To adapt a saying “you can take the girl out of Saskatchewan but you can’t take Saskatchewan out of the girl” became very true for me in 2014. In March of 2014 I was so excited and very nervous, I was about to knock the number one item off my very short bucket list. I was going to England. My grandma was a war bride that came to Canada from England just after World War II. I had always dreamed of going to England to meet my relatives and see where my grandma grew up, lived and met my grandad. I had only left Canada once in my almost 45 years and the biggest cities I had ever been to were Calgary and Edmonton. I also had never flown so this was a huge adventure.
I arrived at Heathrow Airport in London England, the size of the airport should have given me some clue as to just how far removed I was from quaint little Regina but I was far too exhausted and in awe to take much notice. I met my cousins and soon we were on our way to their place about an hour out of London. We took the M25 and it was busy typical highway except they drove on the wrong side. Soon we veered off on to a secondary road, this is when I had my first I am not in Saskatchewan moment. The road was so narrow and no shoulders there was barely any room for cars to pass each other. It was a bit nerve racking to say the least but I soon got used to it.
One of my requests was to sight see in London, my cousin’s son accompanied me and we toured London for two days. It was an amazing city and I got to see in person, all the great tourist attractions I had only read about and saw in photos or on tv. By the end of 2 days I had enough, the sheer number of people that were constantly around even at 10pm was overwhelming to this Regina girl. I was glad to be back at my cousin’s house in a community that was likely the size of Regina.
I spent 2 weeks in England and it was everything I imagined it to be and more. The whole time I was there, though I had this small niggling frustration and tiny bit of tension in my thoughts. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I attributed it to being away from my husband and boys and out of my comfort zone. The source of the frustration and tension hit me in a big way as I was flying into Regina on my way home. I looked at the window as we were coming near the city and even though it was dark, I could see the wide open spaces. I could see the farm yard lights with nice wide spaces in between. In the dark I could somewhat make out the straight lines of the grid roads. Upon seeing the wide open spaces and straight lines the small bit of mental frustration and tension I had been feeling the entire time left me. England is not flat, there are no long straight roads that you can see what is coming for miles, there are rolling hills that you can’t see over, it is twisting and turning. The whole time I was there I could never exactly see where I was in relation to anything else.