Updated: Feb 4, 2022
"In hindsight, we should have waited." This is a sentence that I've muttered on more than one occasion over the past 2 years. I'll give a few examples of such times - When we reached the airport after a 3 day road trip to get there with 3 suitcases and 3 small children only to be told at the check-in desk that "You can't fly today or any day, Europe is closed to all US Residents indefinitely" or "We are not doing any in person house viewings only virtual" or "You can't visit your children's new school here is a brochure instead" the list of eye rolling moments went on and on.
Hindsight is indeed a wonderful thing but then so is acknowledging how you dealt with those moments and pausing to appreciate just how far you have come. We did make it to Europe that day after a tense stand off with airline staff. We had our pile of paperwork and they had their newly printed file of travel restrictions/instructions. Between us all we found a caveat that indeed gave us permission to fly. I still remember the feeling of sheer relief when we left the tarmac.
I'm going to jump forward to today, we have recently celebrated the first anniversary in our house. Our children are all settled in their respective schools and creche. Friendships have been made and support networks are ever evolving. Did we envisage spending our first year predominantly alone in Luxembourg, no. Did we make the best of it, yes. All birthdays, holidays and special milestones were celebrated with extra attention to detail. In hindsight I definitely over compensated for the lack of family and friends around us with extravagant pinatas and decorations!
There is light is at the end of the tunnel and the world gradually feels optimistic again as planning to travel becomes less fraught. So here is to the adventures we will all be having in 2022. I am still very much winging it every day with my tween, toddler and one in-between but could not be any prouder of how they have handled relocating during a pandemic.
Layla (11) recently said "One day I will be asked to write an essay about all this when I am at university." I only hope that alongside all the inevitable negative aspects she will also recall all the moments of togetherness, happiness and fun we had.