Four months ago I moved to a national park in the heart of the Rockies juggling a cocktail of emotions; fear, excitement, confusion. I had no idea what to expect, no idea whether I was making the right decision, no idea if I was throwing my life away back home or simply just biting the bullet and starting a new, adventurous chapter.
The first few months in Canada I found myself either on a massive high – completely head over heels in love with life and in awe of my surroundings, or on a huge low – bewildered and emotional about what the future held. I found that after going through a big change in your life, it takes a little time for your emotions and your mind to settle.
Summer in Banff wasn’t what I expected it to be but it was everything that I needed it to be. Apart from spending the summer trying to convince 90% of tourists that I’m not actually Australian, I’ve also done some pretty epic stuff. I’ve climbed some big ass mountains, seen a bunch of bears, and a tonne of glacier-fed lakes too, I’ve been camping, celebrated a birthday, gazed up at the stars for hours, and met some of the coolest and most wonderful people who made the experience so much sweeter than it ever would have been without them. Alongside this, the experience wouldn’t have been what it was without the little things. Like sitting by a river reading a book or listening to a playlist and chilling in a coffee shop with a new friend gazing up at your favourite mountain.
I found myself calling Banff home yesterday, it was strange in that moment two think that I have two places that I can call home now but it felt so right and I’m unbelievably excited to experience Banff life in winter. Now that I feel a lot more comfortable and confident, I have so many goals that I wanna achieve by the time I get to my one year ‘Canada life’ anniversary. So here I am saying goodbye and thanks for the memories to one season and hello to another…
A few things I’ve learned over the last five months
- Sometimes you do dumb shit when you’re feeling lonely, that’s fine.
- Goodbye’s don’t get any easier, but you realise that they’re worth it.
- Everyone has a story, listen to it, ask questions.
- You won’t ‘find yourself’ but you’ll find out things about yourself.
- Homesickness is real, and it hits you in waves but you’ll ride it out.
- You really will become confident it who you are and what you believe in, regardless of what new friends or old ones will think.