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I just realised that my last update on this new adventure of ours was back in October, and man what a crazy few months it's been!
First off solicitors are THE worst, as if selling a house isn't stressful enough as it is, add in an overloaded, disinterested solicitor and it makes the process a million times harder, even worse was that the solicitor in question wasn't even ours, but the one right at the bottom of the chain! Nightmare!
We got there though and as of mid March we officially took a step closer to our Canada adventure. Had it not been for the above mentioned disaster of a solicitor we should have really been there in January. We got our permits approved in December after all, but due to their very clear lack of urgency we got caught up in the introduction of one new Covid legislation after another.
After initially having a date of the 22nd Feb floated around we duly gave up our car as it needed to be returned to the finance company and they have to do a full inspection (prepare yourself for a shocker on the prices they charge for the slightest imperfections and God forbid you've lost a set of keys!!). We booked our flights and the very same day (you can't make this up) we got word that all flights were to be suspended, the silver lining of that was we got a full refund on the same day, luckily.
The unfortunate consequences of this solicitor incompetence meant that in this order the following regulations were imposed:
1. We left the EU so UK issued pet passports are no longer valid for travel rendering my dog's proof of rabies invalid and meaning we have to fork out an extra £150 PER dog to secure a health certificate up to 10 days prior to travel (honestly a huge farce don't even ask why they just couldn't keep UK pet passports!)
2. A negative Covid test is required 72 hours prior to departure.
3. Air Canada cancelled all direct flights to Vancouver until April 30th at least.
4. A mandatory 3 day hotel quarantine on the Canadian side is introduced at a cost of up to $2000 CAD EACH!
Like how much more difficult can this move be made???
After much fighting and realising that we couldn't delay the sale anymore due to it increasing the odds that it would fall through completely, we settled for the March date and that brings us up to now.
I had frantically searched rentals and Air Bnbs and by a stroke of luck and perfect timing I stumbled across an idyllic looking property in the Cotswolds; only an hour and a half drive from Heathrow, set in a beautiful nature reserve and a very 'us' looking cottage with open plan living and a great treehouse styled bedroom for the kids. And........here we now are!
It's been our first fortnight, I want to say leaving our old house was emotional but I feel strangely detached and numb to it, whether it's because deep down I'm protecting myself or it's because I know we made the right decision I don't know yet, I suppose time will tell. One thing I've found here so far is that it's very, very peaceful; I love the connection with nature, the setting is so unique and it's certainly a way that I would love to live long term. I think water brings a sense of calm and serenity to me, and removing barriers to getting straight out into nature brings a cool peace to the soul.
Upon arriving the first picture I saw in our property was a framed quote from Winnie The Pooh:
"Promise me you'll always remember:
You're braver than you believe,
and stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think."
and in that moment it just resonated, we've just done something huge, and it's only step 1 in the plan! I've realised that I've done it, made it happen and got through it, despite the shitty, tough parts.
This was something I wanted, to find ways to grow, sitting in our old home last year I realised that if we stayed there I could easily see how the rest of my life would play out, from week to week, and it scared me, is that what I want from life? To spend this one amazing chance we get in this way?
Turns out the answer was no and I know it's early days but I'm glad I've taken this path. Let's just hope that train of thought continues!