Yesterday, I decided to meet with an old friend at the King's Head Pub. This pub, the central hub for many CreComm gatherings, seemed like an appropriate place for such a rendezvous. Why here? Because she is very similar to my peers, in a sense that she is someone who inspires me to follow my dreams without inhibitions.
Erica will be leaving in twelve days to move to New Zealand for a year. One entire year, all on her own, in a brand new country with a blank sheet of unforeseeable prospects.
She has no work transfer, nor a permanent place to stay for the time being. She isn't unprepared, however - in fact, she has all of her affairs in order to get her foot in the door. She's applied for her work visa, purchased a travel journal and has money set aside.
She has a few contacts, but is riding on the fact that she'll make new friends during her travels. Thankfully, she won't have any problems doing so. Erica is, by far, one of the friendliest and most outgoing people I know. She's a gem to have around, which is probably why she's such a good friend of mine in the first place. (What can I say, I pick 'em well.)
But I was still afraid. I was scared for her, for my good friend to be taking such a huge leap without any guaranteed outcome or success. Committing to something without having any idea where it might take you? The thought simply horrifies me, but it didn't seem to phrase her at all.
In fact, she was as excited as ever. I could tell by the twinkle in her eye that she knew exactly what she was getting herself into. I mean, she's young, open to exploration and has nothing keeping her from crossing this great escapade off of her bucket list.
And then I ask myself: why shouldn't she go? Although the experience may be one of the most nerve-racking commitments she's ever made, there is no reason not to be there. Winnipeg will always be here, her home - but New Zealand has opportunity written all over it.
It's new people to meet, new places to see, and new stories to share. And who knows what else she'll come across once she gets there.
I asked her what her goals were. She replied by telling me that she wasn't quite sure, and that she didn't want to jump the gun by setting her expectations too high. She wanted to live in the moment, let the path pave itself and she was willing to follow it, wherever it took her. I smiled.
It's true, life really is about taking chances. Whatever magnitude the decision may be: whether it's moving to a different country, applying for CreComm or trying out the King's Head's new dinner special.
I'm glad that I got to see Erica when I did. I may not see her for a year, or maybe even longer for that matter. But can I really be upset that's she leaving? No - In fact, I am ecstatic on her behalf. I can't wait to hear about her upcoming trip and all of the great things that she'll come across. There's no guarantee that they'll happen right away, but for what it's worth, I'm sure something amazing will come out of her year-long adventure.
Cheers, to Erica! May New Zealand treat you well.