As I sit in my room looking at my Röskva posters at this first anniversary of the end of my 8 month sojourn in Iceland, I think that I have never been further away from that day I left. After spending 8 months living and meeting the most amazing people from all over the world and travelling to beautiful places with some of these beautiful people, I prepare to undertake a much less certain part of my life with none of the securities I enjoyed on that rocky, now explosive, island.
When I returned I worked for four months without more than a two day break. This is normal for “adults” but quite different than my life in Iceland where I scarcely worked two days in an eight month period. To be fair, I did work quite hard at HÍ (University of Iceland) and got better grades than in Ottawa and I am quite proud of the work I did during the student council elections at the University.
Then without any transition at all the school year began and I started working about 70 hours a week for the next three months between homework and my two jobs. I love these jobs, but I probably should have focused on school what with the 7 classes that I had. I failed a paper when I decided I would like to see my grandparents for two days.
Christmas time gave me a short break, but a good one because I got the chance to see many of my friends from Iceland in Manitoba. It is disappointing to think that the whole gang will never be all together again, but that is part of the game. I got back to school in January and lost motivation as I went along. Applying for Masters has reminded me of all the reasons I should go back -anywhere- and get travelling again.
Now, summer is here and it continues to be lots of work. A short trip to London (Ontario) will be nice next week, but it will not be a break as it is going to be full of certifications and seminars. What happened to my life in Iceland when I would wake up at noon, go to Háma, go to Vinbuđ, then spending amazing time on Laugavegur with my friends…every day?
Of course I ran out of money living that last year and I was certainly not making much progress to change the world, but I was having an amazing time with my great friends. Are there things I regret, certainly (April fool’s and everything around that day, amongst other things). But I must say it was the best decision I ever made and there is no other country that I should have been at that particular time of my life.
Now that I’m done my undergrad and I think of the next place to go, Iceland remains a centre of interest. If I am going to be saving the Arctic as I plan, there is no doubt in my mind that I will be in Iceland many times over the next years. At the same time, there is so much of the world to explore. For the next four months at least, I’ll be here in Ottawa working hard, loving it but at the same time looking out my window and remembering the life I used to live and trying to find it again, somewhere out in the universe.