Great Expectations 🌲
Canada has been in my 'Top Five' list for as long as I can remember. I don't know what kickstarted the obsession. I just knew that it was somewhere I needed to visit, perhaps even live there, and I would fantasise about getting lost in the woods, discovering small towns, adventuring and camping and everything in between, and I even badgered my brother that we could one day move there together.
The reality hasn't quite lived up to the daydream. But that's okay.
These last few weeks have been maybe the trickiest so far to navigate. When you encounter a difficult personality throughout backpacking it's pretty easy to brush yourself off, lift your chin, and move along. You aren't gonna see that person again ever again in your life (which sucks if you get along super well!).
I've been working here and there on my travels, in family homes in exchange for a place to stay, food, and good company. It's been the best decision I made for travelling; 'workaway' is a perfect way to experience local life and immerse yourself in communities that are a little more off the grid than your usual top tourist destinations, and I'm so lucky to say that I've made (hopefully!) lifelong friends.
But obviously, things can still go wrong.
Not everyone is eager to make sure you have a wonderful time, and meet their friends, and are well looked after. I've learned the hard way that, while travelling with an open mind and an open heart is super important, it's still vital to trust your gut and put your safety first. Difficult personalities can become even trickier to navigate when you're pressed under one roof together without an easy way out. I feel fortunate that despite some incredibly distressing moments, I am safe, I've learned a lot, and it's one more experience to tick off that I struggled through, and came out the other end.
My time in Canada isn't up yet, and I'll be moving onto the next experience soon. Whether it's going to good or not, I have no idea! But I feel pretty confident that, after getting through this, I'll be okay.