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The importance of taking risks

two glasses of champagne clinking on a beach

By Daniel Eisenhut

What kind of plans do you have for Valentine’s Day?

Whether single or engaged, there are always thematic things happening to celebrate love and friendship at this time. Restaurants, clubs, schools (see NAITSA’s How To: Paint Watercolour Florals event), generally have fun and romantic events on the 14th. 

The date can also be considered from the capitalist point of view–just another incentive to move commerce.

But, Valentine’s Day can also be a great opportunity to do something different and special with your loved one, meet new people, have fun, and maybe find that person that could change your life! Not to say that in these long pandemic times, opportunities for interaction at any level are very welcome.

I met my wife, Cris, in one of those life changing opportunities. It was during a student exchange program when I lived and worked in Aspen, CO, USA, from December of 2007 to March of 2008. 

a couple in winter gear and goggles standing on a mountain
Photo Supplied

She is from a small town in the interior of the state of São Paulo. She is objective and determined. She likes romantic comedy and non-fiction books and she is currently applying for a postdoctoral position in Brazil. 

I come from a bigger and more developed city in the south of Brazil. I like comics, music, alternative movies, suspense, and horror, and I am studying Finance at NAIT (yes, in Canada). 

Even with all these differences, we make a great team!

The chemistry was strong between us from the first meeting in the store where we both worked in Aspen. We started dating soon, and by the end of the season when we had to head back to different cities in Brazil, we managed to face the 10-hour bus ride and spend days together quite often, as we were students at the time. We returned together to Aspen for the next three winter seasons, where we lived quite an adventure each time, until we graduated and it was time to get on with life in Brazil.

We moved together in my birth town in 2011, and we got married in a nice wedding party in 2012. We worked a lot, traveled frequently, met new people, financed an apartment, bought a car, and in late 2015 our sweet Lily was born. Although life was good in Brazil, we always wanted to live abroad, and in 2017 we started to dream about Canada and build a family plan.

A young girl with curly hair is touched on the face by a baby wearing a blue jumper.
Photo supplied

Of course, after all the necessary preparations like selling a car, selling an apartment, tightening the savings, making the necessary documentation for the three of us, and my NAIT registration, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived. 

With all the changes that occurred, I postponed the beginning of classes twice, until in May of last year when I started online classes. This beginning, however, occurred shortly after the birth of my son Oliver. We already had our visas ready when Oliver was born, but now we are dealing with his visa, which unfortunately falls under the visitor status–the lowest priority for entry into Canada right now.

Despite our efforts and appeals, Oliver’s visa has not been analyzed yet, and although classes here in Canada should have returned to face-to-face, here I am, since the end of December, without my wife, daughter, and son. And I have to say that it does not feel any good when I wake up every day and my family is not by my side. 

I wish I could cook my best recipe for my loved ones and put my children in bed with a good night kiss on this Valentine’s Day.  However, we are in this plan together, and we understand that it is the beginning of the journey for a great life project, an incredible opportunity for our family. 

I wish you the best to enjoy this Valentine’s Day. Whether you are single or in a relationship,  remember to celebrate the presence of your loved ones and be adventurous, you might find a life partner to dream with!

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