened my eyes to new possibilities.  If I was 21 years old and single I’d throw on my backpack and be gone, but that’s the thing, I have a child who I want the best for.  I have a wonderful relationship with Jim.  Would moving to a Yurt in Iceland put a strain on us?

Unfortunately I don’t have an answer but perhaps you do, my unbiased yet opinionated readers.  What road should I choose?  What would you do?  I’m waiting…I only have two years left, the clock is ticking.


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9 Responses to Reality or Bust

  1. Pamela Maxwell

    I would sit down with the person you are most concerned about, your daughter. Tell her honestly how you are feeling, and the choices that are available for the both of you. How would she feel leaving London, look at the pros and cons. Ultimately, it’s your decision, but maybe she wants a little adventure too. 😉

  2. Jules Hazelwood

    Go for it. I did, and never looked back. My homeland was England, my adventure was Canada. I came with my back pack for a three week holiday and traveled across Canada seeing the sights and enjoying the culture, then spent the next two years getting my paperwork in order so I could come and live and work here. I had many more adventures while I’ve been here too! So my advice it just do it :-)

  3. Matt K

    A puzzling question indeed and one I have contemplated as well. One idea would be to go to a possible destination, rent a little apartment and stay two weeks in the same place. Think of it like a blind date with a new place…


      Thanks for the idea. I can’t even think where we would go. Hopefully some place french so Anya could continue her education.

  4. Terryl

    I am in agreement with… everyone! Yes Anya should be the main focus here. Sitting down and understanding exactly WHY you would want to leave vs wanting to stay is something that needs to be done. I have not travelled as far as say Jules, but being orginally from B.C, I felt like I had to “restart” my life at 14 (at 14, you are alittle overly dramatic). I left good friends behind, but gained new friends here. Life is hard whether you stay in one place or more around constantly, what matters is that Anya has a save place to fall…. no matter what language the people speak.

  5. Kelly Hawkins

    You may go wherever you want, but we are keeping Anya!! You may visit from time to time but please just give us enough warning to change the bedsheets!

  6. Diane

    Live your life without regrets. If you need a safety net, go there and stick your toe in the water.
    Having said that, I would guess that the tv shows tend to make it all look very glamourous. So, I wonder if there are cons that they are not showing the viewer? Schools I would think you can research what the curriculum contains. There might even be private schools to accomodate Canadian immigrants. Kids are resilent and seem to make friends faster than adults do. All they need is a common video game and poof, friend. I’d be more concerned about the cultural differences that might make life a bit confusing for her. Consider how in Ireland “knock me up” means wake me up in the morning. Not quite the same meaning here.

    Life in general would cause me to scratch my head. You don’t know what you don’t know. What is the cost of living there and how hard is it to get a work visa? Medical care; if one of you fell sick, you are not a citizen so how does that work? Will you become a dual citizen which leads to how often must you return to Canada? Taxes; you will have to square that all up in Canada and then figure out the new countries system. Then will you keep your Canadian investments and where will you retire? Most importantly, be sure to find accomodations that allow for your friends to stay when they come to visit.

    I’m tired just pondering what questions need to be answered.

    I like facts to make a decision, gives me a false sense of security that I’ve made a good choice. It may just come down to the toe in the water and if it’s warm or a jelly fish zaps you.

    Diane S

  7. Dream

    My one advice if you go for it: Choose a land where you speak the language, especially if you plan on working there. My husband didn’t speak my native language when he moved to the other side of the ocean for me and 5 years on he still has trouble finding a job of the same level he had in the US. He doesn’t want to go back, though. He likes everything else here too much.

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