My Dad, essentially a Newfie at heart, has a saying or two that my family and I have come to know and
love tolerate over the years. As I mentioned the other day, “Places to be, things to do and people to see” is a common one, along with asking if we are “bright-eyed and bushy tailed,” and celebrating small accomplishments with the Newfy saying, “That’s better than a slap in the belly with a wet fish” (slurred together to sound something like “betterenaslapinabellywawefish”). But one of the most frustrating sayings my dad has is the grammatical reminder to “Take there, and bring back” whenever anyone has the misfortune to suggest that they are going to bring something somewhere without having first taken it there. Chris, my English/MLA nerd of a brother, has argued with Dad about the gramatical correctness of his theory, but the argument has never really been settled in our house. I figured “take there-bring back” would be an appropriate title for my blog post on my first day of 117 travel days, not only to remind my Dad that his words of wisdom and mantras will never be forgotten, no matter how far away I am from him; but also to remind myself that no matter what I take to France with me, I know I will be bringing home so much more in Friends, memories and experiences.
I could list all of the material things that I have packed into my one suitcase, one backpack, and on laptop bag (all within weight limits – woo!) – but I could never enumerate the amount of memories and thoughts of loved ones that I will be taking with me. This past week was full of “see-you-laters” (not goodbyes, I’m back in one semester!) and “good-lucks” from friends, family and four-legged buddies, which was undoubtedly sad and strange, but nonetheless an encouraging reminder of the support group I have waiting for me at home.
I said my last “see-you-later” this morning to Jon, and a tearful “see-you-soon” to Ian before my parents drove me to the Ottawa airport for 9:30 this morning. Here they are with me at YOW before I went through security:
It was a quick flight to Montreal, where I am currently waiting a painful 7 hours until my flight to Frankfurt boards at 5:00 pm tonight. Despite the stress of trying to fit my life into a 50 lb suitcase and two carry-ons, I made it past check-in and through the first flight with no problems so far, and I didn’t even have to pay any overage fees for my luggage (I even managed to fit a .5 KG jar of Kraft PB into my suitcase for fear of having to live without in France). So far so good as I travel to my home for the next four months.
Thanks to everyone for all the love and support throughout this stressful but exciting process! I couldn’t have done it without your help and encouragement. Here’s to a great semester – Slainte!