Two years ago I moved from Australia to Canada. I was fresh out of university and couldn’t have been less interested in pursuing a career if I wanted to. I don’t understand how the years went so fast, but I can’t recall a better 730 days of my life.
I’ve tried to write this blog three times now. Maybe I’ve just been too overwhelmed with the thought of leaving that I couldn’t commit to spilling these words all over this keyboard.
But now I’m sitting in Calgary airport waiting for my flight to Toronto and then to London, England. My visa literally expires tomorrow. So now is the time.
If you are reading this in preparation for your own similar adventure, maybe on a Working Holiday Visa, I want you to know that my heart has never felt so sad as it does to leave this place. I could count on one hand the times I have ever felt so deeply and genuinely this way. I can barely think about it without crying.
My friend Katie said to me as we approached the airport, “if leaving the place that you love is one of the worst things that has happened to you, then you have had a pretty good life”.
She’s right, and for that reason, I don’t want my sadness to put you off coming over here in the first place. In fact, I want my sadness to push you closer in doing it.
Fight for this. And if you love it, then fight even harder to stay.
It’s going to change your life in ways you never even knew were possible. Let it keep doing that for as long as possible.
I had never been more vulnerable in my life when I came here alone. The fresh environment stripped me to my foundations and forced me to rebuild. Being vulnerable is one of the most important states of being.
I think back to who I was on the day I left Australia. Now, I couldn’t picture a more different and more beautiful version of myself than the person I have become since then. Since I was at my most vulnerable.
Comparing the other times I counted when I felt this sad, I see that I was vulnerable then as well. Each time I came out a better person.
Here, in the beautiful and safe bubble I have called home for the past two years, I made a family around me without even realising. All the while it swelled.
We bonded over being vulnerable. We saw each other’s vulnerability and nurtured it, fed it with memories. Happy and sad, but each positively contributing to our best version of life.
There is nothing more I care about now than happiness for me and for my family. And even though in this moment I feel sad, it is only because I’m without them in this temporary moment. I’m without the overwhelming amount of happiness they give to me.
I am heartbroken to be leaving them here for now, but I can tell you that I am still leaving here with a heart that is full.
It’s full of gratitude, of memories, of love.
This family comes and goes. It is spread over the world, and I know I will find each of them again. They all hold parts of me and with them I am myself the most.
See you again soon, Canada.