Spending a year abroad has simultaneously been the most thrilling and challenging year of my life. I have never felt so alive or free. But there were also times where I felt so overwhelmed that the smallest problem became a catastrophe.
But ever onward into the unknown we all go, embracing each moment to the next.
When I left for New Zealand last September, it was the first time in my adult life that I ventured into the world truly on my own. I went from living with my family to being in a long-term partnership for 7 years. Time, love, and support which I’m grateful for; however, I also appreciate that not having anyone to turn to has forced me to grow in every way imaginable. And I’m grateful to be growing into a better, more capable, and happier human being.
In my early twenties, I did all the things we are advised to do. I went to university and I thrived, and then I went to work. Work I believed in (and still do) and felt engaged in, but made very little money doing. But something inside me still felt undernourished. A deep longing that years of suppression could not silence.
A call to the outdoors.
An enduring love of nature. Of green. Of feeling your heart pump blood through your veins, and the heat that rises off your skin. Of smells so complex they cannot be recreated. Of mist rising off a still body of water in the early morning. Being connected to the environment. Through movement. Through joy.
It’s where I feel most alive.
After I finished grad school, I took on two jobs. No time off and a hectic schedule, but my social life benefitted from this diversity in a way I didn’t foresee. Having limited time outside of work encouraged me to make the most of it. Spend my time doing what I wanted to do. To spend my time with people who I wanted to spend time with. And pursue goals I set for myself to actively create the life I want. To be happy, healthy, and whole.
After a year of hard work, preparation, and training, I set off to New Zealand on my own. To explore, work, and continue pushing my comfort zone.
Now that I’m back on Canadian soil, I am humbled by what is possible when you set goals and work towards them. By the sheer force and beauty of nature. And by the incredible humans I met along the way.
With reliable access to a computer and the internet, a series of posts about New Zealand, with information about trails, trips, helpful tips, and photos, are on their way.