Goodbyes are the worst.
I know, it’s not a very original sentiment….pretty much everyone agrees. I’ve had to do a lot of goodbyes in the past few years. I left my friends and family in Canada to live in Switzerland, and we say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ to one another several times a year. In fact, I’ve become quite proficient at it. My general strategy is to avoid saying it altogether- I accomplish this by leaping out of the car at the airport terminal, luggage in hand.
I also made many friends in the expat community here in Switzerland, and inevitably one or more of them will head to a new and exciting location sometime during the year. In some ways it’s difficult, but in other ways it’s been wonderful. Just last year we visited friends that we’d made here in Iceland, California, and Texas! Not bad at all.
This was a week full of goodbyes. It was my last week of work as an English teacher, so I had lots of students to say goodbye to. They were all so wonderful; I received the most lovely cards, chocolates, and other gifts from them. It was so touching! A group of my students even took me out for a drink and some snacks in between classes….now THAT is the advantage of teaching adults instead of children. Give me Aperol & bruschetta over apples any day!
Then it was time to say goodbye to my dog-walking expat friends. It’s way too complicated to explain how I originally became a part of this group, but I meet up with a group of moms and dads from the international school in my village (Haut Lac) and we walk our dogs together almost every school day. Rain or shine, you can find any number of us there every morning at 8am.
We come from all over: Poland, Scotland, England, Argentina, France, the United States, and of course Canada. Every Friday we try and do something a little more intense than our usual wander through the fields, either hiking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. Being March, both those options were out of the question, so we went for a long walk through the vineyards and then to my friend Magda’s home for coffee and treats. I will miss these wonderful friends so much!
After the walk we enjoyed some Champagne and treats from our local boulangerie. The ladies all chipped in and got me some lovely gifts, included this excellent box of cards that detail a number of different walks around Paris. I can’t wait to use them and go exploring!!
And last (but DEFINITELY not least), this was the week we had to say goodbye to Marc’s family. He has a relatively small family- it’s comprised of his mother and two brothers, one older than him and one younger. His older brother is married and has three kids: Kyle, Ellie and Charlotte. They are wonderful, great fun, and at the age where it makes it extra sad to leave….they change so much and so quickly! I’m sorry that I’ll be missing so many adventures with them.
I also have to give a huge shout-out to my wonderful friends and neighbours: Tony, Fiona and Lisa- who have welcomed me into their homes and lent me their cars, time and energy for moving week. You are all the best!!
There are so many wonderful people in my life here, and of course- the countryside is rather nice as well! I’ll miss life here a lot, but I am so excited for all the adventures that await myself, Marc, and Murphy in Paris!
The French have it right….instead of ‘goodbye’, which has such a sense of finality; they say au revoir, literally…. ‘until I see you again!’
On that note, we will end for today. My train is booked for early tomorrow morning.
So, au revoir Switzerland! Et à bientôt!
PS. I’ll leave you with this excellent picture of Murphy, who decided he’s sick and tired of always being the passenger and would really like to give driving a try….