My week in Canterbury was one of the most unique and special trips I’ve ever been on. I don’t think that I’d spent so much uninterrupted ‘grandparent time’ since I was a kid, and as a kid I rarely saw the adults being anything other than a caretaker/entertainer for me.Having this one-on-one time was really the best, because we were able to explore Canterbury through each other’s eyes, and there’s no more enjoyable way to connect with someone than by exploring a shared interest. My Nana Ev has now taken 3 winterly sojourns to this beautiful town, in a beautiful apartment. It goes without saying, this place and this experience are meaningful for her, and I can certainly see why. The youthfulness of the energy in Canterbury, combined with the freedom of living in a truly walkable city is a perfect reflection of the life she lives. For those of you who don’t know my Nana Ev, she is truly on fire with regards to living life. She’s one of the busiest, strongest, and most independent women that I’ve ever known. Visiting her in this special place, taking the time to connect about our family and our lives, taught me so much about much grandmother and my grandfather and who they are as people. It was a really special glimpse into who I might become one day, and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to make this trip.
Our time in Portugal has given Kevin a similar opportunity to reconnect with his grandmothers, both of whom retired to the Algarve after years of working in Toronto. Similar to me, Kevin spent a lot of time with his grandparents growing up, but as he went away to school, began his career, etc, those opportunities for grandparent-ly connections became less and less frequent. Now, we live with one of his grandmothers and regularly visit the other. While the suffering of Kevin’s dental injury is very real, he recognizes and appreciates this unique trip and the time he’s been able to spend with his grandmothers, exploring his family history and his own connection to the Algarve.
He’ll be on here once in a while with his own posts about our experiences here in the Algarve, but it’s safe to say that we’re both feeling incredibly lucky to spend so much long, uninterrupted time with the people that we love. If you take anything away from this blog post, it’s that time with family is important. Life can be crazy busy, but I promise you that it’s worth it to take the time to connect with your grandparents. I know that I’m already looking very forward to the next time I can get back to Canada and see mine!