Monday, August 1, 2016

Almost to Prince Edward Island! - August 2, 2013

Well…it would seem this might be the last day of driving before we get to our destination! I say that but I don’t know if I really had a destination. I think my purpose was to see the country with my little son, meet up with people along the way that I’ve met in person over the last few years, and then drive back through the USA to see that part of the world. (Our next door neighbour, foreign country)
Since I wrote last I spent a week in Kirkland Lake Ontario. It was tough to leave and I seriously considered finding a job there, giving up my teaching career for the time being, and becoming a Kirkland Lake-er again. I know that sounds crazy to most of you (because I assume most of those that read this blog are living vicariously and love the thought of having a life of travel) but I miss KL and I miss my daughter. There are other reasons that I won’t go into here…
However, I was informed while there that the chance of getting a teaching job there, even for supply teaching, would be around -10. 5 teachers who were teaching full time when I lived there 5 years ago just got laid off, probably permanently. I am not sure I am ready to give up my career just yet so I decided to wait on that particular decision. However, I decided that I would spend next summer there as a compromise to moving there.
Here is a reason I love it there so much:

Anyway…here we are in Quebec City so obviously I didn’t stay. Here are some pictures of Southern Ontario:

It is quite beautiful down there and I regret not stopping and taking more photos. By the time the second day rolled around (which was yesterday), it was POURING rain. It was raining so hard that I actually didn’t see the sign to let me know I had entered Quebec. I figured it out when I noticed that all the road signs were in French.
I absolutely love Quebec, the province. It’s beautiful and the French is such a lovely language. (I really want to learn it!) I would love to live here someday and really learn the language and culture. That being said, it is so much like being in a foreign country when here. I say that because now I’ve BEEN in a foreign country and I know what it feels like. I can see why the French feel so alone and desirous of separation now. It must be frustrating to travel in your own country (Canada) and not understand the language (English). Fortunately, I know enough French and it is close enough to English to not be much of an impediment to my getting through daily things while here. I have found that being in China has made me more brave in many ways I did not anticipate when leaving Canada.
I will say this about myself: as brave as people think I am there were some things I found very difficult to do that now I find a lot easier. A year ago I would probably have avoided Quebec City, afraid that not knowing the language would make it too difficult to rent a hotel room or order off the menu. Now I know for sure that those things can be overcome with ease. Well…maybe not with EASE…but overcome at least. And French is really not that different than English (compared to Chinese). I also would never have gone to a party like I did in Kirkland Lake at a stranger’s house. I was invited to an international party where all the guests were residents of Kirkland Lake but had international origins. I have always been paralyzed with social fears when it comes to things like that. However, I didn’t think about it too much, said I would go, and I met so many new and interesting people there and had a great time. China has definitely changed me and made me more fearless about things I should never have been afraid of.
This summer has been quite a journey, both geographically, emotionally and for my growth as a person. I started off at the airport in Vancouver wishing I hadn’t signed up for another year in China because of all the luxuries of my own country. I went through the fears of leaving for my cross country trip with only my son, a tent and a car only to discover it was the most peaceful way to travel. I went to a house party and met fascinating people, went through indecision about whether to not to stay near my daughter and am about to enter the final phase of my trip. I am glad to be going back to China now because I recognize how much it has made me stretch my own comfort levels. I am excited to see PEI and to see the northern United States. Until next time, dear readers!!

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