Two years ago we travelled to Canada with our then 7 week old and almost 3 year old. We were there most of the summer and when we left we said, we won’t be back for 16 months. It seemed like it would be long but we knew we wanted to take advantage of the chance to travel and we only had a little time left. Fast forward 2 years. In the 2 years since our last visit we have travelled New Zealand twice, Bali, Perth, Australia, Melbourne, Australia and Vanuatu. We were also extended a full year and experienced our fourth Christmas away from home. It’s been unbelievable. I’ve looked at the pictures many times and thought, did we really get to do all that? So, this year when we had to decide whether we would go home for a visit or travel more it was a tough decision. Like many expat families you struggle with missing family and friends but, at the same time knowing your time on the assignment is ticking away. We discussed back and forth the two options. More travel was tempting, with only 10 months left in New Caledonia but the feeling of missing home was starting to grow deeper and deeper. So, after much debate it was decided that a trip home to Bathurst was required.
Now, as the days on our calendar are ticked off we all are growing more and more excited. When you sign up for an adventure away from home you know you will miss your family and friends. The beginning is tough, but, as time passes you get used to FaceTime visits, Facebook news from home and missed parties, birthdays and events. I never imagined that I wouldn’t see my Dad for a period of 2 full years. I look at people’s children and think, wow! How’d they get so big? You wonder if the memories in your head are the same or will things have changed?
As the days go by we take the time to remind of the kids of the beach, the sandbars, all the people, sometimes their names. We remind Seth that this was the place he was born and tell him stories of where he lived and where Nanny & Ampy live, Grammie & Grampy live. It’s fun to reminisce about all our great memories of home. And, we are reminded that home for our children is here, not Canada. New Caledonia and this great adventure may have shaped them as individuals more than us. Only time will tell.
We make lists of the food we want to eat, people we want to see, chores we have to do. Time at the dentist, optometrist, and of course hair dresser! You wonder if you can squeeze it all in? And how much weight you’ll gain eating your way through a sea of Danny Burgers, poutines, lobster, crab, scallops, fresh berries, fresh spinach, bagels, English muffins, all dressed chips, ginger ale and donairs. Mmmmmm!
So, while the ‘cold’ winter nights continue in the island we will dream of the warm and long summer days that await us. I hope everyone is as excited as we are!! Only a few more sleeps!!