Most people have life bucket lists that include travel by plane, learn a new language, move across the world, travel to Paris, etc. What if I were to tell you I had done all that by the age of two?. Much like most cliche character backstories, I grew up with a dad who had a job that moved us around a lot as kids. I still to this day have no clue what exactly his job is, but I do know it gave me some amazing life experiences right from the beginning.
My story begins when I was born in Calgary, Alberta in the early 2000s. Like every parent does, my mom got very involved in the community with various activities for me and my brother to do. We were both too young to do anything more interesting than simple Gymboree classes, but my mom still talks about how she imagined us growing up skiing, horseback riding, and even being part of “The Young Canadians”, which is a highly recognized performance group. It’s bittersweet that to this day my mom talks about how she pictured us growing up in that community. I eventually ended up growing up to love most of those activities, all of which would’ve been easier to do had we stayed in Calgary.
Fast forward two years, and I found myself in Paris, France, at the ripe age of 2. At that point I had just gotten the English language down as well as a toddler could. Immediately I found myself fully immersed in French. Because I was young and adaptable and most definitely didn’t understand the permanency behind moving across the globe, the transition was quite smooth for me. However, the whole learning a new language portion was not such a pleasant experience. I hated speaking French so much that it got to the point that I had found every English speaking kid in the class and formed a group. We then decided to start teaching English to the French speaking kids in the class. This caused my parents to receive a letter from the school about “my behavior”; specifically that it was causing issues. My rebellious phase aside, leaving Paris is always sad to look back on because I didn’t realize I was living a lot of people’s dreams.
My final major move brought me to where I am today: Windsor, Ontario. To most people this would be a huge downgrade, which I agree with on a surface level. However, being close to family, being back in Canada, and meeting so many new people has made it more than worth it. Everyone always says they love “the people” of a city, but in this case it’s true. Also, the biggest perk of the move was that with Detroit so close, we were able to stop moving, since my dad could easily go across the border and use the airport for all his international travel.
When people learn about all my moves, they always wonder how different it was for me or how I feel about the whole thing. Honestly, I’m so happy we did so much moving, especially when I was younger because I was able to form real roots in Windsor, while simultaneously getting all these crazy life experiences elsewhere. It also gave my brother and I a broader outlook on the world. We both love traveling the world, and due to us having to get accustomed to new cultures at a young age, are very curious and open to experiencing new cultures. Not only that, but it also always allows me to have the best answers for the ice breaker game “2 truths and a lie”. The only downfalls I’ve really come across are just very niche things, such as being sad that I was never able to track my height on door frames with a marker. In hindsight it’s such a minimal concept but growing up seeing it in every movie, I wanted it so badly. But since we never knew how long we’d be somewhere, we couldn’t commit to anything that permanent. My brother, on the other hand wishes he started at a school in kindergarten, since being the new kid entering mid grade school was a hard transition. Although when both me and my brother look back on our years growing up, we’re both extremely thankful for the opportunities and experiences we got from it; and would definitely recommend taking the leap of moving around if given the opportunity.