Today is my last day in beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful Canada.
27 days ago I sat in a bus driving through the mountains feeling melancholic; today I did the same thing. Only have the trees now turned yellow and orange and instead of Lake Superior and my second family I was and still am nostalgic about leaving my newly found friends, a beautiful scenery, and a very different summer.
I’ve said it before: Going abroad is not a cakewalk. In the beginning of my month in Canada I was loving every second. Everything was new, so much was happening, and I was in the middle of it all.
But, I have to admit: Around the halfway point I did not feel that way. It was raining a lot. Nothing was going on. I was still somewhat the new kid. I got rejected from my dream university back home. It was a challenge and on lazy rainy days I would wish to be in Switzerland with my friends and the sun.
Yesterday, however, I was driving with Valentina on the highway and told her gloomily I did not want to leave this place. ‘Then stay,’ she responded, ‘Be spontaneous. Come with us to Alaska and Yukon.’ And in that moment I seriously considered doing just that. That’s how much I felt at home at Great Divide Lodge towards the end.
Towards the end I was not as exciting anymore, but it felt homey.
Canada is a beautiful country, undeniably. Still, for me the best part about it was the people. Those wonderful, open, funny people aged from 18 to 38, who all rocked in their own way. With them I not only explored places, but also spent hours playing cards, Jenga, Monopoly, pool, having a bonfire or watching Game of Thrones until 2.30 am.
‘That’s the best thing about travelling,’ Valentina — who is very quotable — explained to me today, ‘you get to meet so many inspiring and awesome people. And then you meet them again somewhere sometime, randomly or carefully planned. People are why I travel.’
Preach. She and I also already agreed to meet up in New Zealand or Australia: her next stop.
I am currently in Calgary for a night before I fly out tomorrow. I am here, but I could imagine myself just as easily back in Lake Louise with all the others. I would love to. They are going to go on road trips, party till dawn, and make memories. (They promised to send me pictures.)
But, and that’s why I am here and not there: There are other things I also want to do, if not more. Right now I want to go to Washington D.C. I want to get tan in Switzerland. I want to move out and go to university.
Saying yes means saying no to other options; that’s what today has shown me more than ever. Let’s hope one day soon I can decide to say yes to Canada or to New Zealand or to another country for a bit longer. 4 weeks feel long after 2 rainy weeks, but now I feel as if I sat in the bus to Lake Louise in awe just yesterday.
So here is what some of you may have waited for: Canada 2k16 captured in some shots and a song we blasted out wherever we went.
I already miss it so much.
So long, Canada. See you soon.
Thanks for reading.