The First Trip Back Home

The holidays call for substituting books with family.

To prepare for my three week stay in Saskatchewan (or, as my UVIC friends like to call it, the Wan), I packed an extra-large suitcase exploding with UVIC merch that will eventually be wrapped and placed under a fake tree back home.

The morning of my return to the Wan I woke up to a pink and orange sunrise lighting up mountains and salted water. Of course, Victoria has to rub in its beauty the morning I leave it.

So, this three-month-stand ends with a BC Transit “bus of shame” towards the airport for my flight departing at noon. I sit in the airport watching Christmas Netflix movies to get myself excited to see snow and family.

This Christmas, I don’t care how much I will receive or give, as long as I get to see my mom, the snow, my queen-sized bed, and a couple of friends, I’d be satisfied with Christmas.

Victoria in December is not Saskatchewan in December. In Victoria there are no dangerous, blizzarding highway drives, killer windchills, or people piling on thick layers like they’re a cake from Cake Boss.

Victoria has rain, bikes, and Blundstones, while Saskatchewan has snow, booked travels to the south, and Sorels. My transition from Victoria to “the Wan” felt like I was Hannah Montana going back to her brown roots as Miley Cyrus. Travelling into a snow globe like someone yelled “Honey, I shrunk the Kids” has made me realize how different my two homes are, and how different my separate lives are.

I am very fortunate for having two lives. I may not have Miley’s father, Billy Ray, but I sure do have my mom, who is my second biggest fan. I’ve learned how to become my own biggest fan because of my UVIC life.

I’ve discovered new senses of independence, self-motivation, perseverance, achievement, and self-love. My first term in Victoria as a first-year student has taught me how to commit the entirety of my life to myself.

Since arriving back in the Wan, I’m most aware of the changes I’ve committed to, for myself. Through goal setting, facing challenges and fears, meeting new people, and living by myself, I have flourished into a new Annika.

I am a persistent Annika that has adapted to a new lifestyle in a foreign environment, a happy Annika who lives in constant gratitude, and a transformed Annika, all that is crucial for her desired future.

So, I sit beside the window, watching the wind wisp snowflakes over snowbanks in the frozen Wan. I smile in reflection of the last three months, and how the changes I’ve made have emphasized how far I’ve come and how far I’ll go.

I love it here: in an Annika that loves this world, full of minor challenges that can result in major growth.

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6 Responses

  1. Pamela says:

    I’m your third biggest fan ;). Can’t wait to see you this summer❤️

    • Annika says:

      Ahhh! You make my heart happy. I can’t wait to see you experiencing my first full year at UVIC. Time will go by fast.

  2. Denise Wilkinson says:

    You’re so awesome, Annika! How lucky I am the be counted as one of the people you wanted to see here in the Wan!

    • Annika says:

      Of course! Your love and support means the world to me. 🙂

      P.S. I put on my bracelet when I put on my sun necklace every morning. It’s a part of me now!

  3. AJ says:

    The more that gets told about our two Annikas’, the more they will become one beautiful Annika.
    Spread your wings wide and bring your dreams to life! The flat lands and landers will always be here for you!

    • Annika says:

      Wow! I appreciate you and your comment. You’re an amazing person that I’m glad to call my big sister. Can’t wait for our growth to meet again this summer. <3