And all of a sudden, it’s over. The time has come for me to say goodbye to Toronto and I am so not ready. It’s like a breakup that you know is coming, and you know has to happen in order for you to move forward, but at the same time, you dread the day it will finally happen. And now, here it is. I wish I could hold on just a bit longer, but unfortunately, that isn’t an option. So, in order to cope with saying goodbye, I’ve decided to reflect on the many incredible experiences I have had while I’ve been out here.
For starters, I moved across the country and was able to adapt, and importantly, enjoy life in Toronto. That in itself is a pretty big deal. Once you’ve lived somewhere long enough, it starts to feel like home, and that is one of my favourite feelings to have: being connected to where you are. It’s an amazing feeling.
I drove the 401 almost every day and didn’t die, so that is also pretty incredible. I actually got to know the GTA quite a bit, and sometimes I didn’t even need my google maps to know where I was going, which is also a big accomplishment.
In Toronto itself, I had some pretty amazing experiences. From shopping at Eaton Centre, Yorkdale, and Vaughan Mills, to checking out the holiday markets and winter activities at Nathan Philips Square and the Toronto Christmas Market, to exploring Ripley’s Aquarium and enjoying the downtown nightlife, it has been a blast. Toronto has so much to offer, and though I didn’t experience it all, I’m still glad I got the chance to see as much as I could.
I was also able to visit three provinces in Canada that I had never been to before! I had never visited Ontario before moving to Toronto, and I feel I got to explore the South of the province quite a bit, which was awesome. I got to know the GTA very well, and I’m sad to say goodbye. I also travelled to Quebec for a couple of weekend trips, and flew to Alberta for a weekend in Calgary. Having the chance to travel so much has been amazing, and exhausting, but I love it all the same. I am so, so lucky to have had the chance to do so.
I had the opportunity to connect with some incredible people too. From my coworkers coming to visit, to meeting new recruiters on the road who became great friends, to chatting with wonderful students, to spending time with friends new and old – these connections have definitely made my time in Toronto what it was. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to connect with all of these amazing people!
I have laughed a lot, cried a lot, felt overwhelming amounts of joy and overwhelming amounts of sadness. All of these intense feelings combined with my experiences have made my time out east a wild ride. But, I wouldn’t change a thing. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, travel has a way of giving you exactly what you need, though it might not be what you would expect. That is exactly how I feel about my time here: it was exactly what I needed. And though I wish I could stay just a bit longer, it’s time to take what I’ve got and move forward.
That’s kind of how I feel about 2017 as a whole too. I have learnt a lot this year, changed a lot, and met tons of new people who have had a major impact on my life. I know 2018 is going to be another big year for me and bring more growth, change, and connection my way, and I’m definitely ready for that.
So, what exactly am I moving forward to now? Well, I am moving back to BC to return to school, with a bit of a twist. I am once again moving to a new city (if you know where, you can comment it below!), so I will have plenty of new experiences awaiting me. I’ll provide some more details about my upcoming adventures in the new year, but until then, I’m going to be taking a bit of a break to enjoy the holidays and fully process everything that my time in Toronto has brought me.
Thank you to everyone who has joined me for #chiaratakestoronto and #chiaraexploresontario and more! It’s been a wild ride and I’m glad you’re along for the ride with me. I will chat to you all more in 2018, and I hope everyone has a great end to 2017!