When we packed everything up to move abroad in 2009, missing Canada didn’t even enter our minds. We knew we would miss our family and friends, but we were so excited to relocate to Ecuador and experience all that it had to offer, missing Canada was the last thing on our minds.
There is a lot to love about Ecuador and because of that it took some time, almost 4 years before we started to miss a few things from Canada.
When you grow up with something all your life it can easily become common place. Then when you are away from it, unexpected things trigger memories and you find yourself reminiscing about what you never really gave much thought to before.
The Changing Seasons
In Canada there are four seasons: summer, fall, winter and spring. With each season comes a beautiful array of changes. I always loved watching winter turn to spring, the way the snow would melt and give way to flower bulbs pushing their way up through the recently thawed earth. The smell was fresh and earthy. It was like everything was new and it was time to start fresh.
One thing I did say as we were leaving Canada, was that I would never miss the winter. I was wrong. I really miss the beauty of the snow! I miss waking up and looking out the window to see big snowflakes coming down. The big flakes fell slower then the small ones, spinning and gliding into each other, like we were inside a giant snow-globe.
I loved when the conditions were just right and the ground was covered in an amazing blanket of sparkling snow, it looked like there were millions of diamonds scattered all over the backyard. When there was fresh snow (no footprints) on the ground, we loved to get bundled up, run around in it and mess it up!
Fall was also an amazing time of year. The leaves would turn bright colors of yellow, red and orange – it was amazing! On an overcast day the colors seemed to “pop” even more. We would grab the camera to try and capture it, but pictures (as beautiful as they are) never do it justice. After the leaves had all fallen and the trees were bare it was a little sad, but then that first snow got us excited thinking about snowmen and ice skating.
Here in Cuenca, Ecuador there are two seasons, summer and winter. The seasons are called summer and winter and are like the Canadian early spring and late spring. There are also what we would call hot-August-days peppered in among Cuenca’s two spring like seasons.
We love the weather here. While the snow is beautiful to look at, it’s no fun to shovel or drive in. It’s nice not to have to worry about the weather as much as we did in Canada. I also love how the flowers are in bloom all year here! Because the seasons don’t change, like they do in Canada, we find ourselves forgetting what time of year it is: funny, but true.
Every August in Canada we went camping. The weather was perfect and the biting bugs were all gone by that time of year. We loved to camp at Kejimkujik National Park and Rissers Beach. At Keji the lakes were warm and perfect for swimming. The hiking trails were beautiful and we would almost always see white-tailed-deer on an early morning walk.
At Rissers, it was fun to play in the sand. Watching the sunset on the ocean was something we really looked forward to. Waking up and cooking breakfast on the campfire, then sitting around it at night talking and laughing are some of our favorite memories.
Here in Cuenca we enjoy walking in the city and spending time at the parks. We have really enjoyed vacationing on the coast as well, the beach in Salinas is really nice, and we have heard about other beaches that we hope to visit in the future.
Most of the beaches in Nova Scotia (eastern Canada) are rugged and rocky. The water is generally too cold for swimming so we spent our time beach-combing for unique rocks and beach glass, and having bonfires.
It was so much fun to call a bunch of friends and meet at the beach for a bonfire. We would arrive while it was still light so we could pick a good spot and gather up driftwood to make the fire. As it was getting dark we would light the fire and roast marshmallows and hot dogs. Sometimes we would send up a few fireworks, but the fun of it was relaxing with friends in the cool air around a large beach fire.
They probably do that on the coast here in Ecuador as well, but we live in the Andes so we don’t. Hopefully we will experience it here one day soon, and then we will write all about it.
Happy In Cuenca
Even though we miss things about Canada and we are a little homesick at times, we are happy living here in Cuenca and we don’t plan on moving back. When we start feeling a little homesick we just remember where we are and the amazing things we’ve done and we feel just fine!
Do you live abroad? Are there things that you miss that you never thought you would? Please share your thoughts with us by commenting on this post.