I’m reverting to Calvin and Hobbes to describe my year abroad. I love this strip. A full day in 19 images. And within it, moments of reflection, conflict, amusement. As Calvin says, in reference to summer days, (I’m talking about 9 months), it’s supposed to be a long time, but now I’m back it feels like it passed by in a blur. And similar to calvin, it felt like a very full few months.
If I had to pick a few defining moments/experiences/feelings there are a few that leap to mind. Grief was certainly one of them. But alongside the grief, and perhaps to a certain extent because of it, a huge amount of support and love. And of course there was lots of laughter, and good food, and cycling, and outdoorsy adventures, and dancing to good music, and nights spent in coffee shops working on deadlines, and occasional moments of missing home, and stupidly long bus rides (40 hours? Never again), and swimming, and climbing, and exploring, and late night poutine, and singing around campfires, and running, breakfasts out, a HUGE amount of frozen yoghurt (although you can never have too much), yoga, road trips, camping, baking, sledding, too much coffee and on and on.
Probably the thing that played the biggest part in this year being so amazing was the people. I found myself plopped down into multiple communities of people unlike any other group I know. So much love and laughter and thoughtfulness. I felt challenged (lovingly) and have come away thinking more; about how everything is a chance to learn and grow, about who I want to be and HOW I want to be in the world. And, somewhat amazingly, they were in every part of my life there – my housemates, friends unconnected to McGill, chemists, MOCers, people from midnight kitchen. I feel truly lucky to have met them all.
I’ve also come away thinking I want to go back.
There’s more – of course. But I’m in danger of getting a bit ranty and gushy, and as this is my sixth attempt at trying to write a recap of my year abroad, and it’s only 2 months late, I’m going to leave it as is.