It is now the eve of my trip. The eve of what I’m hoping is something that will help me grow, both mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and everything in between. It is within my nature to plan every detail of every day, as previously stated, and so while I have planned everything surrounding my actually getting there (what ferry to get, when to check in…the list goes on and on) I have tried to leave most things up to fate, which is very unnatural for me.
Today I taught my family how to successfully FaceTime, in order that I can talk to them face to face rather than just digitally while away. Though I realize I literally am going through this trip alone, it really feels like anything but right now. I am completely aware that my family is sitting in my back pocket, drinking in every moment, every interaction through me.
This is especially true of my mom. Only once has she been back to Germany in the past fifteen years, and that was only due to an incredibly unforeseen and tragic event. As she told me yesterday afternoon, it really feels like she is coming with me, because although it often feels like her life has been entirely based in Canada, the truth is that it really hasn’t been. At the age of nineteen my mother decided to become a nanny for a family moving to BC for a few months, and then met my dad at the local church. Eighteen years later here I sit, hearing the bustling noises of a four other kids, an insane variety of animals, and too many sheep to count around me.
I keep telling my mom that I’m going to pull a “Stephanie” on here. The whole go to a different country, meet a guy, barely ever come back home, and then eventually build a little cabin for the parents in the backyard so they can come visit. My Oma has relentlessly informed me that it is my duty to make this happen, to install karma in my mother doing that to my Oma.
Last night my family and I took a walk downtown along the waterfront, gelato in hand (I highly recommend Mio Gelato, if it’s not present in heaven I am going to be sorely disappointed) and reflected on some of the funnier moments of life while admiring the beauty that surrounds the entire downtown core. We reminisced over our gelatos of HILARIOUS stories, such as the time one of my brothers stuck some peas up his nose and then couldn’t get them out, when the infamous “spider ride” happened last summer while my Dad drove me to work with Lily and Gabe in the back, and the still present fear of my younger brother absolute revulsion to fireworks.
I hope that these kinds of stories stick with me in the future, and that I also continue to make memories like these in the future. The kinds of memories that still make you laugh years later, that are an undisputed dinner favourite, that a perfect and intimate reflection of the person you love. I’m going to miss my family and friends while I’m gone (I know I’m so dramatic…I know it’s only three weeks), but I hope that I can make memories like these in the upcoming weeks while in Germany with the rest of my family.
The last time I went was 2012; the highlight of this trip was seeing my brother flip his bike going down a hill, witnessing the Cologne cathedral in all it’s glory, and long summer nights at the North Sea going for walks during low tide and then zip lining in the play ground. I’m waiting for these memories, but I know that it’s essential for me to understand that the best kind of memories are often the memories that come unexpectedly, without any kind of planning, without any expectation.