For some of you this may come as a surprise: for the past 11 months, I was living in the Canadian capital. But now in less than a week, I will be leaving her for my new life in Poland. But I guess you’re wondering what brought me here in the first place. Why didn’t I blog about my experiences here? The truth is…I just didn’t have the time.
I came to Ottawa to pursue a second masters degree in Applied Linguistics. It seemed like a good idea, and that it would open more doors for me. I had a full scholarship, including a TA position.
However, this seemingly good idea turned out to be a sour one. I soon discovered that I had gotten myself into something way over my head. The workload was very demanding, where I would be holed up either at home or at the library working on research papers and endless readings. Classmates were too busy to socialize, exacerbating the situation. As a result of this time consumption, my WIP got put on hold, my posts stopped appearing, and ultimately I witnessed an attrition of followers – both on social media and my blog. My TA deal wasn’t any better. The professor I was assigned to mistreated me to the point where I had to consult my union.
I began to realize that this quest for a second masters was doomed to failure. I had been in school long enough, and needed to return to the working world. And while I was at least enjoying Ottawa, my next adventure could not include her.
Despite the hardship of my university experience, I managed enjoy all that Ottawa had to offer. It’s truly a unique experience to spend an extended stay in the capital of one’s country. In Ottawa, it’s a big city with a small town feel, where outdoor activities are plentiful all year long! As I prepare to depart my nation’s capital, I reflect on some of the highlights of my time here:
- Skating on the Rideau – dubbed the longest outdoor skating rink in the world. I think every visitor to Ottawa should try it. Just remember it’s not like skating on a regular rink (pretty bumpy).
- Attending Remembrance Day ceremony at National War Memorial – the best part is when I saw the prime minister’s wife from afar!
- Curling – I actually learned to curl last January, and glad I took lessons. Much harder than it seems!
- Bike trails – these I will miss the most! The best one is along the Rideau Canal, where you can bike downtown. I definitely recommend investing in a bike to those planning to live here for an extended period of time.
Many apologies for not sharing my Ottawa experiences with you. It was just burdensome to share something, which for awhile was causing great pain. However, I am definitely looking forward to Poland as I have dreamed of working abroad for many years now.
Until next time!