To be completely honest, for a while I was struggling with being here in Canada. Things seemed pretty bleak as university wasn’t going the way I wanted it to and I was getting more homesick by the day. But then, thanks to some help from my friends, I came to realise just how fortunate I am to be in such a beautiful country. The things I have seen and done in the past two months have been absolutely amazing so I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about some of my side travel adventures.
Before coming to Wilfrid Laurier University, I travelled around Western Canada where I saw some of the most breathtaking sights. Seriously, it was like I had stepped straight into a postcard; I’d never seen anything so beautiful! To write about every single that I saw would take days so I’m going to pick out some of my favourite moments.
My most favourite place so far has been Whistler. One day we hiked up to the highest peak and, let me tell you, my heart almost stopped with the beauty that was before me. I will never forget that moment and no matter how many photographs I took, I know it will never compare to the real thing. I wished so hard that all my friends and family could’ve been there with me; they would have loved it and there is no way my descriptions of it could ever do the sight justice so I won’t even bother (sorry!). Just know that for a second, everything seemed perfect.
About a week or so after Whistler, I found myself in Jasper National Park and while the constant threat of bears breaking into our 18 person cabin (mm cosy!) was quite scary, it was worth it. One night, our whole tour group went and lay on the deserted highway and, as cliché and movie-like as it’s going to sound, we watched the meteor shower that had been predicted for that night. It was so beautiful and calm and I know how incredibly lucky I was to witness it, and in such an amazing location with equally as amazing people. When the stress of university life starts to get to me, I like to remember that moment and know that I was one out of only a handful of people who got to experience it.
I wish I could go through every place I visited and everyone I met and the things I’ve done but it’s impossible so I’m going to skip forward to when I spent my Thanksgiving with a friend and her family in a tiny town called Paris. Not Paris, France, obviously but probably equally, if not more beautiful. It was like this place had turned on all its beauty just for my visit. The leaves had turned all shades of magnificent orange for autumn (or should I say ‘fall’?) and all the storefronts on the little main street were decked out in Thanksgiving decorations. The family were more than welcoming and I instantly felt at home; even being lucky enough to get my first ‘mum hug’ in months, just what I needed! So my first Thanksgiving was definitely a success and I don’t think Canadians realise how lucky they are to get to experience this every single year!
So while sometimes it’s difficult being away from everyone that I love and everything that’s familiar, I am having such an amazing time and wouldn’t take it back for anything. Canada is a truly beautiful country, not just in their abundance of natural beauty but also for the people and I will be forever grateful that I have experienced so much here. My only regret is that I know I won’t be able to see everything but I guess that’s also a blessing because it means I will definitely be returning here!