Today is my last day living on Prince Edward Island.
Early tomorrow morning, I’ll get in my 14ft Uhaul cube van and together with my boyfriend and his dad, we’ll drive our stuff the 2000km back to Niagara, Ontario where we’re originally from to store what’s left of our belongings with our parents before heading off to France in May.
I’ve been here almost 3 years. This was my first home away from home, the place where I figured out how to create a life totally independent of my parents.
I didn’t know a soul here. I didn’t know the culture; I didn’t know anything. I didn’t even know if I’d make my rent that first month here.
Honestly, our decision to move here was a little bit whimsical. We just wanted to go somewhere new, to experience something totally different from what we knew. And of course, since most people wildly opposed the idea (I got into arguments with complete strangers for heaven’s sakes), we dug our heels in even deeper.
I’m glad we did.
It’s been fabulous.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, there have been hard times. There have been months where we’ve scrambled for rent and lived on mac n’ cheese. We moved again 6 months after we got here because our first place was extortion. I had an ulcer spontaneously implode and had internal bleeding. I was stressed. I was lonely. I was incredibly anxious.
It took me about 6 months to figure out how to just…be on my own. To be independent. To be an adult.
And then, slowly but surely, I started to figure out how to live life on my own terms.
I got out of the retail job that caused the ulcer. I advertised myself on my blog and got a new job 2 days later. I started freelancing, working with social media and web design. I figured out how to make money. I figured out how to create my own independence. We moved into the most gorgeous and affordable apartment.
But the most important thing that I’ve learned on PEI is how to build community. The community I have here is what I’m going to miss.
I learned how to make friends, how to find my Right People, how to create support systems for myself.
The best and worst thing about leaving PEI is how many friends I’m leaving behind.
But I get to take those skills with me, wherever I go. I know now that no matter where I end up in life, I can make new friends, build a new community and create a home for myself. That feels good.
So, dearest Prince Edward Island, I bid you a fond farewell. Never goodbye though – I’ll be back to visit you, and all of the people I love here. And their love will come with me wherever I go.
(If you want to live vicariously through me and join me on this crazy adventure, you should sign up for Sketches from the Road! A weekly love letter + video + photos + stories from me wherever I am and all proceeds help me pay for my tuition! Click here to sign up!)