Pssst…things they are a-changin’

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The past weeks showed that one of the golden rules in life is that while making plans is a good thing, life itself often calls for an alteration of plans. Everything else would be what the Quebecois would call “plate” – boring, as it would mean we’d barely get out of the safe bay. Or would we…?

I am in love with the quotes of Laozi. And that’s a complete understatement. Because even mentioning my admiration for this philosopher can by no means express how truly amazing it is that a human being from many centuries ago and from such a different culture uttered words which still have such deep meaning today. Life is a series of changes. And throughout our lifetime, we’re learning to let go of things and embrace change. No one could have expressed that better than Laozi:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

Many things have happened since my last post on January 24. I had the last day at work in Switzerland, went through the visa process for a Canadian study visa and prepared for a whole year abroad. A year, during which I planned to first spend 7 months in Canada, then 4 months in South America and finally 2 months in China. No traditional world trip focussing on travelling but rather one which should lead me to different continents, cultures, working environments and, most importantly, to the discovery of topics such as entrepreneurship, microfinance and sustainable development.

So there I am…

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…in Montreal, Canada. Not San Francisco as planned before. Only half a year ago, I would actually never have thought I’d ever really go abroad again for a long time period. Love can change many things. When you fall in love as well as when fate seems to not lead you where you want to.

Those little bumps in the road. You can either let them stop you and grieve over the fact your road didn’t turn out as smoothly as you wished it to. Or you can simply walk a little detour and be curious about what else might come across your road because of that…things you would otherwise probably have missed out on. As Laozi said:

“If you do not change direction, you might end up where you are heading.”

But who knows if they really are heading into the right direction? I believe changes always comes for a reason.

So I am in Montreal now. And staying true to my mission of travelling with my little instrument, I took my guitalele with me. Getting through customs in Montreal was quite a challenge, but 3 hours and a considerable amount of anxiety later, I was owner of a student visa and on the road to my first couchsurfing host, an elderly German lady who has been living in Montreal since 1968. I was received with a nice late night dinner and had my first chat in French.

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Due to my jetlag, my first morning started at 4am, and the first few days I felt like a walking zombie. I was greeted with nice crepes in the morning and shown around the city.  Just by concidence, my host was a city guide and knew everything about Montreal. Unfortunately I don’t remember too much of what I was told, because I was having a hard time trying to stay awake until evening finally arrived. Ugh…jetlag…I still don’t know why I was ok with the time difference when I went to San Francisco but had a problem with 6 hours of time difference here.

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One month and several hosts into my trip, I am feeling very much at home in Montreal…and I found love. Or did it find me? And as a journey is never about getting from point A to point B in the shortest possible time period, it might be time to change plans again. I think it is important to take one step and then see what life brings while knowing which direction you want to go. And you never know which topics your journey will finally bring up for you. Right now, my life is circling around the topics “love” and “harmony”. Awesome, awesome. Let’s see, where that path is leading to…future, I am ready for you 🙂

About Miriam

I am a traveller. Not in the fast sense. I am travelling on foot, as a pilgrim. And I love writing and playing music. Since I found back to singing and writing while walking the Way of St. James in Spain, I started mingling the two. Means I am walking with my little guitalele and playing whenever the situation seems right for it :-)
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