British University vs Canadian ‘School’

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14324411_10210698710769059_8881947420531825965_oWhy hello again you fabulous readers! So, I’ve almost been in Canada for 8 weeks now, and miraculously I’m surviving just fine, actually, I’m still having the best time ever! A lot has happened in the past few weeks; had a great weekend in Banff (read my other blog about it here), a spectacular Thanksgiving meal, and everyone is getting super excited about the upcoming four day Halloween weekend, they take it very seriously over here! Continue reading

Lost in Translation

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“I can confirm that I didn’t find a new version of myself huddling beneath a snow drift, or have a kind, humble yeti carry me to his hut, spoon feed me cocoa, and beguile me with tales of old.”

Articulating how it feels to have left Calgary is a feat of magnitude. My attempts to explain to family and friends about the life I left behind have felt lack-lustre, and as I furrow my brow and nod my head assuredly at earnest questions such as, ‘was it as amazing as it looked?’, I feel unable to translate my genuine sentiment on the matter unto those who weren’t along for the ride.

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Travels: Calgary

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Our last night in Hamilton consisted of removing unnecessary clothing from my pre-packed bags with the help of Rhiannon. This was the first step towards achieving the goal of leaving most of my clothes in Canada, which is the only way I am going to fit all my luggage into the long-haul allowance. We delivered an IKEA bag full of clothes to our friend who conveniently was working in a nearby bar, where we stayed for a drink with our Australian friend Elly, who we would have to say goodbye to that night for a good few years. We helped Brandon clear his fridge of random food items and then set to sleep for a few hours. Continue reading

A Lifestyle Metamorphosis

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“It all began with the planting of a set of magical beans that the Year Abroad office unknowingly handed me in January 2015.”

Undergoing a lifestyle metamorphosis is an inevitable part of taking a year abroad. Aspects of your existence that you don’t expect to change are swept out from underneath your feet and for a second you’re in limbo, floating unassisted through an exciting though admittedly chaotic flux of cultivating new friendships, questioning old beliefs and mapping out your new physical and social surroundings.

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Almost a Fairytale

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“The idea of a girl cloaked in red weaving her way through the woods, being watched carefully by a big bad wolf, seemed far from fantasy.”

Reading Week in February positively leaped out at us from the dark corner it had been lurking behind, providing a terrifying reminder of the inevitability of time itself, and thrust upon us a welcome opportunity for adventure. After drawing up a lengthy plan (perusing and pointing at spots on Google Maps) and a challenging game of tetris involving the car boot and our suitcases, we took to the road.

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Festive Farewells and Rainy Reflections

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“I walk across campus, my freshly washed hair turning to literal icicles, fingertips close to frostbite, hands lizard-like from the dry air.”

These days in Canada have a habit of running away from me, and it is only as I sit down and recollect happenings from since I last wrote that I discover that an entire month has crept past. I boldly claimed in my previous post that the semester had been an emotional roller coaster yet this month may have topped it.

It has been abundant with trips to the mountains for snowboarding and sightseeing, final exams, departures of dear friends, a Christmas excursion to Vancouver, and a week of reflection and board games in rainy old Albion. Continue reading