A Christmas Story

I should be writing about Rheinfall, Paris, and Reims, but instead, I’m here sipping white-hot chocolate on what feels like the coldest day of the year in Toronto.

Similar to the interlude during the impromptu Thanksgiving post, this will just be a quick recollection during the season. It is absolutely hectic between the festive obligations, but I’d like to say a few words about this year before we turnover to the next.

During Christmas, I have a tradition of sending all of my friends and family a short message, just wishing them a happy holiday and saying hi to their parents for me. Usually, I get a short message reply and we repeat the cycle again the next year. It’s a nice touch base. However, this year, I also sent the same messages to my friends overseas. Instead of the typical three-worded replies I get from Canadian friends, my pen pals in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland all wrote letter-like summaries of what they’ve done thus far since the end of exchange. It was nice catching up, even through a couple textual exchanges or a fleeting phone call. I’m sure it’s just the post-exchange depression talking, but I really miss them. We’re always planning to visit each other’s home countries, but with this kind of snow, I don’t think airplanes can leave or enter Toronto any time soon. Not to say that my Canadian friends are unfriendly, far from it! Canadians are the nicest people out there. Perhaps it’s because of the lack of physical distance that we assume immediate contact, thus prolonged updates are unnecessary. Regardless, it was nice hearing from everyone!

If you didn’t get a personal message from me, it’s probably because I don’t have your personal number! I guess it’s also a testament on whether we’re close enough to share that kind of information. Or whether there’s literally an ocean between us?

Wishing everyone who follows along a warm and blissful holiday. See you in the new year with new content on my Grand Italian Adventures and The Four Day Four Country Challenge!

Cheers!

Pre-Departure Logistics (Part 2)

Fun fact, I’ve been thinking about going on exchange again as part of my graduate studies. There was an information session last month and I still giggle each time the thought crosses my mind.

In continuation and certainly trying to warn you before your acceptance letter comes in, there are still a few more steps before jetting off to a foreign land. It’s all very exciting until you forget about visa deadlines or overweight luggages. Consider the following:

  1. Celebrate your acceptance!

First and foremost, congratulations! All that research and ridiculous resume writing has paid off. Go out with family and friends, take a mini-vacation, don’t study for that midterm (okay fine, keep studying!).

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