Home again, home again, jiggity jig.


Before I made my way back to London, I had one last stop to make in Bristol. Chris and I had decided to meet up one last time before I flew back to Canada. You can probably read that last sentence as: I decided that I wanted to see Chris one last time before flying back to Canada so I made him come pick me up at the Bristol train station so we could hang out for a bit. So rather than taking a train right to London, I decided to drag all of my stuff to Bristol and then to London so I could see one of my best friends one last time because I really have no idea when I’ll get to see him next.

That sounds a little bit dramatic, but at the time I was genuinely upset that I didn’t know when I would see him again.

baconYou see, Chris easily and quickly became one of my best friends. He’s a demanding turdball that would turn up at my door at 1am to demand that I serve him milk and then keep me awake until I was cranky and threatening him with bodily harm because he was bored. But he was also someone that would turn up at my door at 3am because my mom had just called to say my dog had just passed away. We met one drunken night in our student’s union and our weird friendship grew from there. I wish there was a quick and easy way for me to sum up my friendship with Chris, but there really isn’t.


I doubt I could have started a serious fire with this...

I doubt I could have started a serious fire with this…

He basically thinks I’m crazy sprinkles dipped in three flavours of insanity. I probably did nothing to disprove this theory. I mean, I did decide to stick candles in a pizza on my birthday because I wanted to blow the candles out. It probably wasn’t the best idea since I was kind of tipsy and have never had the best of luck with fire to begin with. Or at least Chris didn’t think it was a good idea when he looked at me like I was dancing naked around him while waving pissed off cobras in his face while asking him to do my homework. He tends to overreact like that. Really, it was just me, him, a pizza that had some candles in it, and the slightest potential that I would somehow set my dorm on fire.

...the duck face confuses me.

…the duck face confuses me.Br

Anyway, I saw Chris in Bristol. We wound up dragging my 33kg hockey bag, carry-on suitcase, and backpack across the city because we wanted Five Guys Burgers. Thankfully we took a bus back to the train station because after eating the heaven that is a Five Guys burger, I didn’t want to drag all of my stuff anywhere else.

My time in Bristol was too short. From what I saw, it was a nice city that deserves exploring. Plus I wanted to spend a little more time with Chris because at that point I hadn’t seen him in a couple of weeks. Sadly, I had to catch a train and I may or may not have cried a little bit when it came time to say “see you later” to one of the people who made my time in the UK amazing.

After Bristol I was back on a train to London. Upon arriving in London I braved the Underground on my own for the first time ever. The trains and platforms were clogged with people as I navigated myself and my bags from one place to another. I met a few nice people who helped me drag my bags on and off the trains and eventually I found myself taking a bus to my hotel.

Originally I had planned to drop my stuff off in my room and head back out into London one last time, but at that point I was emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted. So I did what any sane person would do.

I got drunk and texted my friends all night.

For the first time ever I finished a pint of beer by myself. I also finished a pint of cider. As well as several more pints of cider. I’ve decided that I’m probably more a cider person than a beer person at this point in my life. Basically I sat down at my hotel bar to mope by myself and read my book and wound up having a few drinks with a guy at the bar who wouldn’t leave me alone to pout.

The next day I learned a life lesson: Never fly hungover.

My flight home was uneventful. I watched a few movies and tried to keep myself awake so that I would sleep properly when I got home. I can now say that on all of my flights to and from London I watched Little Women each and every time. It’s easily one of my all time favourite movies and books. On my flight home I managed to time the movie to end just as we were landing in Vancouver.

As soon as I was able to, I was off the plane and running across the airport while texting and Snap Chatting my friends back in the UK that I had landed safely. I bumped people as I ran, I politely shouted “EXCUSE ME” while I pushed my way through the slow moving crowds, and full out sprinted at every chance I had. All of the time I’d spend training with Haylee paid off that day as I tirelessly ran across the airport. My momma was waiting for me and it had been 140 days since I’d last seen her and I didn’t want to wait a second longer than necessary to see her.

I made it through baggage claim and customs in record time and ran out to the waiting crowds looking for my mom. She was there waiting with everyone else and the only thing I could do was drop my bags and put her in a headlock while I cried happy tears. My momma is a tiny lady so when I hug her she kind of gets…crushed. She never seems to care though. Who wouldn’t love a solid headlock/hug from an awesome daughter like me?

Anyway, I cried. My mom cried. The lady watching us while she waited for her son cried.


Finally back with my momma!

Then some security guard told me that my bag was in the way and I had to move it so mom and I grabbed my stuff and headed out to the car to start making our way home. Or sort of make our way home. As we were sitting in the car and I was settling in, my mom showed me a picture of a little St. Bernard puppy and asked if I wanted him.

We didn’t get a puppy that day (But we got Five Guys, so that was almost as good). Instead my parents went and picked him up the next day. So yeah, the day after I landed back in Canada my family got a puppy. His name is Goliath.

I'm home!

Making my way back home!


I clearly am a fucking horrible blogger. I’ve been home over a month and still haven’t written about my final days in Wales. I’m going to try and rectify that now…

The day after we dropped Lisa off at the airport, Haylee and I had a busy day. We got to meet the field school that was in Wales from our old school, Douglas College! Some of them were sick when they arrived because they’d been drinking the night before. If there is one lesson that I can pass onto future international students, it is this: NEVER drink the night before a trip to anywhere. Welsh roads are tricksy and curvaceous assholes and if you happen to have a weak stomach or are not used to drinking with people who probably sipped ale from a sippy cup as a wee lamb then you are FUCKED. I never got sick on a bus, but there were times on long international student trips where I felt like I was about to be come a mighty chunder dragon and it wasn’t a fun feeling.

After the everyone was done being sick, Haylee and I went with them on a tour of our campus (it didn’t take so long – Lampeter campus is SMALL), and then we all loaded onto a bus to go to Strata Florida Abbey where some first and second year archeology students were learning the tricks of their trade in the field. They were actually literally in a field too. My flatmate, Heather, and Haylee’s flatmate, Sophie, were both there digging. They were dirty and sun-kissed and I loved seeing them actually being able to put what they had learned into practice.

That night was my last night with Pumba. We all stayed up late and then Pumba was back in my room early the next morning to wait for his dad to come pick him up. I met and became close with Pumba late in the school year, so I didn’t get to spend as much time with him as I liked. I can say with a certainty though that he is a proper sweetheart and I miss him. He quickly became the baby brother that I never knew I wanted (Josh is the little brother I always asked my mom for) and my life definitely has more hugs and smiles in it thanks to him.

The goober being a goober. And me being cute. As we do.

The goober being a goober. And me being cute. As we do.

Once Pumba had driven off with his dad, reality intruded and I suddenly realized that I was leaving. On Friday. It was Thursday. I was leaving Friday. My room was still a  bloody mess.

Except…I still had my last basketball practice of the year to go to! It was a very chill practice because most everyone had gone home, but it was a good practice all the same. There isn’t a lot to say about my year with the Lampeter Lions except that it was a great one.

I couldn't have asked for a better team. Well I could, but they would need rocket shoes. I still think this mean was the bees knees <3

I couldn’t have asked for a better team. Well I could, but they would need rocket shoes. I still think this mean was the bees knees ❤

Then I had to get back to cleaning my room. Eff.

Where the hell did all this stuff come from?! Was I giving birth to it in my sleep?!

Did I have a version of King Midas’ touch where everything I touch turns to mine and hidden somewhere in my room?

I’d spent the entire week leading up to that packing, unpacking, and repacking all of my stuff while I debated what would stay and what would get to go home with me. It was annoying because I had to get rid of a lot of things that I loved, but just didn’t really need. I debated learning how to live a minimalist life and cutting out all of the pointless random stuff that I had, but one look at my lawn gnomes told me I could never do that.

Throughout the night a few people stopped by my room while I was cleaning to see me off in their own way. I got to see and hug my teammate, Mark, one last time. It was great spending the year playing basketball with him even though I hated that he never let me have any easy shots over him. Pete and Hamza stopped by as well! I even got to hug Pete which was slightly awkward because I’d never hugged Pete before, but it was nice because he’s a #niceguy and he’s someone that I miss now that I’m home.

Pete, Pumba, Scouse, Josh and Billy. This pic sums this lot up nicely.

Pete, Pumba, Scouse, Josh and Billy. This pic sums this lot up nicely.

Eventually Friday morning rolled around and I found myself dragging my bags out the door and handing over the keys to what had been my home away from home. My safe space.  My room was perfectly clean for the first time since I’d moved into it and I was sad to leave my little hobo hole. So many memories happened in that room. Like the first day that I first arrived in Lampeter and met Haylee. I’d just curled up in bed to have myself a proper cry when she and Robin turned up in my flat, shouting my name. They took me grocery shopping.  Or the night that Haylee broke my wardrobe door because she hid in there to scare me during one of our movie nights with Josh.

I couldn’t believe I was leaving. Then I was loading my stuff into the back of Mike’s car to start my adventure home. Mike is one of the guys who played on the football team and he was always nice enough to drive Lisa, Haylee and I to all the away games that we wanted to go to. He was also awesome enough to drive me, Haylee and Josh to Carmarthen so I could catch my morning train to Bristol. Thank you, Mike!

One last look at these lovelies before the train door closed.

One last look at these lovelies before the train door closed.

Haylee, Josh and Mike stood with me until my train pulled in. Then it finally hit me. I WAS IN WALES! THIS WAS REAL! I HAD COME TO WALES! I’d spent the entire year feeling like my entire study abroad experience couldn’t be real. It couldn’t actually be happening. I must have been dreaming. Then I hugged Haylee and…I was amazed that this whole entire thing was real and it had happened. Not only that it had happened, but it had happened with Haylee. I couldn’t believe the two of us had been in the same program at the same school and had the same love for basketball, but had never met until we’d both flown across the world to go to school.

My Littlest and I during one of our many "homework" sessions.

My Littlest and I during one of our many “homework” sessions.

After surviving the 12-hour basketball match together!

After surviving the 12-hour basketball match together!

A walk to the lake together!

A walk to the lake together!

Except now I can believe it. There is no way in hell that I imagined travelling across the world where Haylee stole my blankets while we were staying in Rotterdam. I’m positive that I don’t have that good of an imagination. Haylee and I spent most of the school year together. We stalked a guy who had a basketball together. We introduced poutine to our friends together. We traveled together We spent hours agonizing over our dissertations together. We pinned Josh down to tickle him until he hissed at us together. There was a lot we did together and I’ll never forget it. Unless I suffer some sort of blow to the head that causes me to forget that year. Then that kind of sucks and I hope that doesn’t happen, but if it does, at least Haylee will remember our shenanigans and she can fill me in on the time that Raz left us alone in his dorm room and we planned shenanigans together.

Fun Skype session with Raz!

Fun Skype session with Raz!

IMG_5927As the train pulled away I started to cry. I couldn’t help myself. Lampeter has made me into a bit of a crier. Or a lot of a crier. It depends on who you ask. The tears started to fall and I stole one last look at Josh. The little brother that I’d always asked my mom for. As it turns out he was hiding on the other side of the world. I guess that means he wins at hide-and-seek for now. I’m going to miss Josh. And Geoff. That’s the name I gave Josh’s beard. And this is why I’m going to miss him. He was always happy to go along with any shenanigans that the Turdettes threw at him. Like me naming his beard. Or the night Haylee, Lisa and I decided to dress up in his clothes and have a “Turd” fetish. Or coming along to London with his. He made our adventures complete. Even when those adventures happened to be just the four of us hanging out in my room and watching movies until we were all ready to pass out.



"Sneak hug!" Someday I shall get one more hug from Ky!

“Sneak hug!” Someday I shall get one more hug from Ky!

Movie night with Josh is best night.

Movie night with Josh is best night.

Once the train pulled out of the station I went and sat down at a table on the train and some creepy guy offered to hug me and let me sleep on him. So with this creeper temporarily by my side, I started to make my way home.

Driving Miss Lisa Marie – Also, pooping together


My last week in Wales found Haylee, Lisa, and I getting ready to go our separate ways. Lisa was returning home to the states, I was heading back to BC, and Haylee was going off on more adventures around the UK. I can’t believe that my time with these girls in the UK came to such a quick end. Even though it feels like we squished several lifetimes into our short time together, it still feels like yesterday that I was yelling Haylee’s name in the airport when she came to help pick me and the other international students up.

The weekend after we got our tattoo’s I found myself in my dorm room as I began to pack up all of my stuff and started to realize that there was no way I was going to be able to take everything home. I spent most of my time in the UK being very careful not to accumulate too much stuff and I apparently failed at that task. I don’t know where it all came from, but I somehow had nearly twice as much stuff as when I arrived. Apparently I’m a very stealthy hoarder.

Turd, The Turdettes, Pumba and Scouse!

Turd, The Turdettes, Pumba and Scouse!

That weekend was also my last weekend with my weird little family.

On Monday, Pumba and I went into Carmarthen to pick up a rental car so Haylee, Josh, Pumba and I could take Lisa to the airport. Unfortunately we were not able to get an automatic like we had planned and we wound up renting a standard shift car. Or a manual, as they’re called in the UK. I prefer just calling it a stick shift car. Double unfortunately, I can drive a stick, but I’m not the best at it. Just think about it a minute…

I was on the opposite side of the car.

I was on the opposite side of the road.

I was shifting with my opposite hand.

And my mom has been known to yell at me “AT LEAST TRY AND LOOK LIKE YOU’RE PAYING ATTENTION!” while I’m driving.

My brief stint driving in the UK did not go well and I’m really proud of Pumba for not yelling at me or shitting himself.

So instead of driving Lisa to the airport in a car with the five of us squished in there, Pete drove us all in a minibus! This was very circular because the first time that Pete drove us anywhere was in a minibus to our first basketball game of the year. I was thankful that Pete was driving us to London. He’s more familiar with the roads and road rules of the UK. He’s also probably an all-around better driver than me.

Not that I’m a bad driver! I just don’t drive a lot so I’m not as easy behind the wheel as someone who drives all the time.

The boys hanging out in the airport.

The boys hanging out in the airport.

That night we packed up the minibus with all of Lisa’s stuff. Then we all climbed into the bus too. In order to get Lisa to the airport on time we had to drive through the night. We didn’t arrive at the airport until 5am. I was able to nap off on on through the night and felt bad because I think I drooled on Pumba because I was using him as a very nice smelling pillow. Then we all sat around and rested until we had to put Lisa through at security so she could board her plane.

Josh decided to take inappropriate selfies while Lisa and Haylee got ready to say "see you later".

Josh decided to take inappropriate selfies while Lisa and Haylee got ready to say “see you later”.

As she walked through security I felt heartbroken because she was leaving. I’d grown so used to having her in my life and around me all the time that I genuinely had no clue what the hell I was going to do without her. Despite the fact that I was sad to see her leave, I was also incredibly thankful that I met this amazing, silly, slightly insane, loyal and loving gremlin. Lisa and I went on an incredible journey together. We came to Wales as two nervous poopers who had never met before and who couldn’t shit in public if our lives counted on it. Then, with A LOT of Haylee’s help, we gradually got more comfortable pooping with other people in the next room. From there we actually started to become more comfortable pooping in public. Lisa and I had tons of fun together from our first movie night together, to trying to slide down a muddy hill on our tummies, to her coming home early during Easter break as a surprise, to our weird little cuddle sessions where I let her be the big spoon. However, nothing sums up our friendship better than the fact that we can now take a shit in public if we really need to. We learned that together. Lisa and I are Turdettes for a reason.

In the ever wise words of Butters, “Well yeah, and I’m sad, but at the same time I’m really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It’s like, it makes me feel alive, you know? It makes me feel human. And the only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt somethin’ really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good, so I guess what I’m feelin’ is like a, beautiful sadness. I guess that sounds stupid.”


Weirdo crawling through windows again…

Oh, and by Haylee’s help, I mean her encouragement. We didn’t do anything weird. She was just really understanding about the two of us being nervous poopers and did her best to be a good friend and support us…Ok, there is absolutely no way that I can make this sound less weird. Haylee was encouraging and respectful of our boundaries, but she made both Lisa and I feel comfortable enough to poop when we needed to. I genuinely wish I could write this without it sounding weird, but whatever. I can poop in public now, so I’m happy. Thank you, Haylee-Ann and Lisa Marie.

After Lisa walked through security we all loaded back on the minibus and started the long drive home. It was a long assed day and I am incredibly thankful to Pete for getting us home safely. Now I am literally counting the days until I can see Lisa again.