On September 7, 2015, my whole life changed…but it took me almost 3 1/2 years to truly see and experience the effects of that fateful day.
September 7, 2015, started like most Labour Day Holiday Monday’s – thinking about going back to work and back to school after a fun summer. At about 3:45pm, my then 6 year old son and I got on our bikes to ride to the ice cream shop about 2km’s away. We made it less than 2 blocks from our house – the last thing I remember was telling my son (who was behind me on his bike) that I would wait for him on the next corner…
The next thing I remember was my (now ex) boyfriend on the phone to 911 calling an ambulance. I remember the searing pain in my shoulder and thinking, oh it’s dislocated. I remember asking Kevin to pull on my arm to re-locate my shoulder so I could get back on my bike and get my ice cream…I remember my son Toby’s worried face coming into view and telling me I was going to be OK and as he tried to hug my broken body, I remember wanting that so much while at the same time screaming in my head at the pain.
I remember the EMT’s trying to get me to lay flat on my back and I remember refusing to come out of the fetal position. In the end, I was put into a neck brace and transported in the fetal position. I don’t remember arriving at the hospital. I don’t remember xrays, CAT scans, MRI’s, IV being inserted, Oxygen being administered…I have no memory of any of that but it all happened.
I vaguely remember the doctor coming in to list off the injuries…that I do remember;
Concussion and bleeding on the brain, bleeding out one ear, fractured vertebrae in the neck and the thorasic spine, 3 broken ribs, a punctured and collapsed lung, a separated and dislocated shoulder, and some minor abrasions.
I spent 3 days in the ICU with the doctors pumping me full of all sorts to try to stop the bleeding in my brain and chest cavity. I then spent an additional 11 days in hospital.
I made it home the day before my son’s 7th birthday…I had missed my son’s first day of 2nd grade. I wasn’t going to miss his birthday and party!!! And I didn’t miss it – but truly I did…I was unable to participate and the whole day took everything I had to remain conscious.
I was back to work before I even left the hospital – yup that’s right, being self employed and being a single mom with no other source of income, I had work brought into me at the hospital!!! How insane is that???
Prior to the accident I worked 6 to 8 hours a day, 4 or 5 days per week. Post accident, I was no longer capable of multitasking, I got lost in the simple tasks, I found myself struggling to read or retain anything new…I was on auto pilot and falling behind at work.
I progressed to 12-14 hours a day 5 and mostly 6 days per week…
Three years after the accident I woke up – in a big way…I went from being on auto pilot to being awake – to realizing I’d missed 3 years of my son’s life in order to work at a job that used to take me half the time. I finally realized that I would not get back what I had lost – my brain would never again function as it once had…I mourned for a period of time – deep mourning and even today, I still have pangs of depression as I think of who Marnie used to be…
But after several months of feeling very sorry for myself, I had another turn – I decided it was time to take life by the reins and start living on MY terms…
That was the start of my World-schooling journey…
I spent 6 months closing my business of 8 years, I moved into the basement apartment in my home and rented out the upper part of the house…I applied to home school Toby, I met Lainie Libertie and had several Skype meet-ups and encouragement sessions with her and on October 1, 2019, my son and I left Canada for a 9 month travel adventure…How would I pay for all of this? I didn’t know but I knew it was the right thing to do.
At the time of our departure we had booked 1 month in Granada Spain (which included meeting Lainie in person at her semi annual Summit), 10 days in Athens and a 2 week tour of Egypt with a world-schooling association. Nothing further was planned.
By the end of the Summit in Granada, Toby had made many new friends from all over the world and I too had made new connections and new friends. When we left Granada, we had an invitation to spend Christmas in Denmark with some of our new friends…over the next weeks, more friends from Australia were also invited to the Christmas celebrations in Denmark.
Toby and I travelled to Budapest, Prague, Bratislava (we were able to stay with some of our new friends here too) and Denmark.
On December 31st, our Schengen visas were about to expire so we set off for Thailand. By this time I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the travel and everything new so Toby and I opted to do “quiet” Thailand rather than the big cities of Bangkok and Chaing Mai…we headed to Koh Lanta. Again through the wonders of Facebook groups, we met up with other amazing world schooling families on Koh Lanta.
After a month on Koh Lanta we set our sights on Vietnam…but by this time, Covid 19 was spreading into Asia…we cut our trip to Vietnam short and headed back towards the west with a few stops along the way…We ended up in India.
Due to the rate of the spread at that time, we were confident we’d have 2 months to tour India…we were so wrong…1 month into our epic India tour, Justin Trudeau made the call for all Canadians to get home.
On March 14, Toby and I boarded one of the last commercial flights out of India and headed to London, UK. Due to the cost of tickets, and due to my limited bank balance, the only flight I could get back to Canada was 10 days into the future. After 3 days in London, it was pretty obvious that in 10 days, all flights around the world could be grounded…
Toby and I headed to the airport 6 days before our scheduled flight and we asked to be put on an earlier flight…we got lucky…8 hours later, we landed on Canadian soil.
This was our first foray into semi-full-time travel…(semi full time as our intention is to be in Canada from June to October each year). Will we return to semi-full-time travel again after Covid? ABSOLUTELY!!! Will we do things differently? YES – but as a result of Covid? No.
When Toby and I return to travel, one of the biggest lessons we learned was to go slow. In hindsight, I realize we travelled too quickly, missed too much, didn’t have the opportunity to truly absorb the culture of each destination…Toby who is now on the cusp of his 12th birthday agrees…1 month is the minimum we will stay in each locale when we head back out in October 2020…
Do we have a destination in mind yet…not yet but anywhere we choose there must be a beach, a vibrant history and museums…
How did I pay for all of this? That is the most common question that most World Schoolers get asked…my first 6 months on the road were savings. But while on the road, I met amazing people who’ve helped me to find myself and start my new dream business working as a psychic, intuitive counsellor, hypnotherapist, past life regressionist and Oracle card reader. My website is active and my son and I will be ready to hit the road again as the cool fall winds blow into Ontario…
We will one day return to some of our earlier destinations too in order to truly experience each culture, absorb more of the language, eat more interesting foods and of course, to meet more amazing people! But this fall, we will explore a new continent and new destinations.
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