Wow, 10 years! Can you believe it?
Thinking back I remember myself as a shy girl who wasn’t sure what she wanted in life and what made her happy. She didn’t know if she had made the right decision to move overseas, especially with only a handful of English words she knew. She wasn’t sure then if she would ever find a place where she belonged and could feel happy.
If I could go back ten years, I would tell myself to enjoy every single moment. I would tell myself that though there would be hard and rough days, the good and fun days would outweigh the bad.
Last year on my nine-year anniversary of being in Canada, Michelle asked me which five things came to mind when I think about Canada.
My answers last year were:
- Michelle & Ken
There were so many more things I could have listed including dancing, running, swimming, nature and so on but those five words came first to mind when Michelle asked. I answered without thinking about it too much.
Today marks my ten-year anniversary and I could add five more today …
- No Regrets
Here are a few reasons why I choose those five words last year ...
Without him and his family, I would never have come to Canada and experienced such an extraordinary life. See Adventures below. Here are a few examples ...
|Skiing in Sunshine Village, Grassi Lakes, Lake Louise, Boom Lake, Kananaskis, Emerald Lake, Canmore, Banff|
After taking the huge step to move from Chemnitz (Germany) to Calgary (Canada) on my own, moving to Canmore was another big step. In Canmore, I lived “away” from everything I had known. I enjoyed starting new adventures, making new friends, exploring, partying, working and just being on my own for a while.
|Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge|
Moving to Canada was the best thing I have ever done. Moving here opened new doors for me:
I was able to travel a lot. Here are just a few places I have been to. I can't wait to explore the world even more.
- 2010 Kelowna, British Columbia 🇨🇦
- 2011-2019 (every year) Germany 🇩🇪
- 2012-2015 (every year) Vancouver 🇨🇦
- 2015 Orlando, Florida 🇺🇸
- 2015 Niagara Falls, Quebec, Montreal 🇨🇦
- 2017 Athens, Santorini 🇬🇷
- 2018 Maui 🇺🇸
- 2019 Oahu 🇺🇸
- 2020 Caribbean cruise (booked)
I was also able to work in different kinds of jobs such as:
- Five years at a hotel
- Two years in a little teahouse in the kitchen and
- Over the past couple of years I also took care of sixteen (16!) children from seven different families from all over the world including from Italy, Austria, India, Pakistan, Canada, and Germany. I loved (still love) every minute with all "my" kids.
Every day was an adventure for me, especially in the beginning when everything was new.
With Falk and his family, weekends were always family time: hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
After I moved to Canmore, I used to go on walks, small hikes, bike rides on my own until I met Georgia. She was my new roommate and we “created” Adventure Wednesdays because Wednesday was our day off work for both of us. We decided that we would try something new every Wednesday for a couple of weeks. We went horseback riding, biked the Legacy Trail from Canmore to Banff and back, went whitewater rafting, hiked to Grassi Lakes and Sulphur Mountain, went rollerskating, skateboarding, climbing, and went to Johnston Lake. At some point a few Adventure Wednesdays happened in Calgary with Michelle: a three-part, three-day duathlon, biking 47 kilometers, and our own "Diva Duathlon. Writing this makes me smile and think about all the fun we had.
Back in 2011, I started running and I have raced everything from 5K to a full marathon. I also started biking and swimming and went from a fun three-part, three-day duathlon, to a short distance duathlon (run-bike-run) to eventually a Team Half-Iron 70.3 triathlon (swim-bike-run) where I biked the 90 kilometer part in 3 hours and 28 minutes for our team. After that, I even completed a whole sprint distance triathlon all by myself. I loved my very active life but I also love my adventures and travel life.
Michelle and Ken
The first time I met Michelle in 2009, I wanted to be friends with her. She had such a warm smile and just made me feel welcome. Little did I know that she would become my best friend. In the summer of 2017 I moved to downtown Calgary but it didn’t work out so Michelle and Ken said to come stay with them for a month or so. That was two years ago =) We are all still very happy with the arrangement and none of us wants that to change any time soon. It doesn't matter if I need advice, or if I need my space to just be on my own, or if we just want to go on an adventure, Michelle and Ken are always there for me. These two truly are "Friends For Life".
The main thing I learned over the years is that with the right people in your tribe, life is good. Surround yourself with like-minded people and enjoy every single minute of your life. I only have a handful of people that I love having in my life but we support each other and are there for each other no matter what.
"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations." -- Zig Ziglar
I am looking forward to each day, week, month, year that lies ahead. Adventures, here I (we) come!