So this week has been a very emotional one, I’ve finally left Arlington and all the friends I have made there to return to my home in England. I am partially excited to return home, partially sad to be leaving the life I had made in the Metroplex behind and there has been almost as many tears about leaving the U.S as there was tears when I left the U.K. However, I don’t feel like I have enough distance from my time abroad to fully do justice to a blog post about my thoughts around the year abroad, so I have therefore decided to write a post about Canada where I have stopped off on the way home.
I have family in Canada, and I’ve never had the chance to come and visit them before now. I thought there was no better time to come and visit than when I was in North America, so when my family asked if I would like to visit I jumped at the chance. Today is only my second full day in Canada, but I’m already in love with the place. There hasn’t been a single bit of scenery that wouldn’t be at home on a chocolate box, and each bend in the road seems to lead to something more spectacular. We’ve already crossed two mountain ranges on our route from the Vancouver area to Shuswap and we have three more between my family’s home and Calgary, including the Rockies, which I’m promised are each more beautiful than the last.
Yesterday I met up with some members of my extended family who I’ve never been fortunate enough to meet in England, and had a lovely day getting to know them and learning about some of the history of British Columbia in the fur trading period and the 1920s. We visited historic Fort Langley where the Hudson Bay Company had their headquarters and participated in the booming fur-trade and the later gold rush. The place was filled with actors that really brought the nineteenth century to life. I then had my first Tim Horton’s (it was delicious) and traveled with my family to Burnaby Village which is a model of a 1920s British Columbia settlement. We then went to have dinner at a nice seafood place on the Pacific from which I could see the United States – not as easy to escape America as I thought!
Today my family and I drove from Surrey (just outside Vancouver) to their house on the Shuswap Lake. They took the scenic route, which added about two hours to our already substantial journey. However, it paid off, the mountains were beautiful and I spent the whole journey in awe at my surroundings. The seven hours we spent driving seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, the break we took at Hell’s Gate for a cable car and gold panning also helped.
So far, I’m in love with Canada. The country is stunning and everyone I’ve met has been lovely, and I’m excited to spend the rest of my week here before returning home on Saturday. I’ve got a jam-packed summer of working, Model United Nations, and various trips away across the UK to also look forward to in the next few months as well as my trip to New York City and Pennsylvania in August.
Let me know your summer plans in the comments!