Anyone who has had the privilege of travelling knows that travel is that one thing you can spend all your money on but be left feeling richer than you've ever felt before. February of last year, I took a trip to Nicaragua where I taught English to a group of beautiful children with a team like no other. Ever since then, I found myself comparing my happiness level to my one week in Nicaragua. I felt so incredibly blue for the months that soon followed and knew that I had to get away again. I was looking forward to spending a summer in Toronto, being closer to family, getting home cooked meals, etc. Of course the realities of life wouldn't let me have it that way. I finished my 3rd year of undergrad, packed all my things and moved back home only to find maybe two days later that I had failed a prerequisite statistics course that I would absoloutely need if I wanted to graduate with my psychology degree. I have always been one to say that marks do not and will not determine your life in anyway ( I still feel that to be true), but I felt depressed. I felt like I had failed myself, and that I was pushed ten steps back from where I once stood. Turns out that failing that course is exactly what I needed. Months prior to finding out I failed that course I was sad, constantly moody, and withdrew from some of the most important people in my life. Failing when I thought I never would was a true blessing in disguise. Returning to London allowed me to have my apartment all to myself, focus on the the people and things I loved most and got back on track both academically and socially at my own pace. Self-growth and self- discovery became my priority that summer.
That same summer, after successfully completing that horrific course (fcuk math) I had back to back interviews with Apple. In August I was hired. If I did not fail that statistics course, I would not have attended those interviews. If I did not attend those interviews I would not have met some of the most inspiring people I get to call my friends. I guess what I'm trying to say is, doors will close. Doors will close when you so desperately need them to stay open. Doors will close but doors will open too. If you ever find yourself lost in the moment, know you are not alone. Even the people who seem so confident in their next steps of life are just as confused as you are (if not more). I told myself that summer that once I had enough money saved up I would take another trip to feel the same type of high I felt during Nicaragua. Long story short (the planning was very spontaneous and a bit difficult trying to accommodate different schedules) two of my good friends and I decided on Colombia. My good friend R lived there for 4 months and we felt that seeing Colombia, learning Spanish, and integrating into the culture would be a perfect thing to do since she literally called Colombia her second home. After a few stressful weeks of exams we were off to Colombia! Three days in Bogota Colombia, and the remaining 6 or so in Cartagena.
Here are some snippets from the trip:
.. and of course, like anything in life some of the greatest moments from this trip were not (and could not be) documented. Aamina and Robin, I don't think you understand how much I needed this trip. You two made such solid travel buddies. I know we got hangry at times, but that was the extent of our frustration (haha). Thank-you so much guys. Let's do this again! Where to next?
A 24 year old Canadian living (& teaching) in Shenzhen, China.