Up, Up and Away.

More than 12 hours ago (for me, at least; it is 1100 in London, England), I waved goodbye to my amazing boyfriend as I stepped passed the invisible line that is airport security and into the fate of the next 48 hours: travel, travel and – yup, you guessed it – more travel. Within 48 hours from 6pm, I will have seen the inside of 4 different airports; and 3 countries that is not my own. As I sit here in London Heathrow Airport sipping a latte and fighting the urge to close my eyes for just 2 minutes, I feel strangely at ease. Except for the fact that when I went to the coffee shop and asked for a regular coffee, they asked if I meant a latte. We are not at Tim Horton’s anymore, Toto.

20170507_091747

It’s a cloudy day in London, England.

In the weeks leading up to this departure, I was facing a mix of excitement and nerves; I very often thought to myself “what the heck am I doing??”. I second guessed my ability to do this, and especially for 90 days. My thoughts ranged from “what if something happened?” to “what if something went wrong?” to “what if I don’t accomplish what I am supposed too?” and “what if I love it so much I don’t want to come home?” And then I realized – it’s okay if something goes wrong, or if something happens, or if I suck at my job, because I am strong and I can get through it. I’ll be safer, I’ll work harder, and I’ll get stronger. It is so surreal to be doing this. But, I think the weight of what I am setting off to do is finally sinking in, and it’s a heaviness that I now embrace with open arms. I am setting off, more than half way across the world, to make a difference. There is something very calming about that. Even though I am not 100% sure how this mandate will play out, or if it will be anything like I have imagined thus far, I do know it will be great.

My boyfriend has been more supportive that I ever could have hoped, and I find myself thanking the universe for bringing me to him. He has never failed to tell me how proud he is of me for setting off on this adventure. 90 days is a long time, but I know he will be right there at the airport the second my flight touches ground, welcoming me home with open arms and the smile I have come to love.

18301901_1441977132489106_4126388129880261065_n

This goodbye was only a “see you later” – thanks for being an amazing man.

My stay in London will be short lived; in less than 12 hours I will be on my next flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and then onto my final destination in Tanzania.

Bring it on, Africa.

J xo

Kiddo, you’ve got to love yourself

As you know, I am a second year BScN student in Ontario. That being said, my opportunities for abroad travel are very slim because of the specific course requirements and practicum requirements that are put into place for our success. Fast forward to this year. In February 2016, I was presented with an opportunity I never thought I’d follow through on, one that I never thought in a million years would be possible. I was informed by my school’s International Office that there was a program this summer that would allow me to study for 4 weeks at Linköping University in Linköping, Sweden. I made an appointment with the International Office to go in that same day, and I filled out the application to the university, not even really thinking about actually getting accepted. It is a super competitive program and I applied on the last day. Literally, I sat down and my advisor said to me “so it’s the last day to get applications in so if you are even thinking about it, apply. You can always withdraw the application later”. So, I did. And it may very well be the best decision I have ever made.

A little while ago, I came across this post on facebook:

KID

I came across it before I ever considered traveling abroad; and to be fully honest, its part of the reason I took that spur of the moment opportunity and filled out the application. Sure, I want to travel the world and explore new places and fall in love with stupid addresses (I’m looking at you, Sweden) but I realized then that even more so I wanted to explore my own mind, my own body and fall in love with myself. I think there are opportunities in life that you just cannot say “no” to – I think this is one of them. I’ve never fully known who I am – I’ve never really been “alone”. I’ve been through some things that have made me a better person, but I’m still deeply rooted in my past, and I need to break free of those roots and let myself grow – for the sake of me now, in this moment, and the me in 10 years who will be caring for patients in a hospital somewhere listening to their life stories and wishing I had taken chances when I could.

I’m tired of living my life in the passenger seat – doing what I think people would want me to do and not doing what I want to do. I’m a people pleaser – I always have been. I seek approval for my actions, and never, ever do anything without running it by someone else first. I want people to want me, to love me. But the sad part is, while I was so busy trying to make people love me, I forgot to love myself.

And it’s really about time that I start loving myself.

xoxo,

your little world traveler.