Imagine this: Europe has been your stage and setting for four years, and you’re now on the very last leg of this transient phase — one more delicious season to see the continent. Where do you go? What do you do? How graceful can you make your exit?

When we moved from Canada to France in 2012, I was grappling with different losses and expectations than I am today, here in our Belgian abode. Yesterday’s road trips into the quiet mountains have given way to weekend jaunts into bright and curious cities, and I’ve deeply enjoyed each stage of the adventure.

Now I’m feeling the crunch. The clock keeps tick-tick-ticking away, my wanderlust stoked and glowing, my to-do list still trailing on the ground. On the bright side, you can pack an awful lot into half a year or so, especially with some newfound clarity and sense of urgency.

The final phase of a long journey is an opportunity to revisit favourite elements, seize last chances, and exercise your insight and appreciation for the abundant experience. Here’s an account of my best efforts to create a conclusion worth remembering, before we take our life back to Canada and a new beginning.


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