Worst case scenario for our plans to move overseas would be if our business does not sell in time and we do not have enough money to buy a home to convert to a Bed and Breakfast in France.
If that were the case and we end up with one leg in Canada, we will use up my leave from work to travel. My leave allows me to be absent without affecting my seniority for ten months due back June of next year. I either have to return to work by this date or quit. However, I dream of quitting Safeway. I am far too old to do it for much longer. The check stand hurts my back, and although my current boss is great, I still cannot wait to say goodbye. Twenty years is a long time to ask customers if they want paper or plastic bags, thank them by name and help them out to their car.
I have met some amazing people through Safeway and had the honour of going through countless management and training programs, and have travelled around the world on the wages they pay me. I am far from thankless for my twenty years; however I picture myself doing different things.
My work never defined who I was but it is simple what I do. There is honour in working, no matter what you do for a living. Finding the little joys in my work got me through my work each day. The biggest joy came to me everyday in the form of customers. Everyone has to eat, and many interesting characters have touched my life while coming through my express lane while I checked out their groceries. Some became regulars, some became friends.
I also work next to some pretty fabulous people over the last two decades who work for Safeway. I have made many friends, and enjoy my days of working with them.
After ten months of travelling around Europe, enriching our lives, taking is culture, traditions and flavours; I could always go back, put on my apron and continue the grind. ClubCard/Air Miles please? We will just have to see how the story goes.
It is already written.
As with many things Alfonz and I start, it always sorts itself out in the end. Sprinkle in a little ‘Hamori Luck’ and there you have it, voila!
If not our ten-month sabbatical will look a lot different than Budapest for two months renovating our apartment; putting in a new kitchen, lofting the bedroom, and putting new flooring down. A restoration we have been waiting three years to start. Once completed, we plan to leave it behind to search around Europe for the dream, but mainly France looking for a rental property to buy and renovate to a B&B.
In fact plan B is almost more exciting. With ten months non-stop travel in a diesel VW multivan, from country to country, learning and absorbing as we go, seems far more fun. Travelers along the way might point us in a direction and we change can change course on the turn of a dime.
Plan B top picks: The Black Forest in Germany, Venice’s canals in Italy, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, the Barcelona Cathedral in Spain and the Islands of Greece. I want to visit a friend in Portugal I haven’t seen since before I got married, visit by beautiful cousin in London, and Alfonz has friends in Switzerland. http://www.europe-camping-guide.com/
Camping in Europe is much different than a tent in the boonies with the fear of bear on your heels. Nope, not even close! It’s civilized with restaurants, swimming pools and markets all enclosed, and kid friendly living.
Some places even have apartments to rent out on the same grounds if family wants to join and doesn’t have a camper. It is Europe’s family fun, their almost mandatory pass time.
Although the multi coloured VW van in the photo below is pretty cool, and I would like to think in my head I could roll with the punches in that make and model, but our van is a smoother ride with a few conveniences of the modern world and probably more my conservative style. Some things are better not left to fate, like mechanics along the way.
Whichever plan plays out, I know Alfonz and I will make the most of our time travelling around Europe or starting a new life. Let fate decide. Will the business sell in time to make our dreams come true or will we hire a manager to take care of our business while we take a sabbatical and show the kids the world?
Either way, life is getting better and better…