For those who have been following this makeshift mini-series on my blog where I pretend to be a photographer, thank you. It’s been really fun getting outside of my comfort zone for a little bit and capture my semester abroad for myself and others.
When this is actually published, I’ll be back in the States and be revisiting my home campus during their finals week. It’s all so familiar and in a way like I never left, but I still have to reintegrate myself with the people who have been here for these past few months, carrying on as usual.
Before packing up my belongings and hopping on an airplane, I wanted to take a day last week to just explore. It was my last chance, after all, and the weather was beautiful enough to spend the entire morning and most of the afternoon wandering around Sherbrooke’s downtown area and seeing where my legs carry me.
Because yes, I do miss that place. It’s a beautiful city in a beautiful part of the continent. Being in Quebec, you do get some of that French charm mixed into the typical city atmosphere. Lots of my exploring had been on nature walks, but I still really enjoy cities. I like cities that have a nice balance of metropolitan and natural, when a long stretch of businesses is broken up by an area of well-kept greenery. It’s been awhile, but that was a big reason why I loved London so much, and Sherbrooke is no different.
Are the winters long and brutal? A thousand times, yes. I cannot deny being bummed that my best opportunity for city wandering was one of my last days, but you know what? I’m lucky for those moments of warmth and sunshine I utilized to my fullest extent because it made those days even more fulfilling and beautiful.
Usually when I went out, I liked having a plan of some sort. The time I stopped by local thrift stores, I probably spent the entire week beforehand mapping out the buses to take, the time they all opened, and every other little detail. But last week, I just…went. I’m not a spontaneous person by nature, and I don’t think a mini walking tour is too crazy or adventurous, but it was so freeing to not care much about the time, not plan out every destination, and soak it all in. That is what is so amazing about traveling, having a rough outline of some intended spots, but beyond that, it’s open. Admittedly, that fantastic day made me wish I hadn’t had the influence of college classes and frigid weather in the way of going out and doing that every chance I had, but when studying abroad, that’s not realistic. Life is not a huge vacation. There’s still responsibilities to consider. But the moments that are free, take advantage of them and treasure them. That’s what you’ll remember most.
So enough chit-chat, and here are some shots I took last Thursday. Hopefully I can continue taking pictures even when I’m close to home. If I learned anything from this semester and this day in particular, it’s to accept and embrace the moments of uncertainty that aren’t planned to a T. You can’t plan inspiration.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie