Escape to the True North

Having 6 weeks between semesters, I decided to take this opportunity to go home to visit family and friends. While I would of loved to stay in Colombia and travelled some more, I definitely needed a break from it all. Plus I missed everyone and I was pretty over the idea of travelling alone after the nightmare that Bolivia was.

A girlfriend of mine had flown down right after I finished first semester for a week of fun and I hopped on her flight back to Canada for a nice 4-week holiday in the homeland. When the plane landed in Toronto, we actually ran all the way through security and baggage claim, eager to get the hell out of the airport and for me, to get into the comfort of my own bed.

Most of my time in Canada was spent in my hometown of Burlington, with family and friends. I picked up my old favourite game of Scrabble, which my mom and I would play for hours in the backyard. I also got the chance to venture out to Niagara-On-The-Lake to enjoy the warm weather and a visit hip new brewery called The Exchange Brewery. I felt the irony in it as I took a break from my exchange.

Additionally, I was able to attend both my first and second Toronto Blue Jay’s game EVER! I know it’s kind of silly, being a short 45min train ride away from the city, but not being a baseball person hindered me from attending these games in previous years. However, after experiencing the crowd, popcorn and beer, I’ve realized that you don’t have to be a baseball person and there will always be someone there to help explain the game to you. I already can’t wait until next summer and a lot more games!

One of the highlights of my trip back home was definitely my 10 days spent in Ottawa, especially for #Canada150. I was able to see a ton of my sorority sisters, old work colleagues, friends from other organizations and my favourite spots around the city. The city was just as beautiful as I left it and I know in years to come, I will always be making trips out there. The crazy part about it all, was that yeah sure, there’s some new faces and new gossip to catch up on, but so much was still the same.

The weirdest part about being home though was how glued everyone is to their phones. “Did you see this person’s Instagram caption?” “OMG look at this snapchat!” “Their layout is #goals!” It was incredibly irritating and even more incredibly pointless. I found it very hard to have quality conversations with some individuals as their attentive listening skills were being diminished by digital distractions. Maybe that’s just North American culture? Maybe that’s just immaturity? Maybe it’s because an entire class of mine in first semester focused on attentive listening? I don’t know. When I’m in Colombia, we only use our phones if we’re alone. If we’re in a group of two or more, we’re actually talking with each other, having quality conversations and making memories. Hopefully that trend doesn’t last long because I love actually talking with people.

Overall, being home was great! I attended a lot of concerts, Wintersleep, Half Moon Run, The Sheepdogs, Steve Aoki, Tiesto and a few others. I made a lot of great memories and I developed a new relationship that has become quite important to me. I am happy to be back in Colombia to finish up my degree and explore some more, but I can’t wait to get back to Canada for good and start moving on with my life.

-Charlotte

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