This week marks 5 years since I moved away from Southern Alberta to New England. My original plan was to stay for 10 months and then go to grad school. Now, 5 years later I am no longer in New England, but I am still out East. I remember coming out here from small town Alberta and being so overwhelmed with all the trees, the traffic, the people and the big cities! Now 5 years later, I can merge onto a busy highway at rush hour without freaking out. I can drive in New York City (But I still refuse to drive in Boston, unless it is to the airport or to the Science Museum!) I can navigate the subways system in both Boston and New York City. I can see the beauty in the trees. And, although I am still not a fan of large crowds, I can push my way through them like a true Easterner.
Over the last 5 years, I have lived with 3 different families. What an amazing opportunity! I have had a chance to see how families other than my own interact. I have been able to take care of 12 children, ranging in age from 18 months to 14 years old. I think that I am definitely ahead of the curve and will be better able to raise my own children. I know what works and what doesn't (well at least I think I do!). I have also seen 3 different marriage, and can take lessons from that and apply them to my own marriage.
I can't believe how much I have experienced since I have moved here. In the past 5 years I have taken road trips to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Washington D.C, Philadelphia, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Niagara Falls. I have camped in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. I have hiked in White Mountains. I have driven from upstate NY to Alberta and back. I have visited Lake Placid and the Adirondacks. I walked where the American Revolutionary War started. I have been to Plymouth and seen where the Pilgrims started life in this country. I have been to Fenway Park. I have been to Atlanta and Disney World. I have spent time on Cape Cod. I have swam in the ocean. I have seen the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. I have sailed on the Atlantic. The list goes on and on. I feel so blessed to have lived in an area where travel is so easy.
I am so glad that my 10 months turned into 5 years. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have met Ryan, and I would still be single! Ryan and I met at an annual Young Single Adult conference that takes place somewhere in New England every year.
People thought I was crazy when I decided to move out here, and there were days where I questioned my decision, but I have never regretted the decision. I have met some of the most amazing people! I have had more adventures than some people have in their entire life. Coming out to New England was the result of being bored one night. But I don't think it was an accident. Everything happens for a reason. I am so grateful for my time out East. I know that I will be telling my grandchildren about the time I spent here. I will cherish my memories from here and will take a part of the East with me wherever life takes me.