It was March 5, 2012, and my 25th birthday. The first birthday I felt old and unhappy- I was in Hawaii with my mom, and it seemed like everyone else was more excited that it was my birthday then I was. I was not at a place in my life where I thought I would be at this age. I was still in Edmonton, afraid I'd be trapped there forever. Even though I loved the province of Alberta, it's not where I wanted to settle down, and I felt there was more of the world to explore.
I started researching online for opportunities to live and work overseas. I found opportunities to teach English in South korea, but I didn't know if I could do that for an entire year because of the extreme difference in culture. I continued researching and found an agency called Travel Active. They connected me with a Canadian agency called Scotia Personnel (located in Nova Scotia). They gave me a call and told me about some opportunities I could consider. What stood out to me the most was to au pair in Holland! Something about that seemed right, and I continued to research the Netherlands.
Everything fell into place so smoothly. It was a lot of paperwork, but everything eventually came together. I didn't want to move until September so that I could enjoy one last summer in Ontario before I crossed the seas. I was matched with the exact family I was hoping for. We began emailing regularly, and had a chance to talk on skype.
On August 15, I drove my car to Ontario with my dad, and spent an entire month there saying goodbye to everyone one last time and enjoying the beach! Fortunately (and unfortunately!) I also met the love of my life! Curtis Walt, it was love at first sight for both of us, and we began an exciting romance immediately, spending every spare second together before I had to leave.