When I tell people that I am off to Wales for nearly a year, a common response is “you’re so lucky!” Well, yes and no. Firstly it is fortunate that I am Canadian, and simply that I am able to go to college. So people I tell are really just as ‘lucky’ as me to be here. Of course there isn’t too much else to say after I tell them I’m going to a tiny town in the middle of Wales, though “you’re so brave/what a great opportunity/it’s gonna be so much fun/so jealous” also has come up. But I digress. I don’t really consider it ‘luck’ that I am going to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
No, I have wanted to travel for as long as I can remember, memorizing the map of the world when I was 5. After years of begging when I was 12 I went to London for a week with my father, and that was an amazing trip. A few years later I returned to Europe for a month, further convincing me that yes I do want to go there. After looking at several options (though now I have found even more ways to go abroad) when I should have been studying or writing essays, doing an exchange through Camosun seemed to be the best way to do what I wanted: get a Bachelor’s in History, and go to Europe.
But to get to Wales, it was not simply luck. The parts that are fortunate is that there is even such a system of studying abroad for a semester or two, and that the college I was attending participated in such an exchange. In addition to all the historical stuff of Canada being a country, my parents deciding to move to Victoria, to afford to send me to school. I skipped out most of the middle part there, but everything then would be considered lucky. So taking ‘for granted’ or just appreciating that things are the way that they are, I went and applied for an exchange. Getting in was not ‘lucky’, not only because it wasn’t a lottery system for deciding who does get chosen to go, but also because I was the only one who applied for this specific exchange.
I mean of course it’s fantastic and great and awesome that I am going, however luck didn’t really have much to do with it. I went after it. Plain and simple. With the help of several people, but I wanted to go, and so I am. Ack that sounds kind of bratty! I just mean to say that the opportunity to go to Wales didn’t just present itself to me all wrapped up on a platter; I had to go and do several things to get it. Not all by myself was everything done, and I am very grateful to the people who gave me references, and for my sister and parents for editing and re-editing my applications. Persistence and the unwavering goal of going to Europe is what has led me to packing my things today for a 9 month stay in Wales, not simple luck. And if anyone else wants to do what I am doing, there are so many programs in place that it is more possible than ever in this century to go out and explore the world. All that is needed is a little initiative and motivation, and then you can go anywhere.