The “Last” Summer

Jul 7, 2015 by

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.


IMG_1907 - Version 2


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.



IMG_2052 - Version 2


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?

Please like my Facebook page, and don’t forget to follow me on twitter and Instagram too!

Related Posts

Share This


  1. Mike

    Hi Colleen! Yep, it’s really me. I’m still on my leave from blogging but I wanted to stop by and say hi. I’m so thrilled that your adventures continue. If you are headed off to Paris I hope you have a great time! As always, I’m so very proud of you with your schooling and you will reap great rewards for all of your hard work. Have a great day and we’ll talk soon 🙂

    • Colleen

      Hey Mike! How great to hear from you. I know, I’ve been a bit behind on the blogging too. It’s so nice to take a step back (and some space). My adventures continue, indeed. Stay tuned for more!

  2. Oooh have fun! Our only big plans are small…Ottawa for August long. Say hi to Paris for me!

    • Colleen

      Ottawa is such a beautiful city. I’m sure you will have a ball.
      Paris says hi back!

  3. Lovely trip you had over there Colleen, must be one of the best vacation your ever had. Hope to read more lovely blogs like this from you in the near future.

  4. We have to go to the weddings of Justin’s two best friends this year. Unfortunately they’re both in October and they’re both in (relatively) uninteresting places we have to fly to, which means bye bye travel budget for the rest of the year! I hope you share a bit about Ireland. We were hoping to go for our 10 year anniversary next year, but it’s looking like Justin will have the possibility of deploying instead. But maybe we’ll have to push it back and make it happen, despite the fact that we’ll have another wedding to travel to soon after (this in the much more interesting location of coastal Oregon). Hey. If you can go to Ireland twice in one year, we can certainly make it happen once. 😉

    • Colleen

      Oooo… deploying?? Is this the adventure you’ve been waiting for? Or do I misunderstand army lingo?
      Coastal Oregon sounds dreamy.
      I do hope you make it to Ireland, it’s so so worth it!! I will definitely be posting about Ireland more in the days to come. I had an unforgettable time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *