I couldn’t wait to get to the train station today. After nearly two months of chaotic evenings and burning through the first two seasons of the Mindy Project half-hearted attempts at writing, I envisioned swaying in my seat as I was whisked home to Ottawa, the words pouring out as I sipped on my two-dollar Ginger ale and Lake Ontario sailed past the window. These past few months in Toronto have been relatively stationary. Always the kinesthetic learner, I know I am better when in motion.
Stationary in the sense of staying in one location, maybe, but far from stagnant. Spring this year brought with it a world of change. As winter stubbornly receded and Torontonians impatiently awaited for the return of patio weather, I said goodbye to some of my closest friends and colleagues and embarked on a new adventure.
For me, this journey began years ago at a proverbial crossroads after undergrad. The decision of what to do next seemed limited to occupations that fit neatly into the boxes stacked under a given degree or diploma – doctor, lawyer, accountant, teacher, engineer – with little available space to explore possibilities that may exist between the lines. In fact, I don’t know if I really had the headspace to think about the type of life I wanted until I was finished being ‘schooled’.
Once I let go of the idea of having a set career path (and not without considerable stress, inner turmoil and at least one emotional meltdown around Christmas time – sorry Mom) I was free. Free to apply my skills to things that brought me joy and purpose, or at least free to head in that general direction. Free to travel more. Free to write, even.
And so it is that with a little leap of faith and a lot of luck I find myself in a unique space at a Toronto private school that combines my great loves of coaching, community, and social change. My job is to encourage students to explore the world outside of their classroom, to question it, and to start to understand their role in it as global citizens. I get to do this through coordinating student global exchanges and excursions, as well as working with students to bring their ideas to life. Also, I get lunch everyday. Yes, I am in heaven.
What does all this have to do with future wanderings, you ask? For starters, I have been assigned the oh-so-arduous task of visiting our European partner schools that take our students for exchange each year. Come Monday I will be on the move again for a ten day whirlwind tour of England, Scotland and France. (!!!)
July will then mark the beginning of an adventure Haseel and I have both dreamt of since before we met. For about five weeks we plan on exploring Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and India. Southeast Asia has captured my imagination ever since I used my parent’s National Geographic subscription as inspiration for my sketchbook in middle school, a series of images that clung to my retinas, never fading. For Haseel, India is a pilgrimage to discover a piece of his family history, one that I am honored he is willing to share with me. I feel lucky to have found a partner in life that values travel as much as I do and can’t wait to hit the open road again together.
All this motion will undoubtedly lead to more words pouring out and more stories to share. I am hoping that the slower pace (and Haseel helping to keep my aggressive itinerary tendencies in check) will lend itself to more of the type of writing I set out to create — stories that seek to tap into to our shared humanity and foster a greater understanding of how life is lived elsewhere. Let’s be honest, more of this will probably happen too.
To those who have been reading along as far, thank you for your support as I continue to find my voice and my way in and around this world!