Sometimes people we know comment on how lucky we are, I don’t mind, in reality we are lucky, but sometimes people say words that completely dismiss the hard work and sacrifices we’ve made in order to be here. For MANY months we had a running joke in our house; “This bag of chips, or France” “Well, it’s a night out, or France” I got weird looks when I told people I would LOVE to but a litre of that artisanal honey, but I cant, I’m saving up for France. Sorry, I’d love to support your child’s current fundraiser, but this year we’re saving up for something special. Let me say it straight: We did not win the lottery. We did not have mucho dinero just laying around before we decided what to do with it. The cost of being here (both in Canadian dollars and in emotional costs) has been, and continue to be INCREDIBLE. We are not millionaires, we worked our asses off and went over every dollar for a LONG time before we decided it would be ok to take this trip. We put off renovations, we put off vacations, and we excluded ourselves from some of our favourite things in order to give ourselves and (more importantly) our children this opportunity, it was not a light decision, and it was not made in vain.
On that same note, we get a lot of our difficulties dismissed. “Ok, so you’re struggling, but you’re struggling in the south of France!” True, absolutely, but is a struggle lessened because of the location, really? Is the fact that I/we have very few friends and social connections really not that bad because we’re in a place with a different culture where people don’t speak our language? Should I be comforted through my troubles by the chevre and baguettes? Sorry, thats not how it’s done out here.
I am absolutely lucky to be here, so are my children. We have made it through two very difficult economical crises, one which continues to threaten us daily, but are we here by some sort of magical happening? No. We worked our asses off and made a decision to spend time and money in order to remove ourselves from our comfort zones. We have learned a lot from this trip, and I imagine a lot of that will stay with us for a long time. I can only hope that when all is said and done I can look back on all the sacrifices and hardships and simply say “Worth it”.