Wheels Down

This post is a follow-up to my previous post,  The Big Move 

Wheels down and suitcases unpacked, I’m overjoyed to be in France.  Though our hearts and minds are with loved ones and friends in Hong Kong, during this tumultuous time, we were thankful that protestors were dissuaded from occupying the airport on the weekend we flew out.  The typhoon that was forecasted to cause problems on that day also died down.

My husband and I survived our long-haul flight and our puddle jumper too.   I’m pleased to report there were no crying babies on the two plane rides, only a bit of turbulence and one lost bag that was found a few days later.  Running through the airport in Zurich wasn’t fun, but we made our second flight before they shut the door.  Arriving safely in Barcelona, we took a fascinating train trip to Perpignan, France.

Unpacking was easy as I had painfully pared down my belongings before leaving Hong Kong. I’m glad I did.  Now, I barely remember what I thought I needed.  I kept a few things that made me happy when emptying my suitcase though.  I look forward to jumping in and getting to know the people and my surroundings.


Downtown Perpignan!


“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

I am again reminded that the details of every day have a way of working out when you boil them down to simply doing the next thing.  It’s amazing how everything comes together in the end.  I like routine, so I look forward to creating familiar in this new place.  I’m already partway there.  So far, I know where to shop and how to get around within the bus system.  A small yet significant adjustment was when I approached a crosswalk and the cars … stopped.  Wow!  I was surprised they actually stopped for me.  It’s great!

Most everyone here has been friendly with an easy “Bonjour” and “Merci.”  Even in a country where the language floating around you is not your own, you can communicate.  It takes more effort, of course, more hand motions, facial expressions, and the wonderful world of Google Translator, but it’s possible in the end. Just make sure you don’t simply say the English word … louder … and … slower.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”  (Confucius)

Language mishaps provide hysterical stories for later-on.  Several years ago, when I lived in Mainland China, I ordered two “buts” instead of two “beers” in Chinese.  Not knowing right away what I said was wrong, and with everyone at the table laughing, I declared in confusion, “What?!”  My family and I still laugh about that to this day.  So, if you are traveling someplace that you’ll stay for a while, it’s best to learn the language or at least enough of it to get around.  You’re never too old and it’s good for the brain anyway.  I’m nearly sixty and am enjoying learning French, though it’s a challenge.  Language learning is not as easy as it once was, but it’s also not impossible.

“The gladdest moment in human life is a departure into unknown lands.”  (Sir Richard Burton)


IMG_0610 (1)
A view from our window at dusk, in our temporary accommodation!


So, I’ll put down a few roots in this new soil, learn the language, look for ways to make friends, see what I can do, and create home. My encouragement to you, who want to step outside your comfort zone into the unknown, is to (as my son would say) simply know where you’re going and how to get there … and just make the move!


“Travel isn’t always pretty.  It isn’t always comfortable.  Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart.  But that’s OK.  The journey changes you; it should change you.  It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body.  You take something with you.  Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” (Anthony Bourdain)

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Prior... says:

    this was such a powerful post – first because your writing is so smooth – and that is nice to read – and the content was inspiring –
    glad you had smooth plane ride (no loud babies is truly a big deal0 and that your lost bag was found. also – congrats on pairing down – I di note the word painful.

    and Brenda – I just drafted a post about grit and would like to use a quote from you for the end of the post – would that be cool?


    1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging comments. You made my day. And, you may certainly use anything from the post for your own. Have a lovely week! =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Prior... says:

        well thank you!!
        – and it is spooky cool how what you wrote was in sync with what I was trying to convey in my fiction for the them grit
        – there were a few things that tugged at me – and this is what I used:

        “I am again reminded that the details of every day have a way of working out when you boil them down to simply doing the next thing.

        It’s amazing how everything comes together in the end.”


  2. Create Space says:

    Beautiful story Brenda, I’m glad you arrived safely. Perpignan has been on my bucket list since I saw a tv programme helping a couple buy a holiday home there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marie! From what I’ve seen so far, it is lovely and I look forward to exploring more. Hope you can visit!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Create Space says:

        Definitely, just hope you turn up in my reader, have missed you not being there.


  3. Sheree says:

    Brenda, have s fab time in Perpignan. There’s lots to see and do. I shall enjoy reading about your holiday. Bon Séjour


    1. Thank you, Sheree. We have moved to Perpignan for one year, maybe two, we certainly have time for a good look around. Excited!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sheree says:

        Fantastic! You’re going to love it 😍

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ann Coleman says:

    I’m so glad you arrived safely! And I’m looking forward to reading more about your new home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ann! With very little internet at my temporary resident, I’ll probably be out of the blog-world for the month of September. I look forward to catching up on your posts when I have it again. Take care!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. JT Twissel says:

    I hope your year in France is a good one. Remember – they don’t always stop for you at the corner – particularly in the big cities!


    1. I’ll keep that in mind! =) I’m sorry for not responding until now but we don’t have very much internet access at our temporary residence. I’ll probably stay “unplugged” for the rest of September until we get better access. I look forward to exploring Perpignan more. Today, my husband and I walked my feet sore around the historical city center. Take care and thanks so much for your good wishes!!


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