Hola from Canada!
I have safely arrived to the splendid land of maple syrup, purple money and Justin Bieber. Although, I must quickly contend that Ryan Reynolds should be Canada’s most prominant claim to fame. Anyway, the Canadian stereotypes do ring true for the most part (the incessant “sorry-s” and the cheese/gravy soaked French fries), however this place is far more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.
The mountains are immense; they stretch along the coast of the ocean and provide an awakening view from my deck. I’m in awe of the wonders I see when I hike. Thick green moss coats the rocks and tree stumps and the spruce and evergreen trees grow far taller than anything in the Midwest. Spending intimate time on the trials makes you feel trifle, humble, yet so wildly free. The few moments I have already spent in the mountains made me fall in love with mother nature- even though I do vehemently curse at her every time I almost fall to my death- sorry Mother N and Jesus C. When I hear the ocean waves crash into the beach and smell the salty, fresh air, I feel so alive. It’s indescribable really, cough cough, come visit to find out. And while the mountains and Vancouver are dreamy and wonderful and sometimes when I see the sun sink into the ocean I scream and pee my pants, being away from home is hard.
Physically moving here was easy. It was exciting. I shoved my belongings in my car and my best friend in the passenger seat, (shout out to Chlipala) then headed west. But after the honeymoon period fades, it’s the emotionally moving part that is not so easy.
So I am here to tell you all the nitty gritty about moving to a new place alone. While it all may seem like glitter and giggles, this is after all “Mikki and the Truth”. (Don’t know why I named my blog that, sorry didn’t think it would actually show up on the URL thingy). Oh, and apparently my blogs are a little random so here, I’ll put some numbers next to my thoughts!!!!
1). It’s foreign. Completely foreign. At least in the beginning. No face is familiar, no place is familiar, no conversation is familiar. When I first moved here the only way I got human contact was by talking to complete strangers while praying mercifully that they weren’t a deranged serial killer. It’s the little things too, of course it is, it always is. But when you move, you are in a land of no running-into-old friends and no “remember whens,” and no “hey, I saw so and so today.” It’s exhausting. And when you move your brain is constantly taking in all the new streets, and names, and rules, and trying to figure out where you are or who you are or why you decided to leave it all behind.
2). Seldom things make me feel like home. I go to all the grocery stores and none of my favorite brands or foods are there. Except for cucumbers, cucumbers are probably everywhere. I want to talk about the Twins game or ice fishing or Prince (haha kidding) and no one really knows what those are. Palm trees and mountains surround me but sometimes I see a tree that resembles the ones in Minnesota and I scream at the top of my lungs pretend like it ain’t no biggie. There is a house across the ally that has similar trimming and roofing like the old houses in Duluth. There are few reminders of home, but they all resonate with me for a while.
3). You do things on your own. I used to live in a big palace with 5 of my best friends and it was truly da time of mah life. We would shop together, cook together, and honestly, when we all shared a bathroom we would pee, shower and wash our faces together. When you move alone you just figure things out for yourself. Like if you really need a microwave and some guy says he’ll sell you the one in his basement if you just come down and check it out first. You have to decide if that’s really a good idea or not, which it wasn’t. The microwave takes like 5 whole minutes to heat up my tea.
4). You have to explain everything. Why you constantly forget what you were talking about or why you just asked if hermit crabs can go on an airplane. You have to explain your family and your interests and why you always wear a blue bracelet and where Minnesota is and yes, you explain it is kind of like the movie Fargo.
5). Your heart will ache. I have thought about my friends and my family and my job and my old town and my heart has physically hurt missing it all. Missing birthdays and celebrations and new jobs and babies growing up. They tell me that I am not missing much and that where I am is seemingly better, but I loved where I was and who I was with profoundly. Moving on hurts profoundly, too.
6). Most importantly you will meet amazing people that change your whole perspective on what life is like. They will challenge your thoughts; show you unwarranted compassion and kindness. People you briefly meet will check in about how the move has been going and offer a home to come to for Thanksgiving. Strangers at the bus stop will walk you to your class. People will have different hobbies and cultures and stories and it will make you crave a zest for newness that you never would have known if you stayed in your own bordered comfort zone.
I am so thankful for my experiences I have had so far, for the classmates I grown to know and adore, for the festivities that could not have happened anywhere but here. I guess with this post I just wanted to shed light on the challenges I, and many others that have moved away have faced but rarely talked about. It’s scary and it’s uncomfortable, but with humility and curiosity, it will open up your world. I MISS YOU ALL AND $50 GOES TO WHOEVER VISITS FIRST.