About me – Part 1 – exchange term in Vancouver

My name is Cornelia and I am 25 years old.

At least, that is what my parents told me…

In 2014 I started questioning all of these “facts” that I thought I knew about myself. I started finding out what my “values”, “goals” etc. are and if they where really mine (from my heart) or rather gathered from my parents, society, friends. This took place while doing a NLP (neurolinguistic programming) course in Vienna. Now looking back it feels almost like opening Pandora`s box. After this course nothing in my life stayed the same.

I started by applying for an exchange term in Vancouver which meant moving to Canada for 4 month. This was my dream since high school or even before that. It scared me shitless in the beginning and I remember nearly freaking out during the preparations in the summer before. Nevertheless, I wanted to do it so bad and went through with it. Maybe I could already feel deep inside how big this shift would be and which impact it would have on every future decision.

After my studies abroad, which I did from August 2015 till December 2015. I went travelling for 6 weeks. First, I travelled 3 weeks through Florida and to New Orleans for New Year’s Eve. Then I went to Cancun (Mexico) for the remaining 3 weeks. This was the first time ever I spent all by myself in a foreign country, or at least I went there by myself. I can tell you, if you ever travel all by yourself it will be so much easier to meet new people than you think. Even if you want to, it will be hard to stay by yourself. However, there I felt real freedom and real loneliness for the first time too. These two feelings will mostly go hand in hand, as we live in a polarised world where the extremes come together e.g. with love there comes hatred. I enjoyed the time there so much that I nearly stayed. Also I broke up with my boyfriend at that time, who I was in a relationship with for 3 years. This was the next huge shift in my life, as now I felt completely free again. I enjoy being in a love relationship very much but until then I always felt kind of “trapped” or “limited” when being in a relationship.

As I mentioned before, I almost stayed in Mexico rather than going home to Austria to continue my studies. I was still doing my master’s degree in business education at that time. Nevertheless, I took my flight back and decided to continue studying. It was very hard being back, as I had what you would call a “reverse culture shock”. It took me a couple of months to adapt and start studying properly again… (to be continued)


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