Well 6 months sure has gone by quickly... As we prepare for our trip back home for a very quick 6 weeks in Canada we start to think of what we miss about our beloved country. Having just celebrated Canada Day while in France we are all anxious to get back for a number of reasons. Of course we miss our family and friends but the comforts of home like our super pressure hot shower, our organic cotton KING sized bed and for me food - I miss Canadian food like BBQ'd meats and fast-food chinese egg rolls! Silly I know but I cannot get egg rolls here or Thai food - what I would do for a red curry!
I appreciate Canada so much more now that i've been away. When I speak to French people they don't understand why we would choose to leave Canada. In France, Canada is the land of opportunity, the dreamland. I've realized more and more that we are truly blessed to come from such a great country. Why do the French love Canada so much? Well from what I gather the French appreciate our "less than bossy" political system where the word "democracy" really does mean that. I say this but you have to remember that the French really do complain a great deal more than the rest of the world. Even if all is fair and just they will still find a way of complaining about it! There always seems to be a peaceful rally or protest somewhere but I suppose this is a good thing, a country that gives you freedom of expression is positive in my opinion.
The income tax system is higher in France then in Canada as demonstrated below and trying to find out about property taxes in France was more time consuming then writing this blog so I skipped it. The main reason the French love Canada is because of our kindness, open spirit and peaceful attitudes, but isn't that why we are loved around the world?!
Income tax rates:
France has been a tremendous adventure, and we really have taken advantage of it - travelling quite a bit, meeting new people we would never know in Canada and trying new things. I will miss alot about our pretty city of Aix-les-Bains, France specifically the history that surrounds us everywhere. The French culture really is that of friends and family gathering, singing, drinking and eating, very similar to Canada but louder and definitely more gregarious! I will miss fresh, inexpensive food, GMO free bread and baguettes a short walk away, cheap but very good wine, cheese and markets boasting produce all of sorts.
We recently moved within the centre of Aix-les-Bains into a historic building - it to was built in 1891 and served as a hotel until 1937 where it was transformed into apartments. It was important to me to be in a place that had history and not simply a new condo apartment, this definitely has it!
I've realized that this has been such a great opportunity for us and our family and I am grateful for it everyday. While I am excited to get home and visit with everyone their are some things I am not looking forward to in Canada. Traffic for one, coming home means we have to start driving and the inevitable traffic in summer is so daunting I don't even want to think about it. We have to detox from our daily baguette, wine and cheese diet which will be difficult since bread is full of GMOS in Canada - we'll be avoiding it, that will be tough. I will not miss North American TV and radio, Kardashian culture everywhere and constantly trying to censor music/tv from our daughter.
And of course why we left in the first place - keeping up with the Jones' and the challenge of balancing our lives with simpler living. Luckily we are only home for a short time and we return very soon, i'm looking forward to a full year in France and enjoying our city and doing more volunteer work, meeting new people and discovering our surroundings.
What would you miss and not miss if you left home for a year??