2023 – A Year of Transformations

Ein Jahr das uns 365 Tage und Rund 10.000 km weiter getragen hat. Zwölf Monate voller unvergesslicher Momente und intensiver Veränderungen denn wir haben uns von Europa verabschiedet. Aber lest selbst. Vor genau 365 Tagen waren wir noch auf Kreta, koordinatenmäßig verortet bei N35°13'52.0 E24°24'07.5...

Georg, Jo Momo und Nelly in the snow. The Quest is in the background.

The first half

of the year, we were still traveling in Europe. The plan was as follows: We wanted to spend the winter on the picturesque island of Crete. We had thought that we would spend the time with acquaintances in a shared house. However, things turned out differently, and where one door closed, another one opened. So, we spent three months helping in animal welfare and even considered buying a house here. We inspected three properties during this time, but the final decision remained pending. There was simply too much ahead of us, and we didn’t feel that here and now would be the right place.

However, Crete should not mark the end of our search. A big dream and a new adventure were calling! Canada - In the spring, we headed towards Germany. Not without a little tear in our eyes, as saying goodbye always proves difficult after all this time. On the Greek mainland, we met Georg’s dad and spent a few days with him at our favorite beach on Peloponnese (Elea Beach), before continuing towards Germany. Albania presented us with the reality that even if others rave about a country, it may not necessarily be the one that makes your heart beat faster. In Italy, we enjoyed the food and the culture before crossing the border into Germany in early May. Here, we still had a few things to take care of before the end of May, when the Quest boarded a ship and the four of us boarded a plane bound for Canada.

The second half

Canada held an extraordinary summer for us. Even though Canada is not entirely unfamiliar to Georg and me (we spent our summer vacation here in 2018), Canada surprised us with its natural wonders and the friendliness of its people. We went camping in wild forests, hiked through dry prairies, spent nights under an eagle’s nest, and saw 5 bears, 2 wolves, and countless chipmunks. We enjoyed all of this so much that we decided to extend our stay in Canada and spend the winter here, not entirely without ulterior motives, as we also entertained ideas of buying a house here. Had we perhaps found our new homeland in Canada? With the winter in Canada, we wanted to give ourselves a chance to find peace and to sort things out.

Almost 10,000 kilometers lie between today and what was a year ago.

Only one question continues to haunt us to this day – the question of our future home base, our home. In a world full of possibilities, the choice is not an easy one. Where do we see ourselves in five years, what exactly do we want, and above all, where?

The question of our ultimate place of residence remains unanswered. At the same time, however, we have realized that Canada is an incredibly fascinating country for us. The vastness of nature, the kindness of the people, and the cultural diversity have captivated us. So much so that we have even considered whether Canada could become our new home?

I must admit that it is difficult for me to contemplate the end of this journey. The idea of settling down again fills me with unease, especially because the question of my identity – who am I, or rather, who do I want to be – becomes prominent again. When we set out on this journey, that question seemed to fade into the background. Now, as the end draws nearer, I realize that I must confront it. In doing so, I feel even more lost than before, because one thing is certain: I do not want to return to the life I led before.

A second realization struck me recently: Canada is indeed beautiful, but it is darn far away. Despite my conviction that distance doesn’t matter, I experienced real “homesickness” here in Canada for the first time. Not for a specific place, but for the people who are important to me and whom I want to keep in my life. They don’t necessarily have to live around the corner, but being on the same continent makes visits considerably easier.

Thoughts continue to revolve around the future. What adventures await us? Which place will ultimately become our home? I try not to dwell on these questions about tomorrow and the future, and to be more present in the here and now. Nevertheless, it is something that occupies my mind. These questions will also accompany me into the new year. It has been a year of changes, a year of searching for our place in the world.

May the year 2024 be just as exciting and full of discoveries as what lies behind us. We are excited to see what paths will open up for us and what new chapters of life will unfold next. Because, as we know: The journey is the destination.

In this spirit, warm greetings to all of you out there!

Yours, Jo