How My 1 Year in Canada was Kick Arse

We all know it’s easier to sit on the sofa with Netflix than get up and go to the gym and get healthy. It’s no different when you are struggling to come up with what your achievements are, as it’s easy to admit failure rather than admit your triumphs.

I recently celebrated my one-year mark of living in Canada. It was a day I was excited to celebrate, but as it got closer I dreaded it. So I let it pass without so much of raising a glass to myself.

All I could do was reflect on my mental and emotional struggles, rather than tell myself ‘Girl you upheaved your life to the other side of the world and still alive to tell the tale’. I was constantly thinking, ‘What if?’ What if I stayed, would I be happy?

The thing about that ‘what if’ feeling when you think about your past is there is just no bloody point. We can’t change what has happened, as much as we want to.

So rather than focusing on what could have been, I decided to list some of my Kick Arse (I’m still not saying ass) moments of 2018.

Getting on a Plane

This was probably the toughest of all 2018 moments. It was going to be way easier for the time being for me to stay and carry on with my life as it was. Following your dreams are not always easy, but I still chose to take on the world, as I saw that leaving the country I grew up in and moving halfway across the world, was the only way I was going to better myself.

Staying Put

Within a day of living in my now lovely home tome of Invermere, I was looking up at flights back to the UK. I did not unpack my bags for 3 days as I was dead set on not staying where I was. Over the next month or so all I did was sleep, work and watch Netflix, the only time I would laugh would be at the comedy shows I forced myself to watch. Then my amazing friend Hayley, one day dragged me to the car rental, where we hired a car and drove to Calgary for a mini getaway. This was probably the best kick up the arse I received all year. Driving through Banff National Park with the frosty trees and snow-capped mountains. I fell in love. Without Hayley, would I have stayed? It doesn’t matter, as I am here now.

Working My Up

In a nutshell, I start out as a server, I move into the assistant manager position, and now I am a sales coordinator. All in the same hotel, same year. This isn’t me patting myself on the back; this is me just noticing the changes I made in myself over the year. Once realising that Invermere is now home to me, and in order for me to stay past my work visa, I would have to push myself career wise. So that’s what I did.

Being ok that everyone leaves

It can be very hard making friends outside of your work when you are somewhere knew, let alone a new country. I have been here a year and only just started meeting people that are not connected to my job. It is great meeting other travellers, as you can become friends almost overnight as you can relate more to each other. It sucks nonetheless as they do move on and leave to carry on seeing the world. Which is amazing, but for a while took its toll on me as I felt I was never going to have that companionship like I do with my friends back home. However I soon realised, as I was growing with my confidence, that this was just the way it was, and rather than backing away and stop making new friends, I would embrace the time I did have them. I had a grand time with some incredible people, and even though they have left, I know have several continents I can now visit!

Letting myself be myself

People used to tell me that when you travel ‘you find yourself’. Pffttt, ‘Bitch I know myself’. I did know myself yes, but maybe not as well as I thought. After years of wanting my nose pierced, but not being able to due to the ‘appearance’ I had to portray in the power suit world, one of the first things I did was get it done and it felt amazing just being able to do something I couldn’t before. I also wear the brightest dresses to work, and a good red dress is my trademark, so Ive been told! I have also learnt to become patient, calm, and try really hard not to stress out. (I know my new Canadian friends and colleagues will probably beg to differ, but they did not know the old me). I would get stressed and angry at someone if they walked the wrong side of the escalator on the tube, or incredibly annoyed if I had missed my train as the doors were closing, even though there was another one in 3 minutes. It’s not hard to be patient in a mountain town of 4000 people however. I know this sounds silly, but not getting wound up by standing in a queue for 20 minutes because the server forgot your coffee order, is a tiny victory.

As I was struggling with reflecting back on my year, a wise friend of mine told me to list an achievement for each month of 2018. I scoffed in his face naturally, but actually when I forced myself to think about it, it was quite easy to come up with something. So I challenge you to do the same, an achievement for every month, and I promise you it will be easier than you first think.

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