There have been many lessons learned over the last 5 months while living in Colorado...but that is a blog post on its own! I want to share with you how it all came about.
How did we make the big decision to move to Colorado?...let's start in the beginning! Vail Resorts acquired WhistlerBlackcomb in the fall of 2016, which was a significant event for the community of Whistler. We had friends that found out their job would be gone at the end of the season, we had friends who found out their job would look very different over the next few months and ended up leaving and then there was us...Tim's job was staying very much the same but there could be some amazing opportunities if we were willing to leave. LEAVE?!?!?!? The place that we had made our home over the last 10 years, our friends who were like family, my job and our house?!?! As you can imagine there was a lot of talking, tears and list making. We spent many evenings contemplating the pros and cons. in the spring a job became available so Tim applied. The time from when Tim applied to when he accepted the job was almost 4 months...so we had A LOT of time to think. It all came down to one thought that came up over and over again... Would we regret not taking this opportunity? If in 10 years, 5 years or even 2 years would we look back on the chance we had and regret that we didn't take it? The answer was always yes for both of us. Big life decisions are never easy but we both felt confident knowing we were both on the same page and we wanted to make this move together.
The next steps involved copious amounts of paper work. I have often thought that I could now write a how to guide on moving to the US. At times it was overwhelming...were we really going to give all this info to the US government? We were very fortunate to have a relocation agent help us and direct us as to what need to be done. As the time drew closer I found myself wanting to make sure we got together with everyone before we left. We were overwhelmed by the amount of support from our West Coast friends. These people had been our family for the past 11 years, and it made leaving a little easier knowing they were excited for us and our adventure.
When moving day arrived I was a ball of emotion, three lovely ladies arrived and packed up our whole house in 4 hours. I mean the WHOLE house...at one point I had to ask what happened to the toilet paper :) This is what sitting in first class must be like. It was one less stress we had to deal with and now knowing the burden it lifted, I will want that help the next time we move. The following day three men arrived and packed everything in to a truck and we tearfully waved goodbye to our house. The mix of emotions was incredible, it is hard to express the feelings of sadness, fear and excitement altogether.
One of the hardest things was how to explain to Ben what was happening. At 4 years old he is very observant but not always able to understand intangible things. When we had first talked to him about it we explained that we would be going on an adventure. He was very excited about this so that is how it has always been, our adventure in Colorado. We are still talking about this adventure we are on and he still very much knows what we have left in British Columbia but he is lucky to have friends who we can FaceTime with and who have become our pen pals. When I reflect on this I am grateful for the lessons that he is learning about resilience, going outside his comfort zone and different people and places in the World. Every night before bed we tell each other one way we have been brave and one thing we were grateful for that day. He makes my heart full every night, he always has something that he is grateful for and more often than not he has been brave that day. It helps remind me that it is not only Tim and I who are growing from this experience but our kids are too.
The adventure of driving to Colorado was one for the books. We knew that crossing the border was going to be a process but we were not prepared for the 5 hour wait! When we finally managed to get our Visa's secured we felt like the woman in the Ikea commercial "Start the car!". When we finally reached our destination for the night we found an amazing hotel in Richland, WA, in wine country...too bad it was 8pm and we had two kids with us! So we ordered pizza and ate it in the hall while the kids were asleep :) The next day took us through some very beautiful parts of the US. It was a long day of driving but we made it to Salt Lake City..again at 8pm and with two very tired kids. So again we ordered pizza but this time ate in the bathroom! Our final day was a much shorter day and the kids and I were finally going to see our new house for the first time. When we arrived I was overwhelmed with a sense of calm...we were going to be able to make this house our home. I knew it would take time but it felt like a space that would help ease the transition into our new life.
Taking risks and making changes can be scary but change inspires growth and I am grateful for the growth we have experienced through this change. It has not always been an easy transition; there have been tears, feelings of being overwhelmed and nervousness but we are stronger because of this and are learning about ourselves as individuals and as a family.