Guest Post: Friends are the bacon bits in the salad of life (Part 1 of 2)

YOU are in for a treat! As I said previously, one of my closest friends Christina has offered to guest post about her venture to Montreal from Toronto, and our girls weekend there a couple of weeks ago for my birthday! This is part 1 of our fabulous trip, so enjoy & stay tuned…

Your 20s are such a period of change. There’s so much that lies ahead and it’s exciting to think that there could be so much possibility, but at the same time there are many important decisions to be made with seemingly life-altering consequences. What to study in school, what career to pursue, and where you might live or move to are common questions in your 20s.

I remember finishing my undergrad and along with many of my friends and classmates, wondered what to do “with the rest of my life”. I was given a wonderful opportunity to work for an organization I’ve long admired, so last June I packed up my life in Ottawa and moved to Toronto. (Ironically, Dee decided to pursue her masters in Ottawa and my hopes of the two of us remaining in the same city after graduation were dashed, at least for the next year.)

View from my new home in Toronto

Although I was excited to make the transition from student to “young professional”, it didn’t come without its challenges. I had to become familiar with a new city and learn the ins and outs of a new job. Most challenging of all was being so far away from my close friends and family and having to make new friends.

Luckily, I have people in my life like Daniela who continue to make our friendship a priority despite the distance. We call, text, e-mail and Skype and it makes me feel almost like they’re still here.

Dee and I on our last girls trip in Miami

We’d been trying to plan a girls’ trip for some time, but another challenging part of growing up is understanding your budget and accepting your responsibilities, and these things kept us from the sunny vacation we’d hoped for. We decided on something a little closer to home but hemmed and hawed about who would be coming from where, and how to get there, and how many nights we could stay and what we could afford. This trip almost didn’t happen! Nevertheless, in the end the importance of our friendships and making time for each other prevailed and just days shy of Daniela’s birthday weekend we settled our plans to party in Montreal.

Although Dee had some reservations about turning 24 we were determined to celebrate in style. Friday afternoon I hopped on a train at Union station and settled in for the 5-hour trip, coordinated to arrive at roughly the same time as Dee and Brit. We’d had so much uncertainty planning our weekend getaway that even though I was en route to Montreal it felt more like I was travelling for another work event than meeting with the girls! It probably didn’t help that I was catching up on some work-related videos to pass the time.

Our hotel in Montreal

It wasn’t until I started to get text messages from Dee about the status of their arrival that I realized our weekend away was really happening! We’d all been so consumed with school and work that a common sentiment among us was that there was no time; no time for a social life, no time for sleep.. sometimes barely time for food!  It was refreshing to take a break and I was especially happy to be spending it with some of my besties! Pretty soon, I was in front of Le Cantlie Suites Hotel in downtown Montreal. Dee and Brit had already checked in and as I got into the elevator to meet them, I couldn’t wait to find out where our weekend would take us!

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