My guest this week is Lindsey de Leau, and it is wonderful to hear from a young person about her ideas for lifelong learning. Twenty-eight-year-old Lindsey is from Leiden, Holland and is touring Canada, the U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Nepal over the next nine months. What a journey and what phenomenal learning she is bound to experience! I met her through long-time friends with whom she has stayed while in Calgary. Welcome, Lindsey. We are interested in your travels, your perspectives on life and on our community.
Embarking on the Great Adventure
By Lindsey de Leau
At the age of 26, it seemed like I had it all: I owned a condo, a car and I had started my career in Marketing Communication. But something was itching, and ignoring it didn’t make it go away. I wanted to travel: see the world, visit new places, meet interesting people, learn about life and reflect upon mine. Then, by the end of 2009, I became single and thought to myself, “It’s now or never!”
I started to save money, plan my journey, research and organize, and a year-and-a-half later, I waved good-bye to my loved ones, as I embarked upon this great adventure: my trip around the world.
One of the main reasons for my visit to Calgary is that, in fact, I owe my very existence to this city. My parents (Dutch father and Welsh mother) had both separately decided to come to Canada in their early twenties, only to meet, fall in love and get married—right here in this city. So to me, it was quite special to visit the church where they had once said their vows and to see the first house they called home. Now, so many years later, their daughter has set foot on that very same ground, with similar hopes, dreams and aspirations. As difficult as it may have been for their parents to see their children fly the nest, off into the great unknown, my parents are now experiencing the exact same feeling. History repeats itself, in so many ways over and over again.
Somehow I had a feeling that I would like Calgary, and low and behold, I really do! I’ve only been here for little over a week; but with each day, I’m getting to know the city, its people and their way of life a little better, and every day I grow a little fonder of it all.
Witnessing Stampede Week was an experience in itself. The entire city transforms into a Wild West spectacle with cowboys and cowgirls of every age, race and class. Stampede breakfasts with free pancakes, served by dozens of volunteers, and a band playing country music in the background somehow made this major city feel like a small town with a great sense of community. And the rodeo—well, that was something else altogether! What a show!
I found that everybody here is very friendly and cooperative, and that apart from local traditions, there really isn’t that much of a difference from the people back home in Holland. Having a fun-loving, hard-working, ambitious and adventurous personality, I find myself fitting in quite well in Calgary. Let’s hope that the people I meet on the rest of my journey treat me just as well as over here!