Returning to Canada

I apologize for my recent lack of writing. As I am sure those of you who have embarked on exchange before know, returning home is challenging, and can be even more difficult than leaving for exchange. That is definitely how I felt. A lot of personal circumstances in my life were placing emotional tension on me, and I knew it would become even more tense once I actually returned to Canada. And the first few weeks definitely were tense. When I landed in Canada, Tyson and I spent a few nights together, so we could catch up and be together again before I had to see everybody else. It was amazing to spend some much needed quality time with him, and it really helped me get my feet on the ground and prepare for the emotional tension I would be walking into.

Covert Farms

When I got to my hometown, I was thrust back into the world I had left behind at full force. I got to see my family again and catch up with everybody. My sisters and cousins were both still in school and Tyson was working, so I had lots of time to myself to think. Luckily, I was able to secure a job relatively quickly, at the same place I worked at last summer. That was a huge relief for me, as finances were another source of tension for me. At least I had one of my affairs in order. Everybody else was doing what they usually do, Tyson and I started to look for apartments together, and we even both got a job at another restaurant in town. However, everything was not all fine and dandy. Unfortunately, tensions in my personal life were still very high. My great grandmother also passed away, less than two weeks after I returned home, which was a saddening event for my entire family. It only increased the tensions that were already present; however, as my great grandmother had lived many hours away from where I lived, I was able to travel with my family to visit the rest of my relatives, whom I hadn’t seen in a very long time. It was lovely to reconnect with them, even if the circumstances were tragic.

McIntyre Bluff

Shortly after, I had to deal with transitioning from life at the University of Manchester to my life at UBCO. I had registration coming up shortly, and in order to do so, I had to declare my major. I had put a lot of thought into this while abroad, and I was happy to declare a Cultural Studies and English Combined Major, plus a Psychology Minor. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but I am really excited that I am going to be taking classes in the fields that I enjoy. I am still not 100% sure if UBCO is the right place for me, but I do know that I have chosen the right major. I have registered in classes and I will have to see what the fall holds for me.

Lake side

Other than that, I have been busy working and trying to enjoy life in the Okanagan. I realized that I had travelled abroad to all of these incredible places, but at the same time, people from all over the world travel to the Okanagan to experience our valley. Thus, I decided it was time for me to really explore our valley and enjoy all that it has to offer. Working in the wine and restaurant industry, plus being able to enjoy the incredible wines we have, has definitely helped!! I’ve been going wine tasting, eating at restaurants, exploring the many towns in our valley, hiking, and hanging out at the beach. It has been amazing, but summer’s not over yet!

Pizza and wine at Black Hills Winery
Lovely view from Noble Ridge Vineyards
Floating the Penticton channel

My childhood home has also recently sold, which has been a major transition for everyone in my family. As Tyson and I have not yet moved to our apartment, I have to move all of my things from my childhood home to where I am currently staying. It has definitely been quite the process, and I have lots of things to go through still. Tyson and I will be moving at the beginning of September, which will also be another big transition.. moving into our first place together! I’m a little nervous for all of these changes, but mostly super excited. If we didn’t change, we would never grow.

Wine tasting at Maverick Winery

In conclusion, transitioning from exchange back to my “old” life has been quite the battle. I have tried to keep up my adventurous spirit and explore new places as much as I can in our valley, but I still miss travelling. I am definitely going to continue travelling in my future. I also really miss parts of Manchester and my friends!! It still seems so crazy to me that I actually had this incredible experience of living and travelling abroad. Sometimes it feels like it was all a dream.. Thankfully, I have the photos to prove it! I am really excited for the next adventures that life is going to bring me. Just because my exchange is over does not mean my exploring, travelling, growing and writing is over… I’m still here and I’m still going to do so, hopefully for many years to come.

3 responses to “Returning to Canada”

  1. […] The summer back in my hometown after being on exchange overseas and experiencing so many new and incredible things was difficult. I knew it would be difficult coming back, but the intensity of the adjustment was something else. It was a summer full of transition, but prepared me for everything that was to come. Read the full post here. […]

  2. […] Let’s take it back to 2016. One of my most-read posts that year was about my return to Canada after exchange had finished, and what it would mean to re-adjust after having gone through such a transformative period of time. This did mark a big change in my life, and after this post I did not write for awhile until I re-launched the site again in 2017. Read the full post here. […]

  3. […] Many of my most popular blog posts have surrounded big updates or major changes in my life. Taking it all the way back to 2016, one of my most popular posts of that year described the transition I went through when I came back from exchange and returned to life in Canada. For those of you who may be new here, I started chiaragoesglobal while I was on exchange in England during my undergraduate degree, so this was definitely a key point in time for me. Transitioning back to Canada brought all kinds of uncertainties, and that’s what this post really dived in to. Read the whole post here. […]

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