canada, a new semester, and looking forward

The holidays are over, my trip to Canada has ended, and there are only two days left until the start of a new semester.

The past three weeks have wonderful– I’ve recharged, reconnected, and relaxed.   I’m ready for the challenges of a new semester and looking forward to the future… come summer, I’ll be in South America.  Come next fall, I’ll be in Europe.  I usually get a little apprehensive thinking about the future, but right now I feel like I’m constantly floating on cloud nine!

Now let me backtrack a little bit: I went to Canada!  Five of my friends and I loaded up a minivan and drove eight or so hours up to Montréal.  It was an amazing experience and I felt I could have spent a lot more time there.  Honestly, I could even see myself living in the city!  There are so many things to do, and even though Montréal was heavily hit by snow this past week, it’s easy enough to maneuver through the metros and streets.  You only have to watch out for ice!

The skeleton of an old beluga!

My favorite part of the visit was probably visiting the Biodome.  Since I took astronomy last semester, I particularly enjoyed the planetarium’s presentations.  Not only were they interesting, but you also had the opportunity to lie down on a beanbag chair to watch!  (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t close my eyes and almost nap for a bit.)  Then there were the animals: sloth, parrots, porcupine, penguins, otter, beaver, and so much more!  It would be great to go back there and take my time going through the exhibits.

On a different day, we visited a stationary shop I had purposely looked up on Yelp.  Although it was a bit expensive, the quality of the materials was great and my little paper-loving heart was skipping beats left and right.  I bought a few things, realized that I’m becoming a big fan of graph-lined notebook paper, and a had a nice conversation with the owner of the shop.  After that, we went to a cafe and just relaxed… watching snow through the windows, sipping on hot tea, talking and reading.

stationary store
I love how things were organized in a rainbow!
The café kept us cozy for a few hours as it snowed outside.


Then, there was the underground mall, an entity unto itself.  It’s a sprawling mass of tunnels, shops, and food stores connected to metros and expanding for miles underneath the city.  The locals sometimes use it to get around in the winter, when the roads are too difficult to navigate.  I’ve never been in such a huge shopping area before– you could get lost it in!  My friends were of the opinion that it was too similar to America’s malls to be novel, but I could have stayed for a while… I at least wanted to go to Lush, which I unfortunately couldn’t find!

Overall, our trip was a great way to end winter break, but I’m glad I have an extra day to relax at home.  I can pack, do some last-minute errands, and say goodbye to my brother and father on my own time.  I can also mentally prepare myself for the new semester!  I’ve already printed out some syllabuses, check online for important information… but it’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that very soon, I’ll be studying and working again.

How are all you doing?  Excited for the spring?  Re-energized from the holidays?  Ready to get back into the swing of things?  Or maybe all of the above.  The holidays (before, after, during) can be stressful, but it can also be a great time to rejuvenate, clear your mind, and look at the year ahead as a blank slate.

Whatever the case, I hope you’re doing well!




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