Happy 2016!

It feels like I haven’t written here in a long time…which I think is fairly accurate. I have been kept busy with work, Christmas break, writing of my travel blog, and playing video games. I’ve hardly had any time to sit down and reflect on the previous year or on my plans and goals for this year.

2015 Recap

I can honestly say I don’t remember much of this year. It started off poorly with me getting into a car accident, I remember that much. Luckily no major injuries were sustained, other than the vehicles. That was my January.

The rest of the year? Well, there are the major life points:

  • moving in with Alex for a month before he went off to England to teach.
  • moving away from Ottawa.
  • moving to England to live with Alex.
  • finding a job in England.

Somewhere in there I also hit remission with my rheumatoid arthritis (yeah I have that). Go me!

I’d say the highlight of the year was the journey to the UK. It was crazy stressful for a few months, knowing that Alex was applying, and me trying to sort out what I was going to do as I had no job lined up or anything. Applying for our visas was both stressful and costly, but that obviously worked out well. Packing up all of our belongings and leaving them with our family was a step I didn’t really want to take. Bringing only my clothing with me to start a life in another country was incredibly terrifying, but has thus far been alright.

Life in England has been pretty good. We’ve even managed to travel to Scotland for my birthday. I guess that’s another highlight of 2015. It was a gorgeous country, granted we only visited Edinburgh and Scotland.

Prior to hopping the plane to England I traveled home to my family and drove across Canada to Alberta to see my grandmother for her 90th birthday. Aside from the painfully long and boring view in the prairies, it was great to see the family before flying off.

I had also managed to lose some weight (10lbs!) which I have subsequently put back on due to a lot of dinners out and cheap candy here in England. Which I suppose is the perfect lead into 2016…

2016: Plans and Goals

Yes, yes the typical I want to get fit and lose weight and all that junk. I do! I really do! In 2015 I tried the vegan diet. Really, I just went the raw, plant based diet. Which lost me 10lbs in a month and left me feeling fantastic! So I want to do that, and have attempted to several times while here. I’m not setting some crazy goal to follow that diet to a T, or say that I’m abandoning all candy and sweets and processed foods. I realize I am a human being and I will be tempted. I already have plans to stray from that diet this coming week. There are chocolate bars in my sigh that will be eaten. But I will try harder overall. I have seen the positive effects of eating a plant based diet (other than the weight loss). The effects on my overall health were great!

2016 has also started off great for Alex and me as we have found a new place to live! Our current residence is a shared house where there are 5 other people and 1 bathroom and a shared kitchen. Not so fun when others don’t take responsibility for their messes or make any attempt to clean up. So we started our search, and found it quickly. A large room with it’s own bathroom. And the landlord is putting in a small kitchenette so it’ll basically be a studio! At a shared home price! Score! The house does have other residents, but other than doing laundry and using the oven and going in and out of the house, we won’t really need to see them. Unless they game, we’d totally see them then.

Future plans for travel: we have a lot. Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Greece. Really, we want to get the Europass and see everything. Paris is on the list for April with Alex’s mom. That should be pretty spectacular.

In our travels we also want to do some mountain climbing/hiking. We did a small hill in Scotland but want to tackle some bigger ones. So, the motivation to go the gym and stay fit is ever present!

Finally, there have been talks of engagement this year. Whilst watching the New Years fireworks over London, Alex turned to me and said “We should get engaged by the end of this year”. I said “Okay”. Romantic, aren’t we? Actually, it was.

Well, there you have it. 2015, full of scary experiences, sad experiences, laughter, tears, adventure–all wrapped up into one, somewhat neat package. And there is 2016, slowly unfurling onto us while we strap in for the ride!

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Job, Interview, Scotland!

Did I really only yesterday write a post about being offered a job? The job that I didn’t want because it required me to work evenings, weekends, overnights? Well, last night I received a call back from a primary school, for the position of working 1 on 1 with a child with autism, and…(drum-roll please….) I GOT IT! I start November 2nd! Woo! And I still have an interview today I am going to. Not that I’m going to take the job, more because I’ll feel bad for cancelling last minute. Also because I feel like it would be nice to at least put a good image of myself to this organization in case I ever need to go back to them.

In lieu of the big news, Alex and I went out to celebrate yesterday for dinner. Of course, by celebratory dinner I mean beer at a pub and greasy, cheap food (aw yes, the good life). I was telling him about what I did during the day, other than procuring an awesome position, which involved going on like a 3 hour walk to the next major area of town. His response to my walking a lot was “yeah, you better get used to walking a lot, because we’re flying out to Scotland for your birthday”. Cue my stunned silence. After a few minutes of me asking “wait, are you serious?” and trying to pick my jaw up off the floor, I was happier than ever! The little bugger tricked me, and tricked me well!

Apparently he had the whole thing planned (along with throwing me off tracking with his so called plans for a zombie escape room, a giant breakfast, and going on the London eye at sunset….). He told me it was between Scotland and Paris, and when I told him of the job he did a last minute booking to Scotland. HOLY SHIT!! Okay, yeah I’m still stunned. This is the kind of romantic, spontaneous things you read about but never get to experience for yourself. I am quite the lucky gal and am so grateful that Alex would do something like this for me! He’s definitely a keeper.

I never thought I’d wake up one day and have to pack for the following day to fly to another country. I still can’t believe it’s true, but it is!

Today will be looking like a pretty interesting day. It’s 8 am now, I’m leaving in an hour to go to my second interview. Then I will hopefully get my butt to the gym because I foresee a lot of eating of junk this coming weekend. This will be followed by some packing (okay, probably not. I’m a last minute packer. And we have all day tomorrow, pretty much). And in the evening we’ll be going out to celebrate another Friday with Alex’s colleagues. Which really just means beer, food, beer. Less beer for me, more food.

HOORAY!

It’s such an unreal feeling…I’ve only been here a month (less than) and have secured a job (two, technically, but I don’t want the first). And now my partner has bought a spontaneous plane ticket for us to go to another country. Life is good.

Interviews!!

The last time I wrote in this blog, as far as I can remember (because what am I going to do? Go back and read something I’ve written before? psssh), I was in a not so great head space. It had been a short while since my move to the UK and I was not having any luck finding work. Not that I’m currently full of work and money, not at all, but I am more hopeful!

The past two weeks I’ve had several interviews. One place offered me a job (which I am hesitant to accept as it will require me to work evenings, weekends, and overnights), one called me back for a second “interview”, where I really just get a tour of their grounds and spend some time with the children, and today I got to work on reading with two kids at my interview. So all in all, I’d say my chances of finding work are increasing. Which in turn has increased my mood!

The positive emotional uptake is a good thing, since I’ve also come down with a cold. So much so that today I slept in until 10am (I’m used to waking up no later than 7 when I used to work full time! Who am I?!). I’m also hoping my positive mood sticks around into the weekend as, believe it or not, it’ll be a birthday for me! Hoorah!

I’m not usually big on birthdays and people making a huge deal out of them. Seriously, I hate being the center of attention. Which is why I’m a little excited for this year, as there will only be one person I’m close with to make a big deal out of it! And by big deal, I mean we’re going to go out for a nasty English breakfast (give me all of the beans and sausages please!), go tour around London some more (yeah, there’s too much to see and we’re nowhere near seeing it all), go to a Zombie escape room (the awesomeness of the name should just tell you enough), and then go on the London Eye and hopefully get to experience a sunset (which I hear are gorgeous if it’s not overcast).

And hopefully next week I’ll hear about more work opportunities and potentially more job offers! So needless to say, things are looking a bit better!

Next order of business: get back to healthy eating! I feel like I’ve gained back all the weight I had lost in the past 2 months from all the eating out we do. Alex tells me I look like I’ve lost weight, but I know my own body, and I know that it’s slowly starting to come back. I guess eating candy every night doesn’t help… Or the beer.

I haven’t told you about the beer? I am in LOVE with the English Ciders! Absolutely amazing! As is Alex. Girly drinks for the win!! Yeah, we really need to eat better…

Anyway, that’s about it. I just wanted to post when I was in a better mood. I’m hoping that the position I interviewed for today works out. So far it is my favorite one that I have interviewed for. Fingers crossed!!

The Eagle has Landed

Me being the eagle!

Yes, that is correct! I am now a resident of the United Kingdom…how weird is that? I’ll tell you, very.

I arrived early Saturday morning, flew for 8 hours, slept for a maximum of 2. So I was very “loopy” and out of it on the first day. Alex met me at the airport which was just all sorts of awesome, to be back with him again. We dropped off my things at home and then went out for a traditional English breakfast. It was delicious. After we went on a sightseeing exploration to downtown London. Saw Big Ben, the Eye, went to the war museum. My big highlight: Platform 9 3/4! Go Harry Potter geekery! So after the long day of walking, we went out for dinner (stone slab steaks..mmm so good). Next day we went to see Alex’s place of work. It was super nice and I was feeling a little more normal as I had slept through the night and was not as jet-lagged. I was sore, however. Damn you walking!

Yesterday I went and picked up my permanent resident card and called to set my National insurance number. I wandered the streets and the mall, went to pick up some travel adapters, applied for jobs, and in the evening went out to dinner with Alex and his Canadian colleague.

Today? Well, today I’m feeling a bit off and depressed. With nothing to do here other than sit at home or wander aimlessly, I’m getting bored quite quickly. And missing everyone I left back at home, particularly my work. I knew it would be a long change and didn’t expect to get all set up and working instantly. Luckily I do have savings that I’ve come over with, so I’m not completely dependent on Alex, but it’s still a little depressing. I don’t know anyone or anything in the area. I’ll need to push myself to explore the place a little more every day. Today I’ve made an appointment with the Gym to go and see how it’s all set up and maybe get a little workout in. Hopefully that will get me feeling a little more normal.

The weather appears to be very nice at the moment. Sunny everyday since I’ve arrived. Alex told me he’s never seen it this nice, but he’s only been here a month.

So for me it looks like it’ll be a week of netflix and job application. Lucky me…

Hopefully I can find something soon…

Taking off

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Step right up to see me take off, disappear, and reappear in another country!!

That’s right! Today is the day! Flying off to the UK to do who knows what!

I actually can’t believe it’s today. But I’m also very relieved that it has come! The wait has been too long and there has been too much free time to sit around and do nothing other than get into arguments with family. Time to take off and begin the next adventure! First stop: Chicago, second stop: New Home.

I’m all ready with my Sudoku book, the first Harry Potter, and a Rubic’s cube. I also have my lap top which just happens to have all of the Star Wars movies on there…how did those get there? And I may have told my old work that I would do some projects for them on the plane. We’ll see how it goes, I may just sleep!

Europe, here I come! Canada, I’ll see you again soon!

17 Days to Go!

That is correct! In 17 days I will be on a plan heading to London England! Or sitting in an airport waiting for my next flight….But I’ll be on my way! So let’s focus on the exciting part!

Three days ago I had my last day at work. As much as I complained about that place and my position, I had really grown to love it and the people there. The position had finally developed into one I had been wanting (with my help, not to brag, but truth). So it was definitely hard to walk away from everything and everyone there. A truly emotional experience.

Now I am at my childhood home for a week with my brother. I have two doctor’s appointments this week and then we’re hitting the road to head to Alberta for my grandmother’s 90th birthday! WOO! Go Grandma!

How am I feeling? Mixed emotions, really. I have a lot of baggage with my family. There has always been a lack of respect for each other and I have never felt comfortable being myself. I’m always waiting for the axe to drop, so to say. The next thing for my mother to try to control and criticize, the next time I am expected to do something because I’m a woman, the next time I am not thanked for doing something nice. Basically, the next time I’m treated like a nobody. Needless to say, it’s not a good experience being back home.

A lot of mindfulness and meditation is taking place as I’m trying to stay grounded and be myself despite the oh so many deep seated unhealthy habits and relationships that tie this family together. One of my happy moments of each day is talking with Alex, hearing about his new job and how he’s enjoying it. The other thing is my countdown. 17 days is really not that long. And tomorrow my brother returns to work, so there will be limited interactions, judgements, and all other things negative. I will be able to spend my day alone, taking care of me, prepping for the number of trips to take.

All in all, this was supposed to be a positive post! I am so elated and thrilled that my trip to the UK is so soon! Yes, money and finding a job are still a concern, but I’ve broadened my search and hopefully something will come up! The important thing: I get to live and travel with the man of my dreams.

PS. Dating for 2 years and still no fight…seriously, what’s wrong with us? Because I like it =)

Getting Antsy

Well, in 3 days Alex will be leaving the country, and me, to start off our European adventure. He’s going over, getting settled, and I’ll be joining him a month or so later. Needless to say, I’m nervous, both for him and myself. I’m also very much so ready for this transition period to be over. I’d like to just go over there, settle in, and find a job. Oh the ever frustrating job search. Hopefully it’ll be slightly easier when I’m there.

This weekend we’ve been looking up places online to rent/stay at. A lot of them look very nice. Alex has the tough job ahead of him to find a place. And then I get to sit here and wait for his decision. I feel bad not contributing to the search, but there’s only so much I can do what with not being over there at the moment.

After Alex finds a place, I can submit my Visa application and then start packing and organizing and cleaning for my own trip over. Needless to say, I’m excited. And nervous. I really hope it all works out.

Today I submitted by resignation letter to my boss. Her response? “I don’t want it, you’re just going on an extended vacation”. I love the woman. She’s been all sorts of wonderful to me and I do wish her all the best. Even through all the times I haven’t wanted to be at work, this woman has been truly inspiring. She’s brilliant! And extremely kind.

This week will be busy. Helping Alex get ready, doing family visits for him. And, of course, saying goodbye. In slightly better news….I only have 11 days of work left! Because I’m taking three off in that time period to have appointments. Oh joys. Stress times, here we come!

And once I’m over there, it’ll be time to start a new blog! Stay tuned, I’ll post the link here!