Competing passions… travel vs home!

Choosing between two loves!

It is always harder making a decision when both options come with a long list of positives! I have always dreamed of travelling and as my children grew, that dreamed extended to sharing the world with them too. But as I planned our travels I knew it would mean leaving behind many wonderful parts of life as well.

I remember the day last January when I first thought about pulling the kids from their traditional school system and travelling for a year.


It was snowing again… it was extremely cold … Kaelee was fighting me about going to school again… I was filling the SUV with gas again in anticipation of another full afternoon of school pickups, dance class & hockey drop-offs and somewhere in the middle of that, making sure the kids were fed and all the other minutia of daily mom life was taken care of… and my husband was in Victoria, BC on one of his many business trips. I sent him a text suggesting this crazy idea…. and he didn’t say no.

He did question if it was something we could legitimately afford however, and I started thinking about it. Our current budget needs included gas in the vehicle each week (extensive considering I spent 3-4 hours a day driving the kids to and from school and activities), private school for Tim, dance classes, hockey fees and activities for all of us (skyzone, swimming, movies, theatre, etc…)…. plus, I knew there would be other reduced expenses such as hydro, cable, etc… I knew the numbers would not quite cross each other out, but I convinced Peter it would be close enough to make it worth it.

I started planning and researching…. what was needed to homeschool the kids (submit notice to the school board and find ways to make sure the kids received proper instruction for their grade level), where would our travels take us and what should our travel dates be (I decided on Europe for the fall and chose our path based on average temperatures in the mid-teens… celsius… to make packing easier…. and then if the fall went successfully (translation – we all survived), I planned to head to New Zealand, then Australia and SE Asia in the spring.)

What I did not immediately take into account was all we’d leave behind. I knew the kids would miss their friends, but I didn’t realize how much I’d miss the life we’d created in Ottawa. The amazing friendships and the resulting support of those friendships…. our hockey family who wished us well while reminding us more than once we’d be welcomed back with open arms on our return…. the dance family who was excited about our adventures but sad to lose us from the program…. the many parents of my children’s friends who I had also formed close friendships with…. and lastly and probably the hardest for me personally, my theatre community – both as a performer onstage, and an audience member watching all the amazing talent available almost weekly throughout the area.

As our plans solidified I was just completing my first show with Suzart, along with my son Tim and realizing I would have to say goodbye to a brand new theatre family I had come to love.


As both Suzart posted their season schedule which included Annie…


and Orpheus posted their season which included Grease & Mama Mia ….


I was quite torn knowing that my passion to travel would take me away from my passion for performing. And now, after just a couple of weeks away I have already missed seeing two of the most talented actors I know directed by an all-star team – “Tick, Tick Boom” by Orpheus….


and missed the world premiere of “Mother’s & Daughter’s” at The Gladstone written by a dear friend and the opening show at the GCTC along with their invited Chefs and Shows series.


And I know there will be many more shows to come I will miss seeing.

But instead…. we have visited two UNESCO sites- Pingvellir National Park in Iceland & Suomenlinna in Helsinki…. we’ve attended gorgeous musical performances at HARPA Concert Hall in Reykeyvik Iceland and Stockholm Concert Hall in Sweden….we’ve relaxed in the geothermal waters at the Blue Lagoon,


witnessed a geyser, saw the Northern Lights, floated on a fjord in Oslo, walked the steps of Nobel Peace Prize recipients, stood in the halls of a royal palace, learned history & science thru several museum tours and sang karaoke along with a holographic ABBA…. not to mention navigating several flights, ferries & boats, rental cars, trains & buses.. and several airbnb’s with 3 children and a bit too much baggage!


And this adventure has just begun…. so, many broken legs to all my theatre friends…. zero broken bones to our dance & hockey families…. and until the next time…. we are the Milsom Family… making memories!

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