Despite being out of education longer than I care to state, I still get those back to school feelings every year. Not the full-of-dread kind, but the oooh-new-stationery kind, and the this-early-morning-feels-a-little-chillier kind. The kind where you're full of excitement (and a little anxiety) about the new uniform, the new friends you might make, and all the opportunity laid out in front of you.
Unfortunately, I'm not actually buying any stationery, and there are no crisp white blouses over here.
September IS however, a pretty big month for me. I am still full of that anticipation.
This month sees me clambering onto a plane on my lonesome, and heading across the pond. I've wanted to visit Canada for at least half my life, so I'm getting on and doing it. What's the point in trying to find someone who wants to do the exact same trip as you, and then waiting around for them to be able to afford it or book it off work?
Nah, as much as I love adventures with my friends, this one is mine.
Luckily for me, I have a friend in Ottawa, so that's where I'll be starting my adventure. I thought I'd ease myself in by having someone who can show me around, keep me company in my first new place, and is there if I need anything.
From then I'll be heading out on my own, first stop Toronto, then crossing the border to New York.
Little old me, on my own, all the way over there. Can you believe it?! I can't, not really. As with all holidays, it doesn't really feel real until your plane is landing. In fact, I exclaimed to myself the other day with a big grin, "I'm going to Canada & New York!"
You might be thinking, "what's the big deal? People do that all the time." and you're right. People do. But I don't. I play it safe. I don't take risks. I stay in my bubble.
Well, at least I used to. If you're a long time follower of my blog, you'll know about my struggles with anxiety.
I used to be so crippled by it that I could barely leave the house on my own, let alone go into a shop, a bank, a doctor's surgery. I'd get so anxious that numbers and times just became jumbled up symbols that meant absolutely nothing to me. I'd get to train stations an hour+ early, because travelling triggered some weird thoughts and feelings.
And now I've budgeted & saved, booked flights, accommodation, everything by myself. I'm going to the airports and getting on the planes by myself. I'm travelling from the airports to where I'm staying by myself.
I need to live more. DO more. See more. I feel so disconnected from things a lot of the time.
But boy, it's feeling so good to challenge myself and treat myself to something that I've wanted for so long.
I already have lists longer than my arms and legs, but if you have any recommendations for Ottawa, Toronto, New York or anywhere nearby, please leave me a comment!
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