Today we are in for a real treat as we have Jackie Toews posting as a contributing writer on the blog! We are so excited to share what impacted her the most on her Senior Trip to Europe!
But first, here is a little about Miss Toews!
Hey! My name is Jackie, I’m 17 and I’m a proud Canadian living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I’m an aspiring singer songwriter, but until that takes off, I’ll be going to college to work as a Health Unit Clerk. Before I left to Europe, Shirley had her daughter, and also my best friend, Nicole, ask me if I’d write a post for her website, and here I am!
From the moment I woke up on March 27, 2014, I knew I was in for the time of my life. And, was I ever right! London, England and Paris, France are two places that are for the dreamers. In each city, I felt surrounded by creativity and inspiration.
The journey to London was full of little interruptions, like an hour delay on top of the seven hour wait to board the plane from Calgary to London.
By the time we got to London, we met up with our tour guide, Vanessa, who arrived all the way from Belgium. She has had a huge impact on my life. Hearing her story, about moving away from home at 17 and everything she’s been through to finally get herself to where she is now, really made me realize that just because things aren’t working out the way you want them to doesn’t mean that they’ll never work out. On the train from London to our hotel, which was a half hour out of the city, I overheard her talking to some other students in my group about how important it is to not rush into real life. She was saying how you should take all the time you need to find that career that you feel you 100% belong to.
There was a girl in my group, let’s call her Taylor, that wants to be an author, and she said how she keeps hearing things like:
Oh, you’ll never make a living off of that
And Van said:
Don’t even worry about that.
Despite only knowing her for eight days, I feel a connection with her. I love Van for being such an encouragement when it comes to finding your place in this insanely big world full of possibilities. Even now that the trip is over, I keep hearing Van’s voice in the back of my mind telling me that everything I want to achieve is possible, regardless of those who doubt me.
While my friend and I were walking through the streets of Paris during our free time on the last day of the trip, I couldn’t help but notice the outstandingly large amount of people living on the streets. See, where I live, we don’t have people sitting on every street corner. When I decided to give some money to this woman, her face just lit up, and it really surprised me of the fact that just a little bit of change, something that we take for granted, can give someone so much joy. We don’t always think about how a small act of kindness like that can make someone’s day just a little bit better.
Going to London and Paris has always been a dream of mine, and now I’m beyond ecstatic that I can say that is has been a reality for me!
When I left, I kept saying how I’d never want to go home, but when I got home on April 6, 2014, it was a wonderful feeling to see my family again. The moment that made me the happiest to be home was seeing my one and a half year old niece come running to me. Seeing her do that was what reassured me that she didn’t forget about me.
The saying really is true. No matter where you visit …
There’s no place like home!
*Thank you so much, Jackie, for your wonderfully inspirational post about your travels! We appreciate you being a part of our team at Light, Love, Hope!