After we spent three days in the United States, we crossed the border to Canada in Sault Ste. Marie. It was already late when we checked in at a Motel at Clear Lake. All the stores were already closed, and the restaurants we saw on our way were rather expensive for our budget. Therefore, our dinner consisted of chocolate, chips and grapes. This did not help to lift my mood which had been somber since we crossed the border. All the border formalities made me realize that I did not want to live my whole life as a foreigner in an unfamiliar country without the right to vote. I started to brood about the question what would happen if Ingo found a terrific job but I would not be able to stay in Canada. Ingo was even prepared to separate for up to two years if he got a fantastic offer.
Then the questions just kept on coming. What would I do if I returned to Germany? My apartment was rented out, I had given my resignation at work. In retrospect, I am surprised how few thoughts I had spent on the possibility of not liking the country, and all the obstacles that could be in our way. I am usually an over-cautious person. This was the first time, I had taken a big leap, and I was not handling it too well. I guess I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, that I could succeed in building up a new life, and live an adventure nobody would have done before in my circle of family and friends. Nobody would have expected me to go ahead with such an adventure.
I loved Ingo, but I felt his frustration with me. He was afraid he would lose me, and disappointed that I did not fight harder to find possibilities where I saw only obstacles. He appealed to my strength of persistence, telling me that it was normal that the adaptation was difficult at first but that I would adjust to the new situation. However, I did not want to adapt, and was worried to be dependent on Ingo due to the fact that I would probably not find any work in Canada without having received a work permit first.
I was worried where I would find work even with a work permit. I had no clue about the Canadian economy and employment situation. Then there was the question of children. Would I only look for an interim solution or did I want to build my career?
The more home sick I became, the more questions occupied my mind. Questions for which I did not even want to find a positive answer. I was up until 2 am worrying and writing in my journal.
No wonder I was tired on our last leg of the trip. We continued our trip to Manitoulin Island where we boarded the ferry to Tobermory. I was amazed how green everything was. Within the three weeks since we left Ontario, the nature has just exploded. However, it was quite cool. After two weeks in summer clothes, we had to reach for long pants, sweatshirts, and jackets.
The ferry trip was not very exciting. There was hardly anything to see until we came close to Tobermory. The lighthouse of Cove Island looked very romantic. Unfortunately, we did not take any pictures as we were struggling to eat the doughy pizza we bought in the restaurant on the ferry.
In Tobermory, we put on hiking boots and climbed over the rocks of Bruce Peninsula National Park. It was a lot of fun. I even dared to climb through a tight crevice up a big rock. The water was light green, and you could see that the limestone rocks form stairs that continue into the water. I would have loved to go swimming, but the strong current makes it impossible for humans to go into the water and destroy the idyll. I was fascinated by the many flowers that were resilient enough to grow on the rocky surface. On the impressive rocks they looked even more delicate.
From Tobermory we went straight back to Mississauga. I had hoped that I would find piles of letters from Germany from the last four weeks, but I only found one letter from my grandmother. I was very happy to hear from her, but sad that I did not get more mail. However, Ingo's mother had brought some gifts from her trip to Germany, some specialty chocolate, a cooking book, my favourite shampoo, shower gel, and toothpaste.
Today, with social media, email, Skype, Hangout, etc. it is so much easier to stay in contact. I love that I can see my parents these days when we talk through Skype. However, in 1995, I had to wait a long time to hear from my family and friends. The only ones I regularly phoned where my parents and my sister, and even that was complicated due to the time difference and it was expensive.
After our trip to Vancouver and back, we did not stay long with Ingo's parents in Mississauga. Our next destination was London, Ontario, where Ingo had studied and where we visited one of his friends.
Thank you for reading my blog. It is quite interesting to me to go back in time after more than 20 years. If you would like to continue to accompany me during my look back to my first months in Canada, please return to my blog next Friday.