Sorry it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post, I have a few started and not completed and then you know life happens… We also have had an amazing Fall which means we are never home when we aren’t obligated to be.
I have just come back from another work trip, and while I didn’t think this would be something I would write about again so quickly, here we go.
As you can probably tell by now, my goal in life is to try to explore and experience everything this world has to offer within a certain level of comfort I am accustomed to and also within my financial means – I am no longer a young person with the desire to backpack around the globe (I was never that young person – my idea of travels around the globe have a bit more bougie flare). When we first moved back to Canada my mom took me on a cross-country trip to get to know my new home better, makes sense when you live in Europe not so much in Canada but since then it has been on my bucket list to go to every major city, province and territory. To date I have three cities to go, Saskatoon, Regina and Victoria and the three territories, and until last week Newfoundland was on that list.
I was excited to go to St John’s but not super excited about the idea of a work trip, I had enough to do for work without adding being out of the office for three days after a long weekend, I would miss my family and not to mention the put-put plane I would be taking over the Atlantic to get there. Remember that blog post about how I would enjoy plane rides and the me time, or at least attempt to, ha – epic fail. Now I have travelled a bit in my day, whether for work or pleasure and while I have only had maybe two or so not fantastic seat-mates I have also never had one of those flights where you end up befriending your tin box partner – apparently that changes when you fly to the Eastern most tip of North America. My seat partner there was fantastic and the right mix of chat and letting me try to distract myself with Netflix, she told me all the great places to go for music, some hidden gems and hikes – for future me when I drive over with the family (it might take 24 hours and a ferry but no two seater plane). Needless to say we are now FB friends.
Newfoundland itself is a beauty that is hard to describe and in all my travels I have never come across a landscape quite like it. I am sure there are other places in the world but it would have to be the perfect combination of rockiness, barren and lush with forever views of the sea. It even tempts a non-hiker like me to walk into MEC and buy a pair of hiking boots. St. John’s is different from what I pictured, I think I had images of a smaller Sligo or mini Galway but it is very Canadian, as it should be, with a flavour all its own but most definitely has a pinch of Irish.
Cillian ended up getting a nasty flu while I was gone, between trying to support the home front efforts, worrying about the wee human and also trying to be my best work-self I wasn’t able to appreciate the visit as much as I would’ve liked. It was a different conference than I am used to, the network of professionals here in Atlantic Canada is more half work and half potentially finding your new best friend and for a worrying mom it was what I needed – not that it’s all about me.
By the end of the third day and the fastest sight-seeing attempt I have ever done (an hour between the conference completing and needing to be at the airport), I was very excited to get back into my tin box during a tropical storm warning and spend two hours hopefully getting home (note to travellers, Atlantic Canada is gorgeous in the Fall however you are flying in hurricane season) . The flight was completely empty and I could have chosen to sit in a row to myself but I will forever be happy that my extreme laziness took over at that point. My seat partner was an amazing soul that I had the pleasure to meet in such a short journey, now you should know this part of me by now, that I am pretty jagged edged – this women was the polar opposite of me. She had just received the news that she had beaten cancer for the second time and booked a last minute flight to Glasgow, as one should when receiving such fantastic news. I have to admit that I have never spoken to someone who was in the midst of just coming out of such a battle. She showed me a calendar she has put together with all the proceeds going to help with the financial burden of families going through cancer, she told me about the other women and man who took part of the calendar and their stories, she told me about her family and her life and her beliefs. She is a very spiritual woman, but not in the orthodox sense, you could tell that in her bones this is who she is – I have only met a handful of people who have such a strong sense of belief and in my personal opinion use that strength for good and the true meaning of being religious (whichever god(s) you choose to follow or not), my partner’s aunt is one of those such people and my great grandmother was another.
I could see that she was tired, having just fought a long battle, having lost people close to her and the excitement of her trip to Scotland, but instead of taking the time for her she was more concerned about me and my fear of flying (it was bumpy, I held onto random objects willing the plane to simmer down) and providing me with some much needed meditation (something I used to do a lot more of pre-mom), lecturing me (in a way only a wise mom can) about how I need to take care of myself and do the things that provide me energy and balance. We gave each other a hug at the end of the flight – my friends barely get a hug out of me and we of course became FB friends too.
So while my work trip might not have been the ideal time, work right now seems like a mad dash to looming deadlines, I have a sick baby still in bed (I would much rather his way too early morning wake-up and shenanigans) and the house is a mess, and yes I am aware I could clean instead of typing – yet again I say something I didn’t think I would, but I am so grateful for my flight-mates and the kick in the butt I needed to recenter me.
Here is the link to the calendar: breastlessandbeautiful.ca