One year ago, I left my charming little home in beautiful British Columbia to embark on the grand adventure that is living and working in England and traveling Europe. It seems natural to do a little reflecting.

It’s funny because I only lived in that house (pictured above) for three weeks before moving to England. And those three weeks are a little foggy, to say the least – I was recovering from having all four wisdom teeth removed, working, unpacking and re packing, sleeping on a mattress in the TV room, and trying to somehow say goodbye to my life in Canada. That’s ok though, life is what it is, and sometimes it’s a little foggy. What’s funny about it, though, is that I look at that picture (snapped hastily before climbing in the car and being whisked away to the airport) and it very much seems like home to me. Which is where the old clich√© comes in that I am now realizing is one hundred percent true: home is where the heart is.

In the weeks leading up to my departure, I tried my very best to prepare myself – mentally, physically, emotionally – for leaving home for two years. Two years. That’s a long time. And I realized I couldn’t. I couldn’t possibly prepare myself for that. How do you say goodbye to your family, your friends, your church, your city? How do you say goodbye to the smells, the sounds, the feelings of familiarity and comfort? How do you say goodbye to the mountains and the forests and the sidewalks? All the while hoping you know what the future holds, but not really knowing at all. The thing is, you can’t. Because that would be like saying goodbye to your heart, and how do you say goodbye to your heart?

So, needless to say, on this one year anniversary of living in (truly) Great Britain, I am missing home. But I am simultaneously filled with gratitude and awe and joy as I look back on my time here so far. It has been a whirlwind of adventure. I feel as if I have enough memories to last me a life time, and yet they keep piling up (and may they never stop). I have seen so many places, met so many people, taken so many pictures, and felt myself change and grow all along the way. It has been a year of great significance in my life. As I look back on it, it’s hard to believe that it’s all real. I’ve dreamed of this all my life, and to see it unfolding before my very eyes is surreal, to say the least. And it is a great gift.

I have a life here, in England, now. One that I love very, very much. And that means that, when it comes time to leave this great country, I will simultaneously be going home and leaving home. Although this feels like a great burden (one that I’m not quite ready to accept), I consider it to be a great blessing as well. Because it means that my time here has been good and fruitful and meaningful. Praise the Lord for that!

So, I wish myself and my partner in crime, Heather, a very happy one-year-United-Kingdom-anniversary. It’s so very bittersweet to know we are halfway.

Love & blessings.