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I think I’ve decided I want to stay in Europe. Just thoughts I’ve been having lately, it’s hard to sum up. I love the town I grew up in, I love what Canada has to offer, and I think it is a great place to raise a family or to settle down in. It’s peaceful and beautiful and different. And I know people born and raised in Terrace, BC, I know people who want to spend their entire life there, and that is fantastic. But it’s not for me.

But I also feel that a big portion of the youth in my town are wasting their lives[1], and when I’m there, I sometimes include myself in that. When I’m “home” (Terrace), I feel like I forget about my ambitions and dreams, or just feel that they’re so far in the future. But they’re not. They’re now. I want to be living my dreams now. And I don’t think I can do that there. Camping and late nights and partying—I do always have fun back home. But I feel like I’m just going in circles, nowhere. I want that to stop. I want to be focused and, as I said, I want to go after my dreams.

So, back to thought number one, I think I want to stay in Europe. This isn’t a plan, this is just the outcome of a combination of thoughts I’ve been having lately. I know I change my mind a lot, a lot, so a year from today, I might be set on who knows what. But right now this is it.

Travelling. That’s what I want to do. That’s all I want to do. I don’t know how it’s going to be possible yet, but I think I have better opportunities here, in Europe. Where the countries and continents that I want to travel to are closer, where there are cheaper airlines, where there are many languages, where there are people from everywhere—this is where I feel I need to be.

If I could stay here in Krakow this summer, I would. But I’ve done the calculations and if I want to make enough money to travel Europe with Paige next year, February 2014, then I have to go back to Canada to get a higher paying job. Staying here, I would make about 1/3 of what I need and I’d be paying rent somewhere. In Canada, I would make more than enough, the cost of flight tickets included, and I’d be living at home with my family. But that’s okay. I’ll go back to Terrace, for 6 months, work, save enough money, travel Europe for 6 months[2], and then stay. I think. And maybe have a bit more of a plan by the time I get there.

I’ve met some really amazing people here, I think I’ve mentioned before, from all over the world. And everyone has amazing stories. Everyone has dreams that they are pursuing, or are on an unknown journey. I want my life to become that, too. Staying in Terrace, going to UNBC or a nearby university in British Columbia, I don’t think that’s ever been my dream. And it definitely isn’t right now. I’ve been inspired by the people that I’ve met. I want to find my passions, pursue them, and be happy here. The people I’ve met and spent time with—are alive. Whether or not they had a plan when they set out on their journeys, I think they’ve all ended up where they’ve needed to be.

Some people are on my back for not wanting to go to school. Right now, I am clueless as to what I want to pursue in the future, in terms of career. But when I figure that out, if there is schooling required, then that’s what I’ll do. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve met people between the ages of 25-30 that are still travelling and unsure of their future, or that have only began university to lead them to what they want to do—which they discovered on their adventures abroad.

So far, I’ve been doing what I’ve wanted.  I’ve regained what Polish I knew (which was a lot less than I thought it was), learned some new things, gotten to know my family, history, culture, everything I wanted. And I want to continue that. My 6-month Europe trip with my best friend has been in the books for a while. Now, the question is, where to next? I want to keep making choices I’ll be happy with.

Me, being a person of lists, has started to build one for this summer when I return. Things I’ve wanted to do in Terrace the past few years but haven’t gotten around to doing. Considering that it may be my last chance in a while, I am going to give it my best shot, and really try not to waste a single day. There are places I’ve wanted to hike, there are still local sites I want to see, there are languages I want to start learning (meaning I might find time to once I’m back), and there are people I want to spend more time with. I have a lot to do when I get home, and six months to do it in. Two trips I’ve really wanted to do are a Victoria trip and an Alaska trip, but as I’ll be working full time, I’m not sure about those two. But it’s going on the list!

Right. So this is my informal announcement and uncertain plan: I think I might stay in Europe after travelling it next year. Not necessarily Poland; if I want to learn French and Spanish, I think the best way to do that is to immerse myself in the right country. I know I will come back to visit Poland, though, I’m just not sure for how long. Ladeeda!

 

Joanna

P.S. Title refers to the song by Switchfoot, one of the songs I listened to while writing this, look it up!


[1] No, I do not mean you guys, the friends back home that are reading this. But you know who I mean, I think.

[2] The rough country-list-plan right now is: Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, Scotland, Ireland.

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