The past couple of weeks have been intense. As I mentioned in my last post, my trip to Quebec re-assured me of the path that I was on. But just because I feel sure about where I am at and where I am going does not necessarily mean that it’s easy. I still find it difficult to move on from everything that I have left behind, even though I have had a wealth of experiences to help me do so. And the fact that my travel season has recently come to an end isn’t making this whole ‘moving on’ thing any easier. I recently wrapped up my final work-related visits, and this past weekend, I took my final trip outside of Ontario to Montreal. This trip was super exciting, but still brought with it a tinge of sadness, as I realized that it brings with it the end of my non-stop travelling and soon, the end of my adventures in Ontario altogether. It’s sad that everything is ending. A big part of me wishes it didn’t have to, but I suppose certain things need to end once they have taught us everything that we can, and then we simply must move on.
For now, I can live in the moment and enjoy what I have while I’ve got it. I was really excited to visit Montreal as I had heard many great things about the city and I was glad to have the opportunity to check it out for myself. However, as with many travel situations… things didn’t go exactly as planned. My first day there, it was pouring rain and for some reason I decided it would be a great idea to walk around Old Montreal in the rain without an umbrella. Yeah… not my finest hour. Eventually I knocked some sense into myself and got an umbrella, but by this time, I was already soaking wet. But hey, nothing can keep this traveler down!
Old Montreal was beautiful. I visited the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal (the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal) and it was incredible. I would highly recommend visiting it if you are in Montreal! All of Old Montreal itself was incredible and gave off a vibe quite similar to that of Old Quebec (despite the rain and cold). The Old Port of Montreal is also really neat, there is what looks like a fair setup nearby. It wasn’t in operation at the time, but I imagine that in the summer it is a super fun place to be, especially looking over the St. Lawrence River. I enjoyed some crepes, poutine, and more.. All must-do’s when in Quebec.
The next day I woke up to a snow-dusted Montreal! Snow makes everything look a little more magical, so I was excited to explore more. I checked out the McGill campus and decided to explore Mt. Royal, the ‘mountain’ in Montreal that everyone loves to explore! There is a trail to access the top of the mountain (where the Chalet is located) directly behind McGill. I was not expecting the hike to be as intense as it was. There are a lot of stairs to get to the top, but it was so worth it! The view was incredible. You can see all of Montreal and out to the St. Lawrence River, which is amazing. After taking in the view, I wandered around the park for awhile in the snow. The entire park of Mt. Royal is massive, there are tons of running trails all around and I’m sure there are tons of people staying active on the mountain in the summer (there were lots of people even running in the snow, too). I definitely didn’t have the chance to explore the entire park, but I did see the Mt. Royal Cross, a monument near the top of the mountain.
After my adventure in the snow, I explored more of the downtown area of Montreal where there are tons of stores, art galleries, museums, and more. It was great to wander around and see what Montreal had to offer. Unfortunately, the fact that it was so cold out (and since I had gotten soaked the previous day) was starting to make me get sick. Combine that with the increasing sadness I was beginning to feel about everything ending, and I was not doing well. I wish I knew why knowing that something is coming to an end makes us feel so sad. It would be much easier if we could accept what things are, be content with what we have had, and move forward. But I guess that is easier said than done. I am glad I had the opportunity to explore Montreal and travel as extensively as I did. I will try my best to live in the moment for the next few weeks of this crazy adventure, and hope that it doesn’t pass me by too quickly. How do you handle experiences in your life that are ending that a part of you wishes could last forever? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.