This past year has been a whirlwind of activities and emotions. I know in my last post I promised to try to be a little more consistent but then life happens and usually, the blog is left behind. I try to not put too much pressure on it as I know if I do, I will just force posts out and it will take the enjoyment out of it for me. I like to treat it as a scrapbook or journal that I can always come back to. So here we are back again with a recap of what I have been up to since I last talked to you and who knows maybe I will have some more posts to come.
This past year has definitely been a crazy one, I mean we are still in a pandemic that doesn’t seem to want to go anywhere. I also had some other things going on with visas which always just cause me stress but let’s talk about the fun things first. One positive thing about the pandemic like I said in my last post was that it meant I had more time to go exploring as work was not as crazy as usual. I got to check off more hikes and national parks from the bucket list. In the past year, I was able to visit 4 of the National Parks in Alberta, as well as dipping my toe into 2 parks in British Columbia and see so many amazing views. I got to go to Lake Louise, which has been on my bucket list, and let me tell you it didn’t disappoint. Hiking is something that I truly love and there is nothing that makes me happier than being on the top of a mountain looking down on the world below. It has also been a great way for me to clear my head and keep my mental health in check, something about seeing the vast expanse of nature just makes me feel calm and lets me know it will all be okay. I also got to do some of my first solo hikes in the last year that was a freeing experience. I am no stranger to doing things alone but something about hiking in the Rockies just added some extra risk, maybe due to being able to meet a bear at any turn. Although I stuck to quite easy routes and redid some that I had already completed it still felt amazing. I certainly feel like the mountains have become my second home and they can cheer me up no matter how I feel.
Along with all the trips to the mountains I got to visit Calgary for the first time. Heading up the Calgary to feel like I was walking on top of the city and heading to the zoo were my first experiences and it definitely made me want to go back. After this short taste of the city, I went back a few months later and spent a month exploring the city and using it as a base to head out to the mountains. It is certainly a city that celebrates the outdoors and it was amazing being able to head to a different park each day to see a new area of the city and immerse in nature. I certainly grew an attachment to the city and I can’t wait to go back and hopefully live there for a little longer and get to explore more of the city. The month I spent there was just what I needed to relax and recharge after the previous few months that were not easy on me.
Over the course of the last year, I got to get back on my snowboard, actually buying myself my own as a Christmas present. I didn’t come home for Christmas 2020, which was very strange but I made the most of it by trying to go snowboarding as much as I could. It was amazing and it was cool to see my confidence on the board grow with each run. I was able to spend my 27th birthday in February snowboarding in Banff which was just amazing. Spending the day on the hill surrounded by the Canadian Rockies was certainly the best way to celebrate. Of course, cake and amazing food was had later with friends and it is certainly a birthday that I will never forget. On the theme of sports, I also challenged myself to run 100km in the month of June 2021. I have always dipped my toe into running but have never really been consistent with it. I thought this challenge would be a great way to push myself and it was also a great way to have some time for myself each day within my work schedule. Most days I would get up at 6am and be out on the road by 6:30, I thought that I would hate this but I came to love the early morning runs with the roads to myself and only the deer as friends. It became a part of my routine for the month and I felt amazing going into the day having already completed this part of my day. I was very proud of myself for finishing the challenge and running just over 100km in the month.
While the last year has had so many positive moments it also came with its fair share of stress and heartbreak. I had struggles with my visa and in the end, had to come back to Ireland for a few weeks before being able to fly back. It was nice to be back and see family for a little bit but getting the go-ahead to go back to Canada was great. During this time my housemate and partner in crime also moved home to the other side of the country to begin a new job so it was hard going back knowing she was not going to be there. This lead to a summer of struggles with work which drained my mental health and made many days hard but I got through it in the end. I certainly felt a hit to my confidence during this time and in the end, when I was let go, I was a mix of emotions, many of them negative but I came out the other side. After all of this, I was praying that I would hear some good news about my PR application and be able to start the next chapter of my life, unfortunately, it was not to be. My application was refused and I had to head home with my four suitcases and a snowboard.
So the past year has been a rollercoaster of emotions and coming back to Ireland was certainly not in my plans but I am taking it all as I go. I am using it as a time to gain more experience, spend time with family, work on myself and explore the Irish wilderness. So that is a recap of everything that has happened in the last year and as I said it has been crazy. Now time to start the job hunt and plan the next adventure. Don’t worry Canada I have not given up on you yet and I plan to start the process again to apply for PR to be able to go back and spend my life there. For now, we are taking every day as it comes and seeing what happens. Nothing in life will always go the way that you plan but it is all about how you deal with the changes.
Stay tuned for more updates, I make no promises for when they might arrive.