When I meet a new person in London their first question is “Where are you from?” This is mostly because I am clearly not British, nor am I noticeably European. People often assume I’m American, at which point I have to patiently explain that I am Canadian, no I don’t live in an igloo, but my parents do drive their snowmobiles to work sometimes…
The second question is “Where in Canada are you from?” Then I tell them about being from a small town in Ontario, but that I actually spent the last few years living and working in the Rocky Mountains.
The third question, inevitably, is “Why in the world would you ever leave the Rockies to live in London?”
I mean, yes. It is a totally valid question. The Rocky Mountains are undeniably beautiful and I fully intend to return to them one day. I probably would have been perfectly satisfied to continue living there instead of deciding to come to the UK.
But I don’t want to be satisfied. I wanted to follow my dreams across the pond and see the world the way I had dreamed of doing since I was a kid.
In order to start this adventure I had to say goodbye to the old one, at least for a little while.
People often ask if I was scared about moving somewhere so incredibly foreign where I didn’t know anyone. The simple answer is no. Of all the emotions I felt leading up to moving here, fear was not one of them. Anxiety over my visa coming through, worrying about finding an apartment, excited about starting my new job, anticipation over exploring a new city and being able to travel to places I had only ever dreamed of… Those were the emotions that swirled around me leading up to this huge, life-changing move.
It was the same when I moved to the mountains from my small town in Ontario. I wasn’t afraid. I was excited; I was seeking new adventures and experiences. It never occurred to me to be scared and it never crossed my mind that most people wouldn’t have the guts to pick up their lives and move halfway across the country, let alone the world.
I have always felt the need to explore, and to move on to something new when I felt it was time for a change. I used to hate that I could never seem to stay in one place for very long, but that is just who I am. I am nomadic at heart, and I think I will be this way for a very long time.
I want to see the world; I want to say yes to every opportunity that knocks on my door. I want to live.
I don’t want to wake up one day when I’m 80 and realize that I have spent my whole life in one place, because I was too scared to follow my heart. I want to live a life of no regrets.
The way I see it, you will never regret following your dreams. Even if you fail, even if you go running home with your tail between your legs, you still made it further that you would have if you hadn’t tried at all.
You can’t win the game if you don’t even play.
I have seen and done things that 15 year-old me would not believe. I’ve gone horseback riding through the mountains, watched meteor showers over Lake Louise, been a production assistant for The Bachelor, seen the Queen, met my favourite blogger and Youtuber, and I’ve explored my little heart out.
Words cannot describe how proud I am of myself. Never in a million years did I picture myself being this happy, being this brave, or being this adventurous.
If I can do it, you can do it.
What are you waiting for? That dream isn’t going to chase itself.