Transitions: My Westward Trek from Ontario to BC via Thailand

Guest post by Sarah Atkinson

sarahOver the span of just a month, I managed to leave my well-established life in Ottawa, Ontario behind to pursue a new adventure in Victoria, B.C.

Oh yeah, and I stopped over in Thailand for a three week backpacking trip in between. So without further ado, here is a summary of my unusual journey:

Life in Ottawa was finally coming together for me as it drew to a quick end. I had moved to Ottawa from London last September to attend the University of Ottawa. While living amongst the hustle and bustle of the big city, I realized the lack of green space and excessive pollution wasn’t quite for me.

Visiting my sisters in Victoria during Christmas vacation opened my eyes to the University of Victoria. Following that, my sights were set on the Eden of a university campus that is UVic.

I applied in January, was accepted in February, and started planning my move to the west coast (while simultaneously planning a trip to Thailand and Cambodia for May). Despite my eagerness to reach beautiful British Columbia, leaving Ottawa was difficult. During my last month there I finally secured a super tight friend group.

uvic-sign-featureNot to mention, I realized I was leaving the political and bilingual capital of Canada to study political science and French in Victoria. I couldn’t help but think: Am I doing the right thing? I wouldn’t know for another three weeks because suddenly I was waving goodbye to Ottawa and hello to Bangkok!

With just a 35L backpack strapped to me, I stepped off the plane and into the chaos that is Bangkok. After meeting up with my sister, Lindsay, we traveled from Bangkok to the southern islands of Thailand to Cambodia. It was an unbelievable adventure and certainly one I look forward to writing more about.

There was definitely an uneasy feeling within me during most of this trip although this was not because I was in a foreign country. My mind couldn’t help but wander to the fact that I was in a state of transition where I was caught in between calling Ottawa and Victoria home.

Uvic_Commercial_2014-101When people asked where I was from, Lindsay would jokingly say I was homeless – which was basically true seeing as all of my belongings were in boxes and, at that time, probably making their way across the Prairie Provinces. As our trip quickly began to run out of days, the excitement and nervousness continued to wrack my mind.

Arriving in Victoria felt like a warm hug from a close relative. Because it was. My other sister, Liz, picked me up at the ferry terminal. I immediately slept for sixteen hours straight.

Once adjusting to the fourteen hour time difference, I set out to find a job. I geared up for what I imagined would be the fight of my life. To my surprise, I was hired on the spot at my favourite café downtown!

That experience was what made me realize I am most definitely in the right place. It’s only been two weeks, but I am beyond excited to call Victoria my new home. UVic, here I come!

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