Safe, but jet-lagged, in Dublin

This week I embarked on a two-month adventure across Europe for the journey, not the destination.

Life is supposedly about the journey, not the destination.

Or at least that’s what travel clichés will tell you.

But at 24, who else am I going to listen to?

This week I embarked on a two-month adventure across Europe, made possible by my incredibly accommodating editor and publisher (thank-you, you’ll get postcards I promise!).

The first step was getting off Vancouver Island, which is a melodramatic departure in itself — standing on the top deck grasping the familiar railing I felt myself getting swept away with the wind blowing through my hair watching as the Island got smaller and smaller until finally it was out of sight, out of mind. I said goodbye to my boyfriend the day after our one year anniversary and set sail for the summer with tears of separation anxiety and excitement of the unknown welling in my eyes.

After 22-hours of travel, including every mode of transportation and a few time zones, I arrived in Dublin. Sleep deprived, hungry and confused about what time and day it was I couldn’t help but wonder what I was even doing in the Irish capitol.

My longtime friend, Grace, who I hadn’t seen in nearly three years picked me up at the airport and through our initial conversation catching up on the past I remembered why I came — because, simply, why not?

I moved to Parksville Qualicum Beach almost two years ago with the intention of gathering work experience, buffing up my barren resume and putting years of university to use before moving onto greener pastures.

At the time, the community didn’t seem to have much to offer a 20-something girl fresh out of school with ambitions to change the world through the written word. For the most part, I felt like a fragment of an alien generation that got lost in translation and wound up where I was supposed to be at the end of my life, instead of the beginning.

But the most important lessons come when you least expect it.

I’ve met some exceptionally kind people in the last few years. I’ve had the opportunity to interview and write stories about issues I’m passionate about. And, I’ve thought about the prospect of aging — and taking advantage of health and mobility — more seriously than ever.

People often call Parksville Qualicum Beach “God’s waiting room.”

It’s a joke and tourists who have heard the phrase less than ten times usually laugh, but it always leaves me feeling a little nervous; like time is fleeting and there’s nothing we can do to stall it anymore. We’re all in the queue, waiting.

So I guess in a way this trip is all about the journey because in 20 years I’ll be more disappointed about the things I didn’t do than the things I did.

And if nothing else, I’m sure I’ll learn enough from travel clichés alone this summer.

— Candace Wu is on leave from her position as a reporter with The NEWS. E-mail: candacemariewu@gmail.com.

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach on path to ban plastic bags

Bylaw will get legal advice prior to third reading

RDN to improve ways to deal with bylaw disputes

New system being explored that will be more efficient and effective

Hotel, restaurant and multi-use residential complex proposed for Resort Drive

Parksville could soon see more rental units, some zoned for commercial use

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

ECHO Players’ 2018/19 season announced

Qualicum Beach theatre company to show Peter Pan musical, Enchanted April and more

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Most Read