Well, today’s the day. Finals are over, my room is all packed up, and I am sitting in the Toronto airport waiting for my connecting flight. I flew out of Charlottetown this morning at 6:00 a.m. and arrived in Toronto around 8:00 a.m. Unfortunately, due to the weather, my flight has been delayed and I am sitting in the Toronto airport.
It is crazy to think that my time in Canada is already over. Last night, when I finished packing my room, I just sat there and thought about all the memories and friends that I had made in that room. When I flew to Canada, I had a feeling that this experience was going to have an impact on me. However, I didn’t know that this would make such a great influence on my life. Everyone that I have met throughout my time at UPEI and in Charlottetown has caused me to grow drastically. Every single one of them has taught me about myself and what type of person I want to be in life. All of them has caused me to become a better, more accepting, open minded person. Honestly, if it wasn’t for this experience, I don’t think I would be half the person that I am today. I learned how to become more spontaneous and how to be myself, no matter who is around. I can now walk into a room and be confident about myself. I can talk to someone that I have never met before without being closed off and shy. I can be me.
Knowing that I am not returning to Canada next semester is probably one of the hardest things to know. In the short four months that I was at UPEI, it became my second home and the people that I met there became my family. I feel as if I am leaving a part of me behind. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to be home and see my friends and family back in the States. Yet, knowing that I may never see some of those people again is what saddens me.
I feel as if I owe so much to everyone who has helped me through this experience. To my friends, family and staff at MSSU: thank you. Thank you for pushing me to go out and do something new, to break boundaries. Thank you for supporting this crazy idea of mine to go abroad a semester. Thank you for staying in touch with me as I went through this journey. To everyone in Charlottetown, my friends at UPEI and the staff at UPEI: thank you. Thank you for being so gracious to a mid-western girl who had no idea what a “toque” was or who had never eaten a Kinder Egg Surprise. Thank you for laughing at my jokes, even when they were’t funny. Thank you for accepting me for who I am. Thank you for making me a better person. I love all of you.
I know that this isn’t the end. I now know that I want to travel more and see even more of this big world. I want to be able to see every culture and experience every aspect of life. This experience has caused a small ripple in my life, now, I want to cause a tidal wave; I want to go and do.
I hope, and know, that I will return to Canada very soon. I could’t imagine not coming back to see my friends that live there. In the future, I want to bring my own family to PEI and show them how beautiful is. I want them to see this providence that I have fallen in love with, in hopes that they will fall in love with it as well. So now, as I fly out of Canada, and back into the States, I will be sad. Yet, at the same time, there is reassurance in me. I know that I will be back and that the memories and connections with people that I have made in Canada will last me a lifetime. So, instead of saying farewell to Canada, I will be saying until later because I will be back, and I can’t wait.
“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.” ~Flavia Weedn