Moving you say? Travelling we say!

Moving is not travelling…. but travelling is a form of moving.

WE ARE TRAVELLING!!!

Yes that’s right… to travel, as in we want to go from one place to another. We want to add “travels” to our life;  a series of journeys, destinations, places and people to see.  In order to travel, we will leave home for awhile.  There will be planes, trains and automobiles involved. Travelling is a form of moving.

BUT WE ARE NOT MOVING!

We are not changing one permanent place of residence for another one. We are not changing location of our possessions.  We are not giving up our home or the cars in the garage.  Moving means you still have commitments like work or school in your new location, so again we are not moving!

You will not see any of this:

 a motor vehicle in motion changing location of our possessions

moving carmoving boxes

 boxes of our stuff moved to a new place of residence

We will definitely ‘travel’, as in a long distance journey, to Poland this year. We will be putting our clothes into a suitcase and taking those possessions on a temporary trip to see the newest Grant.  It will involve “movement” – not only our physical bodies from one place to another but the stirring of strong feelings and emotions.

We are Canadians and whilst Bernerd (my pillow) may leave home with us, along with our Canadian passports, our resident taxes will be filed in Canada.  No other residence for us.

AND yes… we will have the pleasure of being able to settle into an apartment to use as a base for our personal travelling sabbatical.  We will still get to enjoy doing laundry and dishes AND cooking for family and new friends during our journeys.  We will sample a platter of places and we will move between the nuclei of our children (& grandchild) as they are settled into where they live.  We will TRAVEL…

After all, we have our perfect travel buddy!

if you dont have one

Rights, Right?

I BELIEVE IN EXERCISING MY RIGHT TO VOTE!!!

 

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We are 1 week away from the Federal Election in Canada.  Once upon a time as a woman, I would not be allowed to vote.   Canada also did not allow Aboriginals, Doukhobours, Hindus, Chinese, Japanese or Prisoners to vote.

Fast forward to 2015 and I am privileged to have been born a Canadian and live in a Democracy where, under Section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I am guaranteed the democratic right to vote!

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Sure, I can be like many other Canadians who believe there are times that our political system is NOT for the people but that we are secondary to the economy. I do bitch and complain based upon how our Premier is running things.  I may feel that we do not have a really good candidate that I really WANT to vote for.  Yet, I still stand up and exercise the right that many people before me fought to attain – the right to vote.

In addition, my freedoms ensure I will never have to question my personal right to:

  • Open a bank account
  • Own Property
  • Have a job of my choice
  • Have custody of my child(ren)
  • Inherit property
  • Sue in court
  • Divorce
  • Buy wine or beer in a pub
  • Gamble

OR to even BE a Politician!!!

I thank all those who fought for the right I have today and I encourage everyone to VOTE – express an opinion – regardless of why / how / what that looks like.  It’s your democratic privilege!

Thank you to Radio Freethinker / Artizans.com for this:

Moudakis Cartoon

Will This Matter in a Year from Now? 5 Years from Now?

eye map    Day 4 at Chez Grant….

Our bed is decadent and I’m still in love with the city of Vancouver.  My stove has had a bit of a work out and we’ve already seen and fed family, caught up with a couple of friends and had neighbours stop by to welcome us back.

We are being asked “Are you Happy to be at Home?”  And the honest answer is “yes and no”.  We have family here and we also have family in Poland.  We had an amazing trip and there were things that went totally pear-shaped and things that were spectacular.  Whilst I’m not ‘quite’ planning another trip, I’m sure the day in the future for that event will not be too far off.

For those who haven’t followed the one post I made, we 3 Grants travelled to the following places:

  • Vancouver – Torun – Inowroclaw – Gizycko – Sztynort – Mikolajki – Warsaw – Oxford – Stratford upon Avon – Chipping Camden – Moreton on Marsh – Bourton on the Water – Winchcombe – York – Leeds – Macclesfield – Amsterdam – Split – Omis – Cavtat – London – Vancouver.

Travelling to foreign countries is not meant to make you feel at home. The country is designed to make it’s own people feel comfortable.  You can merely hope to not stand out in big white American running shoes (aka trainers) which scream “I’m American” and we all know my feelings on being mistaken for anything other than Canadian!

We are not meant to go to Starbucks for coffee in Split.  Instead we should sit at a local café and to order a cappucinno.  When it arrives, look at it longingly, smell it’s glorious smell, take the first sip and think “WTF is this?” <best answer – you are not in Italy honey you are in Croatia – comes to mind!!)

Buon giorno. Cappuccino?

Buon giorno. Cappuccino?

 

Yesterday morning, I was told how ‘great and relaxed’ I looked!?!  confused-old-woman  Which is a by-product of swimming in Croatia, walking in England, Sailing in Poland and truly waking up with a new agenda every day.   Sometimes the days were simply sitting and reading and wondering how Donald Trump is making out as a candidate in the US Elections.  (Yes, I am following our Canadian ones also but they are truly not as entertaining as we are missing a guy like Donald to ‘shake things up’ a bit North of the border.)

We are back in the Universe of Home.  It is lovely and we a front yard full of leaves which is means we are moving into fall.  Pumpkins, school, pencil shavings left from home work (opps not anymore she uses a laptop and hits back space!).  AND thinking of new adventures both at home and away.

The 60 days and 60 nights of our trip have given me a ‘calmer’ inner-self.  When we were away the affirmations of finding ourselves in a challenging situation and working through whatever happened – you are given a life lesson on either a) going with the flow or b) yelling at the flow.  I did a bit of both but mostly the going with won out.

The two month travelling  “Will it matter in 5 Years?” and go with the answer.  If we missed a plane or train – certainly the resulting answer was “no”.  If we missed celebrating a birthday with Lara and our Polish family – the resounding “yes” won out!

The world at home was almost just as we left it and we can jump right back into it. On reflection, I think we should keep the good bits we really love.   It’s going to be a bit of work but we garnered the ability to see what will matter in 5 years from now!

five

 

28 Years of “Being Grant”

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When I woke up this morning I thought back to waking up 28 years ago, apart from the locale of Ladner to Leeds, I woke up then as a DeClercq and this morning, it was as a Grant.

28 years of “being Grant” has been quite a journey thus far. I am grateful for the gentleness of the young-24 year old man I married on August 8th. I appreciated then as I do now, his kind thoughtfulness, his unconditional love, his humour, his ability to always put one foot in front of the other and get on with things regardless of the challenge.   He remains just as his namesake demands, ‘stand fast’ with all that he does and those he loves. I simply fell in love and know that 28 years later, we love each more and are far more grounded.

Who would have 2nd guessed our jump into marriage, purchase of a house and being mortgage poor at 21 and 24? That our first trip for a month to Europe within our first year of marriage would lead to one of our biggest arguments standing in the streets of Munich. Or that I recall how many years we are married, by adding 5 to Tony’s age? We created two children: Tony who connected us and Lara who made us a family.

I have garnered so much being a Grant. I have a HUGE family adding to my ‘sisterhood’ that I share with Jana, with the addition of Dave’s 5 sisters. I learned what it is like to cook for over 15 people as a typical ‘family’ dinner.   I have lived up to the marriage vow “thou must know how to make gravy”! (No one said anything about making coffee, for which I am notoriously bad at!)

We have travelled the world together. We have family and friends that share our love of good food and wine. We shared the loss of Dave’s Father, brother, brother-in-law.   We watched our nieces and nephews get married and have children. We danced together, laughed together, got frustrated and angry together. Taught our children to “like” and “love”.   We rode the wave of ‘marriage’ which gives you all kinds of ‘moments’ of ups and downs, we chose to do that ‘together’.

Today we have travelled from Leeds, through to the National Peak District. Driving through villages with names Chapel-en-le-Firth, Stocksbridge, and Hope (and not the one we are familiar with in BC). We were walking once again through cow pastures to climb the high peak of Mam Tor and sat and watched hang gliders come off the ridge on a sunny summer day.

AND tonight we will put our heads down on a pillow sharing a bed on a farm in Macclesfield, after having a lovely dinner out that neither one of us cooked to celebrate all we have shared in 28 years.  We will be doing all of this together.

Whilst I do not have any clue where we will be in one year, two years or five years from now on August 8th, I do know that “being Grant” will be who I am, along with celebrating another year of marriage “being Grant” with Dave!

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Grant + Słotwiński = Family

IMG_0268 “People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child

Well we certainly seem to connect and enjoy our time in Poland according to Julia Child!  The Grants gather with the Słotwiński family and we become ‘the best people’ together.  It can be said that sharing food and wine creates a bridge across language and culture.

Our first shared meal was at Ryzard and Lucyna’s house – the gathering of people who are connected all because two people fell in love!  It was extremely hot at 36 degrees.  You know Lucyna knows how to cook and Dave knows how to compliment a cook – he had seconds because he loves gravy, meat and potatoes!

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After the meal, we went outside….  found a shade tree and set up for round two – dessert! Ryzard brought out a coat that he bought for his lovely wife over 20 years ago.  It was during Communism and as he worked for the Railroad, he travelled down south in Poland.  He saved an entire month’s of wages to give her this coat that I tried on.  Let me tell you – it was warm – given the daytime temperature had only dropped to a mere 34 degrees – what a coat to try on!

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We enjoyed more food – that’s possible as the Słotwiński family enjoys dessert and Kasia and her Mom, Lucyna made it with love!   Hard to complain about dessert shared on a long summer night.

Sharing a family meal provides an experience that touches all of our senses – sight, touch, taste, smell and listening to warm laughter or good conversation. Family meals help provide a regular, consistent opportunity to create a shared experience that is meaningful and offers a sense of belonging to all.

Here’s to family meals!

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To Wear or Not to Wear?

Canada-Flag-Open-e1358696598990This morning I read an article written by Alexander Besant in the Globe and Mail.  “Calling all Canadians: Slice that maple leaf off your back pack.”

The article made me give pause to WHY I choose to have a Canadian flag on my luggage and a backpack while travelling.

Travelling as a Canadian and having a flag on backpacks is a personal choice.  We can be proud of our nationality and despite what the article states that we are perceived merely as “just nice and friendly and maybe that’s all we can ask for”, we are A LOT more.

We wear toques.  We wear runners.  We are familiar with parkades. We clean our eavestroughs.  Our sinks have garburators. We buy homo-milk and colour with pencil crayons.  We have friends who live in bachelor apartments.  We use Icing sugar to ice our cakes.   We have all worked with a ‘keener’.  If you arrive at a party with a mickey and a two-four, you will probably end up too hooped to drive home.

Our summers are filled with no-see-ums, freezies and all-dressed chips.  We bitch about the price of hydro and are still surprised to see cereal boxes with English-only on them.

While there is a good rule of thumb when travelling not to stick out as a foreigner for safety reasons.  How is that possible when we say “Eh” and when asked where we are from we measure distance in time “I live an hour outside of Vancouver”.

When I see the Canadian flag in the mirror from my backpack or as my luggage with the the Canadian flag pops up on the carousel at an airport – I am proud of my nationality as a ‘traveller’.   The point of travelling is to meet locals and have locals meet you.  We connect as individuals and we do represent Canada when we enter another country. Why not proudly say “I’m Canadian” with a well recognized maple leaf?

I love being a Polite Canadian, who lines up, wears thongs on my feet and travels with chocolate bars in my maple leaf logo’d backpack!

Fill Your Boots… Wear that flag proudly and Give’r!

www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/activities-and-interests/calling-all-canadians-slice-that-maple-leaf-off-your-backpack/article25113187

Two Months? What the Hell?!

Why 2 Months?  Because it seemed like a good idea when I dreamed it up 18 months ago….

Airlines points existed and were screaming “use me, use me”.  Tony and Kasia are in Europe and we miss them.  Passport, Pillow and credit card all in order.  So why the hell not?

I am amazed at the look of astonishment on some faces after I answer their question “how long are you going for?”  YES, Vancouver is a beautiful city and a wonderful place to spend the summer.  YES we are going to be missing the beach house and waking up to the ocean.  YES that is a long time to be away from family and friends.  YES it is a lot of planning and details to make sure bills are paid, grass cut.

Now wait for it – the infamous BUT…..

BUT… two days ago I was sitting in my naturopath’s office and the universe confirmed my decision to say “what the hell, let’s go for 2 months”.  A lovely 72 year old woman was commenting out loud to the Doctor about her upcoming trip to Europe via a cruise ship.   It was going to take her to all the places she really wanted to visit when she was younger, but just never made the time to do.   Now her ‘older body’ needed the comforts and ease of travelling, so it was a cruise.  She lamented about how she should have done more, seen more, experienced more when she was younger.

So, here we are – Leaving in 10 days for a 60 day European Adventure!  What the hell… let’s do this!

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Why a Blog you ask?

Why start this blog? Because Facebook isn’t cutting it anymore.  I realize there are only so many pictures that I can post of our travels, food, friends, family and life’s moments before I’m sure people start to ‘unfriend me’.

This Blog means YOU are in control of what you read, when you read and why you read about “We Are The Grants”.  So the next two months is all about 3 Grants going to find 2 Grants to have 5 Grant moments and any combination there of.

Here’s to the 5 Grants as we became that lovely number in June 2013….