On the Move: Quebec to Vancouver

When you get married in a Quebec courthouse you have a marriage contract, not marriage vows.  This has been a running joke between us, particularly when we want the other to do something.  For example: When I am thirsty during the night and don’t want to go down the stairs I will say “Article XVII says that you have to get me water in the middle of the night”.

I am pretty sure that there was an article in our marriage contract about always looking for adventure and keeping the other on their toes.  Apparently, we took that article seriously because our journey has been full of bends in the road and surprises.  So in order to prevent life from becoming too routine…we are off again!

We are packing our cat and headed cross country to become “Vancouverians”!  This might be our biggest transformation yet…east coasters to west coasters!

After 19 years with the same company, Philippe was ready to shake things up a bit professionally.  It was a well thought out decision for him as he will miss his colleagues and the products he has put so much heart and soul into.    On the personal side, it is because of this company that we first met and made googly eyes at each other.  But one of my favorites to say is “it’s just time” (which before he would roll his eyes at me and say he didn’t know that meant).

As we have started telling people about our move most people laugh and say “really?” or “are you serious?”.  And then we get a few questions.  So I thought I would compile a list of FAQ’s related to our move in case you are curious.

FAQ’s: Moving to Vancouver 

arrowQuestion: But you just bought rental chalets in Quebec and we were planning to come visit!!  What are you going to do with them?

No worries, we are keeping at least 2 of our chalets!  In fact, our own chalet that we renovated 2 years ago is going to join the line up of rentals.  I will be working on getting them ready in May, so please still come visit!  (If you happened to miss the earlier post about our rental chalet venture, you can check out this post)

arrowQuestion: But what is going to happen to your amazing orange cat, Pepin (commonly referred to as “His Royal Orangeness”)?

Oh, he is definitely coming.  However, transport will be a delicate issue since he is rather anti-social and gets queazy when traveling.  We will be consulting with a professional (counseling for him, tranquilizers for us) for help before boarding the plane with him.  That should be a life-altering experience.  Once in Vancouver, my hope is that he will adapt to city life by allowing himself to be taken on walks on a leash (that will never happen).

arrowQuestion: Are you doing another road trip with a Uhaul like you did when you moved from Atlanta to Quebec?

We contemplated it…for a hot second.  Until reality set in:

  • First, we read a suggested itinerary for an east to west coast Canadian road trip.  And it said “Grand idea!”…as long as you cut out the section between Toronto and Calgary (which takes up 4 days out of the 6-day drive).  Apparently, the scenery does not change much.
  • In addition, if we think a 5-hour flight with the cat would be rough…imagine the logistics of cat transport in a Uhaul!  Instead, it seems to be a better idea to delight TSA and our fellow air passengers by giving them the privilege of his company on a flight.
  • And finally, on the Atlanta -> Quebec road trip there is that moment that will forever be referred to as “The Starbucks Incident” that almost led to us receiving a lifetime ban from any of their coffee shops.

Bottom line: No road trip.

arrowQuestion: So why Vancouver?

The job that Philippe is taking is there.  But more importantly: less snow, fewer days of sub-zero temps, ocean + mountains, proximity to lots of wine country options, whale watching.  Shall I continue?

arrowQuestion: Is Vancouver as amazing as I hear?

Not sure as I have never been.  But it seems to be pretty cool so I will keep you posted (as I said, I like an adventure).  However, it is near the MTB capital of the world (so I am told) so Philippe thinks we are getting an early transfer to heaven.  Pretty sure we will be regular visitors to the ER.

arrowQuestion: What does your family think of you moving cross country?

Initially not much (for those of you that don’t know I am super close to my family), but with some convincing on the benefits (see the question ” So Why Vancouver” above) they are warming up to it.  “Next to wine country” pretty much sold them.

arrowQuestion: You guys seem to always be making a change or on the move.  Don’t you have any anxiety or nervous about this change?

Oh that is definitely a yes!  Every single adventure (we prefer this term to change) brings about some anxiety.  Especially this one since we love almost everything about where we currently live in Quebec (it’s seriously magical).  Even after going through our decision-making process to make the best possible choice based on the information we have at that moment (unfortunately that dang crystal ball of mine is STILL on backorder), we definitely get nervous.

But for us this is the bottom line: If we don’t try it we will never know and could miss out on something fantastic.  Even if it doesn’t work out exactly as we envisioned…well what’s the worst that can happen?  We will still land on our feet somehow, someway with some great stories to tell/remember.  Actually, for us, the worst thing that can happen is missing out on something great by not taking the risk.

arrowQuestion: Can I/we come visit?

Yes, definitely, and please!  I LOVE visitors and adventures with friends!

Our adventure starts May 2nd when we will head to Vancouver to check out places to live followed by a whirlwind of activity!  Follow along on my Instagram Stories as the adventure unfolds!

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In Pursuit of a (New) Passion

It has somehow already been 10 months since I pushed the reset button and decided to take a break from my career. Not an easy decision because like most people I know I poured heart and soul into my career.  I was (and still am) passionate about my profession.  But it turns out I was pouring a little too much heart and soul into my career and not enough into the other important parts of life.  It took me a few years from the time the idea started to the time I actually took the leap, but that is ok because I needed to reach a place of complete certainty.

As a recovering work-aholic I was shocked at how easy it was fill the last 10 months with productive things (no Netflix binge watching!!).  I have relished sleeping through the night, checking long overdue items off the ominous to-do list, and pursuing some long postponed dreams (je peux parler français!!!).  I think most who see me now will agree that I am a more pleasant version of me and while I will forever be a work in progress it’s a good start.  Seriously lucky and thankful girl to have the flexibility and freedom to try a few new things out.

But… after reviving and refreshing I am ready to jump back into it!  However, I had to figure out exactly what “it” is.  So soul-searching began…what is important to me, what am I passionate about, and how can I rock my natural skills?  Well when you mention talents…that means I needed a super spreadsheet to support this soul searching (yes, I really created one).  So after creating tons of spreadsheets, researching to my hearts content on ideas,  and scrapping not so good ideas…We found just the thing for a new adventure and I (we) am super excited about it!

Check Mark ImageMy passions: Travel, all things people, making things pretty, new experiences

Check Mark ImageSkills: Organized, business know-how, creating bad-ass spreadsheets, planning and executing a project (I promise I am not as boring as I sound).

So all of that just screams tourism and hospitality, right?  Yup, I totally agree!  As an added perk, anyone who adores HGTV like me knows it is all about…location, location, location.  So isn’t it just perfect that we live in one of the best year-round outdoor vacation destinations in Quebec?

So the first test phase is underway!  We have purchased 2 ski chalets to renovate and turn into a cozy, dreamy rental properties.  I have tons and tons of  ideas and long-term visions about where to take this and I am jumping out of my skin with excitement.  But first things first…getting the first 2 houses ready to welcome guests.

I know lots about running businesses.  I know a little bit about using a hammer, nails and power tools.  I am a newbie when it comes to hospitality, tourism, and building a business in Canada as an US expat.  So time to acquire some new skills and expertise!

The best part is that I get to break out all those pink tools my dad has given me over the years as I roll up my sleeves.  I am sure there will be plenty of mishaps (hopefully no missing body parts) and victories (I really want to know how to lay tile) along the way, so I hope you will follow along in my adventure!

By spring I hope we are ready to welcome our first guests!  Anyone want to be my guinea pig???

Its Mine - 6 Rue des Frenes