*This post was actually written on Wednesday, August 21st while I flew from Fredericton to Toronto but with failing Internet at the Toronto airport and only getting Internet connection tonight in China I'm only getting to post it now. Enjoy!
Here we go!
7 weeks have come and gone in a flash. As cliché as it may sound, time flies when you're having fun! I got off the plane from Calgary on July 1st and remember thinking over and over again how awesome it was that I got to spend 7 weeks back home in the Maritimes. It seemed like so much time! And I certainly had a lot of stuff to cover on my to-do list before departing for China. So, naturally, the summer flew by! I often wondered if I made the right decision coming home early from Calgary before leaving for my new adventure in China. I loved living in Calgary and can't WAIT to go back and visit my new home. But I couldn't leave for China without spending time with my family and closest of friends first. So that's exactly what I did.
I covered a lot of ground in 7 weeks. First, I spent a few days exploring PEI with Amanda. I probably haven't been to PEI prior to this spontaneous adventure for probably 10ish years. I had forgotten how beautiful of a place the island was. Beaches, water, country roads, red dirt, seafood, seafood, seafood, and the sun! The scenery is just breathtaking, and I felt so relaxed every minute that we were there. Two days wasn't quite enough time to fully take in the beauty of the island, but it was fun nonetheless!
I took in two concerts while I was home too! What were the chances that two of my favourite bands would be playing shows in NB while I was home? I saw Hey Rosetta! (for the sixth time) in SJ with Kathryn and Katelin and then Tegan and Sara in Moncton (for the third time) with my bestie Sara, Amanda, and Lauren. The shows were nothing less than perfection, both bands played all of my favourite songs, and I got to see them with the people I love the most! I've written before on my blog how much I love going to see live music, and these two bands know how to put on a show! Think they'll be in Beijing anytime soon?
It just so happens that this year was the year of our family reunion as well. Every three years, the Howatt family gather for a weekend to catch up, see how we've all grown, and reunite for laughter, fun, and good times. This year the reunion happend to be in Ottawa at my Aunt Sally & Uncle Ed's house on the Mississippi River (yes folks, Canada has a Mississippi River too - I'm not making this
up. Google it!) It was a lot of fun! You (or maybe it's just me) sometimes forget that while I'm growing up, so is everyone else. So all of my cousins who I had an image of in my head had also grown and changed over the last three years. We tended to have a lot more in common and honestly, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. It will be a wonder to see how we've all grown again in another three years!
On our journey back home to NB from Ottawa, my Grandmom, my Great Uncle David, and I took the long way home through the Gaspé Peninsula. Holy beautiful! For the greater part of the two day drive, you are literally driving on the coast. Like the water is RIGHT THERE. You could almost reach out and touch the mighty St. Lawrence. I highly recommend that everyone take this beautiful drive. It just empasizes what a uniquely beautiful and vast country we live in here in Canada.
But honestly folks, I think my favourite part of the whole summer wasn't the sights I saw, the concerts I took in, the mini vacations that happened, or the relaxation that occurred. It was being in the
presence and creating new memories with the people who know me best. My family and my friends. From the friends I've had for years, to the ones who helped shape who I am today. The people I associate with my time in Fredericton, to the people who make home home. Laughter, reminiscing, sharing stories, catching up, seeing how we've all grown. Like my friend Craig so poetical said only a week ago at "Corked" - to the things that change and the things that stay the same.
And now, here I am on this long and grueling flight to Beijing thinking back to these 7 weeks. These 7 weeks that allowed me to grow comfortable with the decision I had made to move to the other side of the world. These 7 weeks that made me appreciate where I come from.
To my friends: Thank you for always being there, through thick and thin. I'm so lucky to have you all
Lin my life!
To my family: Thank you. It's really hard to express and convey how much your support, encouragement, and love have truly motivated me to try these new things and feel comfortable embarking on these new adventures. You support my need to see the world and my desire to try new things. Even though I often find doubt in myself, you remind me that I can do this. You don't let me give up and you push me forward. I'm forever thankful for that and remind myself frequently how blessed and fortunate I am to have you all as my family, always and forever.
Here we go!