Wow, it’s officially 2023! Happy New Year! 🎊 I absolutely love this time of year – it’s full of new beginnings, exciting plans, and fresh calendars! However, as per usual, I’ve already written quite a bit in my 2023 calendar because we, of course, have a few trips planned, and this year, we actually have another international move on the docket. So, if you’re interested in some of the ‘where’s, ‘when’s, and ‘why’s of our 2023 whereabouts, here’s what I know so far:
Moving to Canada
We’re finally headed to the far north! After receiving our permanent residencies last summer, we have officially decided to make the move and relocate to Canada later this year. It’s turning out to be quite the memorable move for us because at first, we thought it would be happening in late 2019 or early 2020, and then after the pandemic, we thought it might not be the right move for us at all, so now that we’re looking at apartments in Ottawa (again), it feels a little surreal. But before we get to the move, there are some things we’re planning to do here in Mexico first.
Wrapping up our time in Mexico
Moving to Mexico was easily one of the best decisions we ever made, and we have had an absolutely amazing time here. In fact, our love for Guadalajara and its people and culture was one of the biggest obstacles in deciding whether or not this would be the right time to move. I always feel so torn during our transition periods, because I’m never ready to leave behind the homes we’ve created, but at the same time, I can’t wait for all the excitement and novelty of a new place to call home. It’s complicated. But with this particular re-location, the good news is I have no doubt we’ll be back, hopefully often, because this time, we’re staying on the same continent!
Of course, we know at some point we will have to say adiós, but for now, we plan on fully savoring our last few months in Mexico. We’re already doing our best to check off all the lists we made when we arrived: all the places we still want to travel to, all the restaurants we still want to eat at, and all the things we still want to do or be a part of. In fact, I think next month, I’ll break down our Mexico bucket list and share some of the things we’ve been able to do and see these past 2+ years. I’m extremely grateful for each and every one of these experiences, and I do hope to make Mexico proud with one last fiesta before we go (featuring a limo, another piñata, and some of our best friends) – stay tuned!
On top of saying goodbye to the friends we’ve made and the culture we’ve grown to love, I’ll also be switching language focuses (again). I’ve spent quite a lot of time studying Spanish over the last few years, and while I’m always quick to poke fun at it or complain (as any student would), I’m going to miss it immensely. Therefore, in an effort to ensure my Spanish reaches its current potential and perhaps actually sticks with me a bit longer than my Polish or Mandarin did, I’m planning to take the DELE (a Spanish proficiency exam) in April. I’m hoping to pull off a B2 (upper intermediate level) and potentially work with Spanish in the future, so ¡deséame suerte! But also wish me luck when I switch back to le français because I have a feeling I’m going to need it.
Flying then Driving
So, it looks like we’re going to have a really fun first few months of the year, but what about the actual move? Well, it’s a lot. Right now, we’re planning to fly up to Canada in late April/early May to secure our apartment and maybe take care of a few other logistics like paperwork and furniture acquisition, but our big move will be at the end of May. Over Memorial Day week, we’re packing everything up (including the dog and all her personal effects) and driving the 44 hours from Guadalajara, Mexico up to Ottawa, Canada. It was a 33-hour drive when we originally came down from Orlando, so how bad could an extra 11 hours be?
For our second cross-continental drive, we’ve planned for several stops along the way: those for resting, those for working, and those for visiting family. We’re also planning on taking more luggage up with us on the initial fly-up, so the car doesn’t have to be quite as packed as last time…although it probably still will be. Since we’ll have two border crossings this time around, we’ve budgeted a bit of extra time around the first and last legs of the trip to hopefully side-step any unforeseen issues. Fingers crossed! And before we know it (hopefully on June 3rd), we’ll officially be residing in Canada.
After we arrive, I have virtually no set plans. We’ll most likely not be renting a fully-furnished place this time, so I imagine we’ll spend a few weeks unpacking, re-furnishing, and getting set up in our new place. We, very specifically, chose to move in the summer months, which should give us plenty of time to prepare for winter. Neither one of us owns a pair of boots anymore, so that’s something we’ll need to take care of. I also wanted Jenn to be able to acclimate to the severe shift in climates as gently as possible – we’re going to get her a heated blanket to help the cause.
And once we’re all set up and feeling comfy in the Great White North, I’ll be making my Canada bucket list and hopefully arranging for people to come visit! One of the best things about living in Mexico was how short a flight it was for visitors. We had a record number of family and friends come down, and I hope that trend will continue while we’re in Canada (hint, hint).
Clearly, we have a lot to look forward to this year, so here’s to another 365 days of new adventures!