My time left in Canada is only comprised of a handful of hours now. After 223 days of planning, I will board a plane for a year in Belgium. I’ve been able to avoid thinking the immediate nature of it up until today. Now my stomach is turning as I think about what to do with my last hours. Continue reading
Posts Tagged With: Tough Stuff
I’ve been putting a lot of time into reading lately and one of the books I’ve picked up has been earth shattering for me. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman has been inspiring and comforting, and I’m only on chapter four. Why is it so impressive?
This is the first book I’ve found that admits to the hardships of traveling that I experienced on my trip to Europe. Most travel writers talk of success and boldness while minimizing the idea of stress and complete dependence on the understanding of strangers. The author of this book talks about being terrified of her situation, about being overwhelmed and full of doubt. Admitting to her humanity and the doubts in her heart makes her a bold and refreshing voice. Continue reading
My long distance relationship has a way of changing my thought process.
These days I have trouble deciding to go to sleep. It’s 1 a.m. for me and 6 a.m. for him. Our webcams are on. I’m comforted by the way he turns and sighs in his sleep, as if the distance had fallen away and I could roll over to find him there next to me. If I could only stay up a couple more hours, I would be awake when he gets up. But 4 a.m. is so very late and there is always something to do tomorrow. Instead I will turn my speakers up and wake whenever he makes a noise. Each time I look, the screen will be lighter, parts of the room appearing slowly in the faint sunlight. The shadows will fall back little by little, casting the light of day into my night covered world. I will hear him when he rustles his way out of bed. It will still be dark in the small hours before daylight and I will stumble to the computer to say goedemorgen as he apologizes for waking me, as if it hadn’t been my plan from the start. I will stumble back into bed as he goes for breakfast. I will sleep while he goes to class. If I sleep too late his classes will be nearly finished. By noon he will be home. He will eat his supper while I eat a late lunch. His day will end before it’s dark in my world. I will stay up for hours while he sleeps, accomplishing the things I never seem to get done while he’s awake. I will make a hard decision to sleep again.
Every morning your world shines into mine, the same way you bring light into my life.
Coming home after traveling sucks. There’s no sense in sugar coating it to look better than it is. Coming home is confusing and frustrating for yourself and for everyone around you. I’ve been home for a little over two weeks and I’m still coming to terms with it. Continue reading
I was in Europe for 90 days. Before I left home, I knew that the mother language of my home base in Belgium was Dutch, specifically the Flemish dialect. I poured over books, websites and Rosetta Stone with great ambition, sure that I would know enough Flemish to get by for a summer in Belgium. This lasted a few weeks. Native Belgians and friends who had traveled the area told me that almost everyone could speak English. I stopped studying, comfortable in the fact that I would be just fine and learn as I went.
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. I feel pretty okay with that. I realize that it was supposed to be a tool to keep a log of my travels and let everyone at home see what I was up to, but honestly, Facebook kind of covered the most important aspects there. Not only was writing taking up too much of my time, it was taking focus in my mind while I was traveling. Instead of enjoying myself, I was wondering what I needed to write about next. That’s not a proper way to experience it.
I’m now four days from the end of my trip. Four days. It’s hard to contemplate how quickly that summer went. I had an amazing, eye opening experience. Some of the trip was fantastic and other parts were very difficult. Most of those things deserve their own post. There’s not much that I can describe in just a few sentences, but we’ll get to those later. Continue reading
I’ve been in Belgium now for just under a week. Some days have been spent at home watching tv in bed and others have been spend adventuring. I’ve been trying to acclimate myself little by little, so this is a perfect pace for me.
First things first. It turns out that I’ve been living under a bit of a rock. I’ve never needed more knowledge than I already possessed to get by in Canada. I felt cultured for having lived in more than one province and knowing bits and pieces about other cultures around the world. I never took learning a second language seriously because unless I was moving to Quebec there wasn’t really a need for it. These are all great examples of things that didn’t help me at all once I left the country. Maybe that’s why the first few days hit me so hard.
I haven’t been posting much this week because it proved to be a hard week for me in general. I probably should have been taking those experiences and documenting them here but I try to find a nice balance of being candid without getting into private matters. Unfortunately my alternative of bottling things up didn’t go over very well either. Continue reading
I’m feeling a pretty thankful today. I had a long conversation with my Mom today about my life and the things in it. While things aren’t always perfect, I do have a lot that I’m happy about. To stay on subject with the blog, one of the things I’m thankful for is the support I’ve received in the last six months. Continue reading
I haven’t been writing much because I’ve been in bed with a cold for the last couple of days. I’m trying to buck up and get myself together for the rest of Easter weekend, but I’m feeling a little BLAH. It also doesn’t help that my boyfriend is taking off for an eight day work stretch in England tomorrow, so I’m looking for some awesome things to keep me distracted. Continue reading