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  • Writer's pictureElana

Labour Day Reflections

Over labour day weekend, Navin and I went on a last-minute trip to Kelowna in British Columbia. (Yes, I still spell labour with a ‘u’ like a proper Canadian.)

We decided to use some points and take a short flight to visit the beautiful place that, as Navin kept telling me, he wanted to retire someday. I had never been to interior BC so I was all for an adventure to see lakes, mountains, wineries, and the Okanagan valley.

Our flight was only 1 hour, so our plane never went very high, meaning we had an amazing view the whole time. At one point during our flight I was reading a magazine and Navin exclaimed that he didn’t understand how I could read rather than look out the window at all the beauty that surrounded us. It’s no exaggeration… look:

When we arrived in Kelowna, even though it was a place I’d never been to, just going through customs into Canada felt a bit like home. The Queen was even there at the airport to greet us.

Once we picked up our car and settled into our hotel, we spontaneously popped into a grocery store to pick up some drinks for our mini fridge, and ended up buying an unhealthy amount of ‘Canadian’ foods that we missed: ketchup chips as well as Crispy Crunch, Aero, Caramilk and Coffee Crisp chocolate bars (or “candy bars” for my American friends). We opted out of the restaurants and headed to Tim Horton’s for breakfast in the mornings. And we noticed Canadian-isms that we never would have picked up on if we weren’t living in the US for the past 3.5 years. Words like “about” and “sorry” out of the locals’ mouths made us giggle. Even the city bus said “Sorry, Out of Service”. So polite!

We visited several wineries and tasted some really yummy – and also some kind of yucky – wines. And we explored the scenery at the vineyards and then took a tour before grabbing dinner at one of the prettiest wineries I’ve ever seen (and I lived in France for 4 months) called Mission Hill.

Quite the view at dinner that night…

One morning, we decided to drive out to a place called Peachland. Not because we knew anything about it, but because I spotted it on the map and I’m obsessed with fruit trees so I needed to see what this town was about. It was very cute… we didn’t see any peach trees there, but we did visit a lovely outdoor market and bought and ate some of the most enormous and delicious peaches I’ve ever eaten.

While we shared our one peach between the two of us, because it was so juicy and enormous, we sat on a bench and soaked in the view of the mountains and Lake Okanagan. It’s such a peaceful place. I can totally understand why a younger Navin, 10 years ago, decided he wanted to retire there.

Sitting there on that bench, we talked about him, me, us, the future… and we talked about how I know that in this change of course in my life, I’ve chosen a path that may very well lead to a lot less money than the one I was on before. So retiring early and realizing Navin’s dream of moving to Kelowna might be further away. But… retirement literally means: to stop working. And what if I love what I am doing so much that I don’t want to stop when I’m 60 or 65? What if the whole concept of retirement isn’t really necessary for me along my new path in life? What if instead of sprinting so that I can sit down, I just jog the whole way. Something to think about… At the very least, I am no longer okay with the idea of being miserable and churning along, just waiting for that light at the end of the tunnel in 30+ years. I love that I’m doing what I love to do. And even if what I’m doing changes over time, I hope this feeling stays with me and I still love whatever it is that I am doing later.

Because I know you were on your edge of your seat wondering if we got to see my beloved fruit trees even though we didn’t see peach trees in Peachland…we did. A lot of them. There were apple orchards all over the place, but we also spotted a pear tree or two and visited an orchard on our last day where the farmer had over 60 varieties of fruit trees. Maybe one day I’ll have a fruit tree growing in my own backyard and then I can do the labour I love like make jam or ice cream or pie with my own fruit. Double happy!

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