One Year

It feels like yesterday, really, but I am in Canada for a year now. I still remember that Tuesday evening on November 8 when I finally packed all bags, hugged my grandpa (my parents and brother were there earlier) and went out to catch a van that will bring me to Budapest airport. And I still remember northern Serbia and how night was cold and dark. And all the thoughts that were going through my head…

And here I am, a year later, with a lot of it behind me – new people, new places, new life. It went fast, for sure, there were a lot of things to do, to settle in a new country, new circumstances, to find my own way in a situation I have never been before. But I am happy, even though sometimes it felt like some things will never change. But with San and a lot of help from her, I managed to get BC driving license, find a work, find students and establish a Battodo dojo in Vancouver, even become a member of a local library πŸ˜› Actually that was probably a first thing we did. I had a lot of time and needed something to get my brain busy besides sitting by computer πŸ˜€

Then summer came just like that and we spent almost every weekend camping and hiking. Mostly thanks to really nice weather we had here with a little or almost no rain at all. All my readers here in Opera already know about most of the places we hiked, but I wanted to summarize all of them. So I've found a map of British Columbia and placed a red dot on every place we went in last year. Here it is:

However, if you compare this area with a rest of a province, you will see how little we've seen so far (red rectangle shows area on previous map). This is a regional map, so everything colored except in white is British Columbia.

Some of my friends asked me how I felt when I realized I am leaving forever the place I was living in. I told them that I didn't hesitate, not for a single moment. I knew what I wanted and it was clear in my mind. Sometimes people got stuck between desires and lack of courage to change their lives.

Few months ago we were watching a documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Jiro Ono, a sushi master from Japan, said that when he was 9 and was sent to school to another town, his mother told him β€œYou have no home to return to.” It sounds cruel, right, but then he explained: β€œNowadays, people say things like β€˜You can return if things don’t work out.’ When people say stupid things like that, the kids turn out to be failures.” This sentence shows exactly how I was feeling. I was and still am determined and I will never be a failure. That's a promise.

Autumn has come and first year ended. Soon we will celebrate our 2nd marriage anniversary (hopefully on some warm and sunny place, keep fingers crossed for us). Life is going on and we are going along pretty good, I would say. Rainy and sunny days, of course, like in everyone's life. Anyway, no one said it will be easy πŸ˜€ But no regrets. No bad feelings. No second thoughts.
That's what a life is all about, eh?

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104 Responses to One Year

  1. sanshan says:

    The eagle has landed.

  2. Dacotah says:

    Congratulations on being in Canada for a year, getting a drivers license, and starting a business, and getting a library card. :)Fingers crossed that you and San get to celebrate your 2nd anniversary in a warm and sunny places. Congratulations early. :cheers:Is that a male or female bald eagle? Was it full grown?Wow, what a wing span.

  3. sanshan says:

    Time to vacuum.

  4. Spaggyj says:

    Wow, you've done a lot in just one year! I'm glad you followed your heart.

  5. Aqualion says:

    A year seems shorter as older you get. And if you have much to do it seems even shorter. I think that might be why old people don't care much for being buisy.Good to hear you have good fortune. I have been sending good vibes. They're supposed to reach the target, not just disappear in the air.

  6. Furie says:

    My cold and blackened heart leaps when I see a friend post something like this. Through trials and tribulations you've come out fearless and free in the end.

  7. qlue says:

    Congrats on your achievement so far! :hat:And we'll be here to read about your future achievements! :yes:

  8. thaodp says:

    You've found your home. Congratulation :yes:

  9. PainterWoman says:

    Wow, that's a lot of hiking and camping. And congratulations on the soon to be 2nd Anniversary!It's been just a little over two years since I moved away from my home town. No hiking and camping here though but I have gotten out to explore the art scene. I really like it. It's smaller and more intimate and much easier for me to handle now that I'm older. The art walks from May to October are great fun.The winters do me no good though as it makes my arthritis worse but I will persevere in keeping myself moving in some way. Sometimes I take my granddaughter to the mall and we walk all the way around INSIDE…out of the cold.

  10. claudeb says:

    Originally posted by Aqualion:

    A year seems shorter as older you get. And if you have much to do it seems even shorter.

    So true. Time has flown so fast. And Darko, I never noticed just how much better your English has become. Congratulations! As for regrets, Go players have a proverb: "no matter what move you make, you could have found a better one". So it's best not to dwell too much on what could have been; just do something good and move forward.P.S.

  11. gdare says:

    San, :lol:Carol, thanks. I was having a good support and a lot of help from San so it was easier than it would be if I was alone.Originally posted by Dacotah:

    and starting a business

    Battodo is not a business, one may call it a hobby, I like to say it is expression of my inner self πŸ˜› Anyway, I wanted to continue my martial arts practice and on the other hand it was expected from me.That wingspan is of an average bald eagle. They didn't say anything about a gender, though.Kyren, nice to see you around again :cheers:Kimmie, thanks. And I hope you are glad for maps I posted. A lot of hiking is still to come :devil:Martin, you've got that right. Ever since I celebrated 30th birthday, time feels twisted like in some kind of warp machine, going faster and faster every year. Maybe my mind is getting slower? :left: :insane:Mik, thanks. You know, when I was posting this for some reason I thought about Kimmie and you and what your comments will be. Don't know why :PAadil, thank you. I will give my best not to disappoint you :up:Pam Originally posted by PainterWoman:

    No hiking and camping here though but I have gotten out to explore the art scene.

    But important part is that you like it. San and I, we both like hiking, we like mountains and a feeling of freedom they give us. Away from crowds, noise of cars and screaming kids πŸ˜† I am still waiting for your post about hiking in Arizona :yes:Mit, thanks. It is my home now, yes. There is that saying that your home is where your heart is :happy:

  12. sanshan says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    That wingspan is of an average bald eagle. They didn't say anything about a gender, though.

    Females are generally larger.

  13. MirabelaTM says:

    Congratulation on your achievements :up: Do you miss something in Serbia? Like hearing Serbian language or similar.

  14. rose-marie says:

    Wow! One year already? Sounds like you've kept yourself busy, and achieved many things during this time :DHappy anniversary!

  15. Dacotah says:

    You are welcome Darko.

  16. NLDH says:

    Keep up the great spirit and enjoy the marriage life. San seems a wonderful and a loving woman, congrats πŸ™‚

  17. H82typ says:

    :hat: You two make a lovely,loving couple! Happy anniversary! :cheers:

  18. Suntana says:

    "You have no home to return to."

    Wooooooo! Yeah, a couple of notches beyond cruel. :insane:

  19. Suntana says:

    C'mon! :left: :right: REALLY … what's wrong with sitting in front of the computer? You make it sound like it's really bad. Wow! You got your Battodo Dojo up and running, Eh? Cool! :headbang:Just barely last month, was it?

  20. Words says:

    How true that no-one ever said it would be easy, but that's what also makes it so exciting, so valuable, and so worthwhile. Great to read your reflections on your past year. A major change but one that I can see will let you soar like an eagle!

  21. gdare says:

    Felix, that cat looks Canadian πŸ˜› San has brought me a real Canadian shirt, I will make a photo and post it here :DSan, and we learnt something new today: don't go for eagles watching if a day is nice :doh:Mira, I miss friends and family. One of my martial arts students is Serbian so I don't miss a language :DRose, yes, one year, can't believe it… Thanks, good to see you around :up:LD, thanks :cheers:Dennis, thank you. How is it going on in your neighbourhood, life returned to normal again?Carlos, I spent 9 hours on computer every day in the office plus time at home. It is too much :ko:Officially, my dojo started on September 1st, but I was having trainings with my students since May.Words, we have seen almost 30 eagles today in only one spot, near Mission, BC. Nice way to start second year :yes: Thanks :cheers:

  22. derWandersmann says:

    :yes: :cheers:

  23. gdare says:

    Thanks :cheers:

  24. Furie says:

    We've both left everything we know behind ourselves. Probably that. Of course, we ended up in hell rather than Canada…

  25. Spaggyj says:

    You HAD to go and rub it in my face, Dark. I did the mature thing and decided I'd not mention your cruel mappage being flaunted left right and centre. But noooooo, you had to be mean… πŸ˜‰

  26. sanshan says:

    Originally posted by Furie:

    Of course, we ended up in hell rather than Canada…

    Do you know about the winters of endless rain in Vancouver? πŸ˜₯

  27. derWandersmann says:

    Any choice has within it the potential for disappointment, regret, depression, no matter which alternative is chosen. It pays to know this ahead of time, since it's easier to deal with things that are in the open.Even the simplest choices offer loss in either direction: "Do I want a hot dog or a hamburger? Oh, I guess I'll have the hot dog. Damn! Why didn't I have the hamburger?""I coulda had a V-8!"You're strong enough to handle this, Dare.Welcome!

  28. Furie says:

    Originally posted by sanshan:

    Do you know about the winters of endless rain in Vancouver?

    Sounds heavenly to me.Do you know about the rivers of endless drunken Scottish pee in hell?

  29. Cois says:

    is it just me or does time just seem to fly sometimes?No pun intended with huge eagle in background :pit's good not to have regrets but with choices we make regrets do appear it's justnup to ourselves to have a better perpspective methinks. πŸ™‚

  30. sanshan says:

    Originally posted by Furie:

    Do you know about the rivers of endless drunken Scottish pee in hell?

    It pees sideways here too.

  31. sanshan says:

    Vancouver is Canada's third most rainy city, with over 161 rainy days per year. As measured at Vancouver airport in Richmond, Vancouver receives 1199 mm of rain per year. By comparison, the amount of rainfall in London, England is nearly half that of Vancouver. In North Vancouver, about 20km away from the Vancouver airport, the amount of rain received doubles to 2477 mm per year as measured at the base of Grouse Mountain.2477 mm per year where we live! We live in a rainforest! πŸ˜₯

  32. gdare says:

    Mik, which part of England you two live in? I remember you've mentioned it once but forgot… :left:Kimmie :whistle:Clint, you are a wolf, what do you know about flying? :PI meant no serious regrets :up:dW, thanks :cheers:San, Mik and Martin – when I came to Canada last year, I went to shop to buy some groceries; on the way back, I missed a bus but in my eternal wisdom πŸ™„ I thought it was not raining THAT hard, so I could just walk home. Only 20 minutes later, my boxers were the only dry piece of clothing on me :ko:

  33. Aqualion says:

    Horisontal rain is very common in Southern Scandinavia too. And I'm not talking about yellow rain…

  34. Aqualion says:

    Meassured in frequenzy, rainy days per year, Copenhagen is the rainiest city in Europe with 251 days of rain per year. And the average air humidity is 77. Combine this with piss cold Arctic gales blowing constantly from the North Sea and you will understand why Danes have invented the sweater.

  35. SittingFox says:

    Glad things are going well πŸ™‚ Happy second anniversity to you and San in advance!And regarding the rain – it's been the rainiest year in England that anyone can remember. Not sure what it was like in Serbia, but at least you had some sunny days in BC to go hiking. I have to wear Wellington boots to even take Khamsin for a short walk now! :right:

  36. H82typ says:

    You might like this, it kind of puts me in mind of you two: :)Darko, things are slowly getting back to normal. We went from interminable fuel lines to rationing: if your licence plate ends with an even number,you can only get gas on odd numbered days, and vice-versa. πŸ™„ This is only until all the wires are fixed and all the idle gas stations are up and running. Some towns are still quite a mess, around here.

  37. gdare says:

    Martin, is there anything like typical design for Danish sweaters? Post a photo if you can :up:Adele, in general, November is the most miserable time to be in Belgrade; probably in most of Serbia. But it is not as rainy like here, more like damp and foggy and cold. This year was strange though – they had almost one meter of snow this winter and very low temperatures and one of the driest summers ever. When I was there for a week, it was over 40C every day. I am already used to lower Vancouver temperatures so it felt like hell to me. Almost feinted when I got out of the airplane in Belgrade :ko:Dennis, πŸ˜† that system reminded me on ex-Yu during 80s when we had a big problem with getting fuel. For a few months people were forced to drive cars on days that would match odd and even numbers on their plates – odd ending number on plates on odd days and vice versa. I thought it was genuine Yugoslav communist invention then I`ve heard for few more countries doing the same or similar systems πŸ˜›

  38. Aqualion says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    Martin, is there anything like typical design for Danish sweaters? Post a photo if you can

    Well, I'm not sure if the sweater is an actual Danish invention. It's a joke we make sometimes, especially when dealing with Norwegians who absolutely believe they invented knitwear.It's my experience that the best sweaters are the ones that somebody knittet for you. I know that the best sweaters I've had over the years were knittet by my mother, full wool. Almost water tight, breaks any wind, and the best thing is you don't have to wash them every second week. In fact you only have to wash them once a year, if it is proper wool.Don't have to be unsexy either. (Picture from Flicolana, Danish knitwear firm):

  39. MizzMartinez says:

    Sometimes people got stuck between desires and lack of courage to change their lives.

    Sometimes it's hard to take a specific path in life because of fear for a change in the wrong direction. I'm happy you had the courage to do this change that became the right one, I hope. πŸ™‚

  40. derWandersmann says:

    Originally posted by H82typ:

    You might like this, it kind of puts me in mind of you two:

    Nice new (to me) Billy Joel song. Thanks; I've downloaded it as an .mp3.

  41. gdare says:

    Martin,Originally posted by Aqualion:

    It's a joke we make sometimes, especially when dealing with Norwegians who absolutely believe they invented knitwear.

    πŸ˜† Now I need to wait for Rose to read this :PMizzM, thanks πŸ˜€

  42. Stardancer says:

    Congrats on your first year in Canada, Darko! You're home.:smile:

  43. derWandersmann says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    I thought it was genuine Yugoslav communist invention

    "Do you know why Yugos have defrosters in the rear windows?""No, why?""So your hands stay warm while you're pushing it."

  44. H82typ says:


  45. serola says:

    A lots of hiking :yikes: πŸ™‚

  46. AnitaMargita says:

    Happy anniversary, congrats!

  47. gdare says:

    Star, I truly am. Thanks :cheers:dW, I've heard of that one :lol:Sami, yes :cheers:Ana, thanks :cheers:

  48. serola says:


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