The “Last” Summer
One of the biggest perks of being a student is having summers off. Of course, my summers off have never truly been “off”. I have used them for summer co-op placements throughout my undergrad or for traveling intensely (see the summer I went to the Caribbean and Europe and then went by train through Siberia and finished in Mongolia and Hong Kong).
This summer is no different.
In optometry school at the University of Waterloo, the summer between second and third year is the final summer free to behave like a reckless youth. Once third year is over, externships begin – for some, only a few days after final exams in April. As such, I am trying to make the most of these short summer months I have. Not only am I trying to soak up as much clinical experience at work, I am working on a major writing project and surprise(!) doing a bit of travel as well.
So what travel glories await me?
Step One – Go to Yellowstone. (check!)
Earlier in June, my guy and I drove from Winnipeg through North Dakota and South Dakota, making stops at Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Deadwood and Devil’s Tower before scooting over to Big Sky, Montana. We enjoyed two days of Yellowstone and two days of Grand Teton before heading home. The trip was altogether too fast, a whirlwind of Wild West and stunning displays of nature, but I’m glad we went. I definitely want to go back, and now I know where I’d like to spend more time.
Step Two – Europe!
Yes! I am so excited to be going back to Europe. As I don’t have a lot of time this summer between working and doing things at home with family and friends and working on my writing, this trip is going to be a short one.
The trip was motivated by an invitation from one of my best friends to join her bachelorette party in Ireland. “Hells yeah,” was my answer, and then I quickly ran some numbers in my head and made it happen. Do I have the time and money? Sort of/not really, but I have my whole life to make money, and I don’t have my whole life for trips like this.
Because I decided to head that way, I also decided to couple the journey with visits with some other friends. I have a classmate and very good friend who will be in Paris so I will spend a couple of days with her there (undoubtedly doing little other than drinking wine under the Eiffel Tower) before heading to Belgium. As I’ve never been there before, and for its proximity to Paris, it made sense. Side note – my grandfather told me he figured out what my motto was: “I haven’t been there” and when he told me that, I laughed. These words perfectly describe me. I don’t need much more than that to justify why I want to go somewhere. Anyway, I will be meeting up with my friend Kathy, likely in Bruges, and we will spend under a week together there before we take a ferry back to Dover. I will spend a night with her at the haunted house in Newmarket before flying to Dublin. The bachelorette will consist of all the girly, fun things and probably lots of penis paraphernalia(?)… I don’t know how they do things in Ireland.
Step 3 – Wedding!
One of my classmates and one of the best people I know is getting married this August. My love for this man and his wonderful partner dictated that I could not miss this event. That, and the fact that I will be bunking up with four of my favourite girlfriends for the weekend sealed the deal.
For this I will be heading to the Canadian Newmarket, just outside Toronto.
Step Four – Back to Ireland? Yep! Back to Ireland!
Well, Claire & Colin are getting married, hence the bachelorette this summer. I am freaking bloody ecstatic that I am actually going to their wedding. Originally, I thought the timing didn’t work out with my school schedule, but since I start orientation week after the wedding, I am able to go. The only downside is that I missed that killer error fair from Toronto to Dublin which would have saved me some 500 buckaroos. Oh well, next time…
Minus the random on the right, I cannot wait to reunite with these amazing people in Ireland.
As you read this, I am probably on a plane going to Paris! What are your travel plans this summer? Do any adventures await you?