Earlier this week, after a long day of travel returning from our trip to Stockholm, I sat down in my apartment and realized that our lives here in Montpellier are changing. Seemingly overnight, the brutally hot summer days have been replaced with crisp morning air and fall leaves. The bins in the fresh markets that once held peaches and almonds are now filled with chestnuts and squashes. The throngs of French vacationers have retreated north and the small crowds of Montpellieriáns march across the cobblestones with purpose in their winter boots and scarves. A new season has arrived.
Most importantly, today Stéphanie and Simon move back to Montreal. Meeting them made the transition to life in a new country so much easier, and I’m not sure what we will do without our best friends here to join us on weekend getaways or to call over for a late night drink on the terrace (not to mention, who the heck is going to be our translator?) but something tells me we’re about to experience life here in a whole new way.
Right now I feel like this next chapter in The Story of Our Lives in France is uncertain, but in a good way. I’m not sure what to expect from the winter weather (will it be really cold? will it rain all the time?) but I know it can’t be as bad as what they’ll experience up north. We’ve done so much traveling recently to other countries and now that we have a car (did I mention we bought a car?) I’m looking forward to exploring some of the areas closer to Montpellier. Michael is wrapping up his first project and getting ready to start on his second in a few months, which begs the question, what is our next step? How long will we be here? How long do we want to be here? Technically our contract ends a year from now, but do we want to stay longer? Where will we go next? It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to start asking ourselves those questions, but the reality is, it is. Another year doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to experience this life here, but will we feel differently later? We don’t know.
What we do know is that we’re starting to feel comfortable. Content. The pace of life, the food, the travel, we love it. Everyday we’re learning more. One more phrase is committed to memory. One more restaurant is discovered. One more city to visit is added to our list. We have a lot left to do, see and discover here, and I can’t wait to see what this next season brings.