A brand new month and a brand new set of adventures for this vagabon family. The definition of vagabon as a noun is: a person who wanders from place to place without a job or a home. As an adjective it is: having no settled home.
Both definitions felt a little too close for comfort this past week. While we have a home here, the unsettled state of our home in Canada has left us feeling quite unstable.
But the collective outpouring of support and care from our friends, family and community have left us feeling amazing. And that much love and positive energy being sent our way was bound to have an effect, and boy did we ever feel it! Good things began happening around us this weekend and we knew that there were angels watching over us.
While the situation with our house is still a source of stress, we received news here that has allowed us to exhale. Yesterday Manolo signed a contract for a really great job here. His early experience with work in Switzerland had been far from ideal and wasn’t sustainable. He has spent every day for the past two months pounding the pavement, seeking a better job. Putting yourself out there over and over again is tough. He had lots of call backs but always the lack of German skills stood in his way of landing something.
All of that changed this weekend. He starts this Tuesday as the full time mechanic at a very popular e-bike shop which has stores in both Winterthur and Zurich. He’ll spend his time between both locations which is great. It means our experience with the Swiss welfare system was merely exploratory, thank goodness! But wow, was that exploration ever interesting. There is an amazing support system here and had we needed to, we could have accessed fantastic supports which would have really helped.
We believe our dud-tenants are preparing to move out. The offers of help from our friends and family back home have been fantastic but thankfully we haven’t needed to call on our connections to big, burly men. For now, anyhow. The task of lining up future renters is still daunting but we have amazing friends willing to help. And truly, that is the best help we can ask for, helping us to find a suitable family as our next tenants.
The uncertainty of these past days has given us lots to ponder. We have been living very minimally since arriving here, knowing that until work was secured, we had to be very careful with our spending. We have always found exactly enough to meet our needs. Just Wednesday we found another piece of furniture we needed out on the sidewalk for the taking. It seems that our needs, while simple, are always being met. We certainly aren’t trail blazers on this theory but it has been so great to live out the truth that simplifying your needs really does bring you closer to happiness.
I found a new trail sign recently that I like so much more than the vague and completely unhelpful Wanderweg sign. “Erlebnisweg” means adventure. Still, these signs don’t tell me where the heck they lead but at least it is the promise of something new and exciting. Gives you a better sense of what you’re getting yourself into. Erlebnisweg is the theme of this year; uncertainty abounds but it promises to be an adventure.
So, while our current path is still a bit uncertain, we are at least committed to the adventure it promises. As long as we continue to focus on our family and keep our needs simple, we will find abundant joy.
So as we roll into the end of our third full month here we leave behind some of the uncertainty that has shaped our days. Instead we have cautious optimism for what the days ahead hold. This month sees our first visitors from home. (Insert major glee and excitement here.) Thankfully my mom and sister can now look forward to a visit where hot dogs aren’t the only offering on the menu.
Thank you to everyone who expressed their support and offers of help. It truly warmed our hearts and made a few scary days feel anything but lonely. We are surrounded by the best friends, family and community ever which adds up to an incredible bounty of riches.