11 days

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“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

11 days, 11 short days until I will be boarding the plane in Munich and stepping off in Vancouver. Two cities with the similarity of being surrounded by beautiful snow covered mountains, two cities separated by millions of differences, from language to beer to culture, but most importantly two cities that hold completely distinct lives for me.
I’m going from laughing and drinking beer with my friends in our favorite bars, to laughing over my step dads’ delicious breakfast with my family. From having no room that I really felt was entirely “mine” to my familiar purple room with my world map full of pins, that is going to need some updating. I’m going from taking the train to meet my friends in the city, to having my best friends living a 2 minute walk down the stairs and ready to bake the next crazy concoction or go for that familiar walk to Timmy’s for our favorite double-double.
ImageI don’t know what I’m doing after Christmas or even what I’m doing until I leave Munich. But I think that’s part of the beauty, I am young, I can do whatever I want. It just takes a bit of work and planning and I can be on the next plane to New Zealand, or applying to a new University for whatever I think I want to study now, or planning a trip backpacking Southeast Asia. The opportunities are endless and I know for certain I won’t be doing the same thing as everybody else, no matter what crazy idea I come up with next I plan to follow through.
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I am the type of person to not think too much about something until the last second, even when I try to imagine getting on the plane it doesn’t really compute in my mind. Sure, I’ve thought about seeing my family standing at the airport waiting for me, the fact that I am leaving this city and don’t have any idea when I will return. The fact that I don’t know when I’ll get to see some of these people again-the ones that have been the most important parts of my life this year. But for me that won’t hit until I’m laying in my warm bed, jet lagged and unable to sleep while everyone else is, so they can go to work or school the next day. When I sit there and realize I can’t just walk out my door, buy drinkable yogurt, and spend another day exploring the city with my best friend and her adorable host kid while he yells “nein” and makes us laugh.
But as the saying goes “you don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward”. I know that it’s time for me to go, unfortunate as it is, and there are only bigger and better things that await.
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The small things that turned out to be big were; nights with my four best friends, when we were still all here together in the city, the weekends off exploring new places, the nights we pre-gamed at the central train station from grocery store beer. It’s all hitting me now, because I can count on my fingers the amount of nights like that left.
My best friend leaves in 2 days, I started to plan how I’m going to bring everything to the airport, I started saying goodbye to places and people I know I won’t see again. But it’s a lesson too. Because now I am going to go home and appreciate every family dinner, every beautiful mountain view, and every thing, big and small, that I took advantage of before I left. I realize it’s the little things. Not the next big holiday, not the next trip you’re going to take, but the time you get to spend with the people you love.

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