Greetings from New Scotland!
It has been a little over 5 months now, since Agnes and I packed up and moved out to the east coast. I can’t believe so much time has passed already. Part of me feels like it was just last week, but so much has happened in that time that I know it has been much longer.
I’ve settled into a new routine and I’m getting used to this new pace of life. I’m meeting such a variety of people and getting to know the locals – they sure are friendly. It’s easy to see that we’re not in Kitchener when you walk down the street here – no one told me there were so many pirates in Cape Breton! I’ve acquired a new hobby since coming out here. When you meet someone new, they automatically try to place you: Who are you? Who are you related to? Where is the connection, however distant it may be, between us? And when you don’t have any relatives in the area and you have zero connections to the community you’ve just moved into, it really boggles them why you’ve chosen to move to rural Cape Breton. If I had a quarter for every time someone said to me, “why did you move here?” I’d have at least a few dollars (and a couple loads of laundry on the go).
When this was all coming together, back in September and October, I thought it would be one big adventure, but I was so incredibly wrong. In reality, it’s hundreds – thousands even – of tiny, little adventures. Each day holds so much potential for adventure and learning, and I want to embrace it all.
(I’m totally eating bacon while I write this – just thought you should all know the truth)
There are certainly some things I miss…my family and friends, coffee shops, the predictability of Ontario weather. And not driving places. Seriously though…one day I decided I wanted to go to Winners to find some clothes for work, so I drove an hour and a half to get to the nearest one. Each way. The idea of walking somewhere would require a significant time commitment and shoes that have already been broken in.
Despite the occasional homesick feeling, I’ve learned a lot and there’s a lot I have yet to do and learn. I’d like to try my hand at surfing, squid jigging, the fiddle, and maybe even making friends with a seal! But there will be time for that. Spring is right around the corner…just past another snowstorm or two. Possibly some rain…for sure a bit more wind. It’s there somewhere, I’m sure.
The main reason I opened this chapter in the novel of my life was for a job. After 13 years of public school, 5 years of university, and 1 year of college, I was offered a full time job, in my field, working with the population I wanted to work with, doing something I enjoy and something that has a positive influence on the lives of those around me…how could I say no? It was scary, exciting, and a huge step, and I’m so glad I took it. I look forward to going to work in the morning and I’ve seen myself grow in my abilities and confidence, even in this short time. I’ve also been blessed to have some wonderful colleagues on their own Nova Scotian adventures. They bring comedy, sanity, and friendship to my life. This place is a lot better with adventure buddies.
For now, I’ll bid you all a fond adieu. Agnes is my only roommate and she isn’t very chatty, so I’m certain you’ll hear from me again. But until then, I’ll leave you with a few of my many lessons:
- Seafood – when fresh and cooked well – is actually pretty good (I’ve checked trying lobster, crab cakes, deep fried clams, muscles, salmon and scallops off the to do list)
- Metal measuring spoons look suspicious to airport security
- Flying with a rabbit is apparently very uncommon and draws a lot of attention
- Oat cakes. Need I say more?