How does a girl raised on Manitoba’s mile roads end up in the Andes? I blame my parents.
I remember our first really big family vacation. We had an old coffee jar with a rosy maple leaf stuck on it with homemade paste. Every week we saved up what would have been our pudding money and put it in the jar. Eventually, we were off to Canada.
We first went to Lake Manitoba, where Uncle Bob took us for drives on the prairie, ice cream at rural gas stations, out in the boat, and plenty of hours in the lake. Then mum and dad decided a train journey was the real way to see Canada, and we hopped one of the last trains to go all the way to Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia.
Not long after, we were all excitedly planning our move away from the hustle and bustle of England to the vast Canadian prairies. Mum and Dad wanted a simpler life, a slower pace. Land.
It wasn’t easy settling in. Every time I opened my mouth at school I got stared at by other kids. At the age of 11 I quickly decided I needed me a Canadian accent. I quickly decided I liked new lands and cultures, and that any new place was a fabulous opportunity to learn and grow.
I guess we weren’t a typical family, uprooting and hopping continents. There were times it seemed like it hadn’t been the best idea. And for the rest of the time, I am eternally grateful. Every tiny part of the world I’ve seen I hold dear and add to a future list of one day returning. I thank them for not just telling me, but showing me that its the experiences, deciding what you want to do with your life and going for it, that its not the things you own that teach you the most.