My parents are from Quebec (the province) and lived there their whole lives (or almost) just like my grandparents and generations before them.
I was born in Montreal, and by the time I was 18 months, we left. My dad applied for a teaching job at Gabon’s capital university and got it.
So off we went. My 20 something years old parents sold most of what they owned and packed the rest for the adventure of their life in Africa.
We stayed in Gabon for three years, taking advantage of the school holiday breaks to travel in neighboring countries and across Europe while visiting grandma once a year too.
After that three years of crazy experiences, we returned to Montreal. They bought a home in which they lived until this year.
So I guess living abroad and traveling was part of my upbringing; adventure kind of runs through my blood.
As soon as I could, I started to travel with school and then on my own. At 18 years old, I left my crying mom at the airport to visit Egypt by myself. She was right to worry; that wasn’t the best idea.
In College, I spend a few semesters and summers abroad too. I lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, and Argentina. I have incredibly fond memories of all those travels.
I later married a man who dreamt of working in the US, particularly in California, although New York would have done. For seven years, we tried different visas, he applied for different jobs, but we didn’t get lucky.
Finally, we went a different route. We moved to Europe. To the Czech Republic, to be exact. He was hired by this big company with offices in the CZ, the UK, and the US. After spending almost two years in the there, we were transferred to their US office, droll roll… in California.
We stayed (or I stayed, he’s still there) for six years. After we separated, I had to leave, but I wasn’t done traveling.
As I write this, I’m now living in Madrid, Spain. It’s new and exciting, and we’ll see where it takes me!
My family is still all in Montreal, and I visit every Christmas. It’s a fantastic city. I would strongly encourage you to visit.
People often ask me why I don’t go back… The answer is pretty simple: winter.