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We can fret and worry and wonder all we want, but everything really will work out ! Follow your gut and it will be okay. I was a wreck the first day in Montreal – the next morning – I felt great. Inspired and ready for anything.
I took a train into Canada from New York, which was lovely and relaxing after such a busy day in the big city. I had booked a hostel to have a base in the city center, a wifi connect to contact my couch surfing host, a place to leave my stuff while I wandered for the day, and a place to make friends. I planned it that way months ago, and it feels really good when your past self has the forethought to make plans for your future self. Yet, I still get anxious in the present. Trying to figure out how/when to get to my host’s house, enjoying drinking beer with other guests of the hostel, and then worrying about if I made the right choice not staying at the hostel for the whole trip.
But, I went ahead with my plan. Traveling on the cheap, I drank my dinner instead of eating, so I was a little drunk getting to my host. I felt like an idiot and approached the wrong house at first, passing the house with the swimming pool because I couldn’t believe that would be where I would stay – but calling out my host’s name, they heard me and came out to help me. A lovely Moroccan gentleman staying in the house also. He welcomed me in and showed me around, to a private room where I would be sleeping and said of course I could go swimming! He told me about the owner of the house and how she loves having travelers and travels extensively herself. His friends came over and we smoked and chatted while I swam. They spoke French and I tried to follow along, haha, but I’m out of practice. Then I had a nice hot shower and a good night sleep. I felt so incredibly lucky! The worry and fear I had a few hours earlier had completely melted away.
The next morning, I met some other guests, a Spanish couple with their little girl, and a German couple, and I finally met my hostess. They were all incredibly lovely. I went grocery shopping, biked around the city, and saw the open market. The architecture of the city is mixed with old French and new modern buildings. I sat along the river and read and wrote and observed many others around me doing the same thing – I was alone but with others like minded. There was such a variety of people among the locals and the tourists that I bet anybody would feel welcome in Montreal.