In my third year of university, I took a semester abroad. I chose Aberdeen, Scotland as my destination. The classes were relaxed, exchange students were marked on a pass/fail basis and I only had class three days a week – leaving four days to travel. Every week my fellow exchange students, Hannah, Beth and I would scan the internet for the cheapest (thus often the sketchiest) flights to anywhere in Europe or the UK. Flights that cheap (one flight to Edinburgh cost 9£) do not allow for checked luggage so we had to pack light. Everywhere we went I brought a small blue hiking backpack with a tiny red Canadian flag pinned to it. That flag, accompanied by our Canadian accents, seemed to be the key to friendly locals. People were so helpful and polite, offering travel advice, asking about our home country and often expressing their desire to visit Canada one day. Learning about Canada’s shining reputation abroad made me realize that so many of us take living in this great country for granted.

By the end of the semester, we had traveled to over eight countries, stayed in countless hostels, gained 20 pounds, and realized how lucky we are to call Canada home.

Jane T – Coril Holdings Ltd.

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