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Ahoy to the mother land

It’s amazing how being so far outside your comfort zone you’re on the other side of the world changes you. You might think this is obvious, but it’s not. Everyone can tell you about how travelling will be a life-changing experience. How you’ll learn and adapt and find out more about who you are. But those words don’t mean anything until you do it.

I’m doing things now I never thought I’d be capable of. I’ve had to adapt to situations I find so completely bizarre. I have to explain to a million people a day where I’m from, and why I sound funny, and why I don’t understand them. Most of the time, they’re nice about it. You know how people say Canadians are lovely? It’s true.

When I left New Zealand I tried not to have any expectations about what things would be like here in Canada. Because I really couldn’t imagine it. But I guess I did expect things, because that’s unconscious, and I did not expect to be leading the life I am. It is so completely different from life “back home.”

First of all, I’m working in a bar. Three months ago the idea would have terrified me. It still kinda does, but get this – I love it!! I’m meeting cool people, I love our crazy regulars, I love working at night because I’m an insomniac anyway, and I love customer service. I like grinning at people and joking round with them and doing what I can to make them happy. And – get this Kiwis – I get tips!! Super bonus!!

Second of all, part of the job is being a bouncer. I can hear the laughter from everyone back home now. Little Sarah Wilson, kicking drunk men out of bars? Well, believe it guys!!

Third of all, I’m completely vegetarian and living on tofu and veges, (and ice cream).

Fourth, I’m dating a wonderful guy who actually treats me well. Miracle of miracles! I told you Canadians were lovely.

What’s Canada like, I can hear you all ask. Well, gosh. It’s like New Zealand, except everything is about ten degrees “off” from what we’re used to. They have chocolate bars, with different names. They have streets, where the cars go down the wrong side. They have coffee shops where you just buy filter coffee, and asking for a latte or a mocha is weird. In bars, people sit down and we bring their drinks to them, they don’t have to order at the bar. They have squirrels and racoons and skunks and groundhogs. And apprently, they have a damn freezing winter that is lurking just round the corner to bite me on the butt.

And yes, it’s gorgeous and I want to see as much as possible of it before I come home, but it is also gigantic so I don’t know what I’ll be able to achieve.

Today I recieved a mystery package from Dad in the mail – Whittaker’s Peanut Slabs! Dad for the win. The taste of home. I really miss you guys.

But not enough to come back, just yet. 🙂


About writehandedgirl

Sarah is a writer who is passionate about social justice, feminism, politics, and cats. She is a columnist and poet and currently lives in Nelson. You can follow Sarah on Twitter (@_writehanded_) or read more of her writing at


One thought on “Ahoy to the mother land

  1. Totally agree with your thoughts about travel… and also Whittaker’s Peanut Slabs

    Posted by Sarah Reid | August 12, 2010, 6:35 am

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