I’m writing with the view of the beautiful lake that I’m grateful to call home. It’s been eighteen months since I was last here and as I sip a warm cup of tea in this old table that brings back so many memories I am amazed at the weird turns that my life has taken in the last few years…
Growing up I always met travelers who had gone around the world, reaching our little town with their huge backpacks, thoroughly independent, speaking many languages and not caring about where they slept or what they ate or even how often they showered (six-year-old-me loved the idea of not showering). They were adventurous, colourful and always excited about the little things that were so normal for us. I think it was from them, their stories, and my addiction to books that my favorite hobby became “to travel.” The number one place in my list would have probably been Hogwarts.
I’m happy to say I have been incredibly lucky and have been to many more places than most people my age have, even before I thought about studying in Canada. And yet, I don’t think I ever really pictured myself lost in a Turkish bazaar, drinking tea in a small hostel in the Lebanese mountains or taking a roadtrip in the Cypriot wilderness to discover centuries-old byzantine churches. When thinking about the world I’m a bit ashamed to accept that I was always limited to the Americas and Europe. Silly me.
And so one day I was looking through the Go Global partners list and was suddenly deciding between South Africa and Turkey. What did I do to be so lucky, UBC?
It would take forever for me to write in detail about all the things that happened since I was last in Vancouver. Lets just say that I fell in love over and over again; with the sceneries I found myself in, the people I was suddenly meeting, the experiences that I was somehow a part of. So instead of writing, and because I kind of like maps, I will instead map my journey during my year abroad:
North American excursions: freezing in the rockies and seeing Shakespear in the Park. (3 months)
From Torino to Istanbul: trains, ferries, and fancy busses. (1 month)
Turkish delights: how to turn weekends into 5-day trips – and still call them weekends. (throughout 10 months)
Skip school. Get on a plane. Go somewhere new. (throughout 10 months)
I’m happy to say that I now own a big backpack, speak a few languages, feel at least a bit independent, have lots of colourful clothes and for the most part don’t care about where I sleep or what I eat (although I did grow out of my aversion to showers). All I need now is for someone to please show me the way to Hogwarts !