I’m home! I made it back in one piece, with just a few small scars and legs that are incredibly toned, yet sporting the world’s worst tan line. Sometimes I struggle to believe the past three and a half months have really been my life. I spent half my summer on a bicycle? I saw six new countries and traveled over 3000 kilometres on nothing but resourcefulness and energy reserves?
As challenging, ever-varied and life-changing as this whole adventure has been, I must admit that I’m relieved to take a break from it all. Back to the ‘real world’, as we say. Although I’ll be occupied with job opportunities and rooms for rent, and handling the logistical side of life after an extended time abroad, it’s almost refreshing. I relish the chance to be grounded in one place for the time being- to catch up with friends and form new connections, watch the progression of the seasons, and get back into hobbies like fermenting foods and knitting hats. Not to mention, I’ll finally get to spend cold days nestled up inside watching Netflix!
I don’t want to pretend the preceding months have been nothing but sunshine and roses. I’ve experienced cold, rain, thirst, frustration, and slimy slugs crawling up my tent. I cried bitter tears of frustration more often than I’d like to admit. And yet I persevered, with a lot of life lessons and memories to take home with me.
My imagination ran wild as I cycled through landscapes painted by the likes of Van Gogh and Cezanne in France. Fairytale cities greeted me in Belgium. My days in the Netherlands were wonderfully pleasant- I can continue to say that I’ve never met a Dutch person I didn’t like. Germany was a delight with its castles and wineries. Finally, although the weather would make it difficult to stay long-term, I was utterly charmed by Ireland’s helpful people and stunning landscapes.
This journey has exceeded my expectations in so many ways. Now that I’m safely home in Canada, with all the wifi I could need and a laptop at my disposal, I can’t wait to share these memories and words of advice with you!
Thanks for being patient, and stay tuned for more. 😀