As a Manitoban, one of my greatest travel dreams has always been to see beluga whales in Churchill. While Churchill is often considered a polar bear destination – it’s often referred to as the “polar bear capital of the world” – I was always drawn to the idea of seeing belugas in the wild. And finally, earlier this month, my dream finally came true.
Today is the 11th anniversary of This Battered Suitcase. I’d be lying if I said that I felt OK about it all, and that I still have the confidence that things would go back to “normal”. It hits me like a ton of bricks a few times a day: the dream job I worked for for almost two decades is gone, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get it back to where it used to be. The last year has brought with it massive waves of anxiety, and on some days, I can’t even turn on my computer, let alone try to write anything meaningful or coherent.
For a very long time, it was very important to me that others knew I had good taste, that the books I was reading made me seem smart, that the music I was listening to made me seem cool, that the food I was eating made me seem cultured.
And then I went travelling.
I was in the dating world for about twenty years before I met my boyfriend, Jon. With those twenty years came a lot of experience, both for the better and for the worse. I’ve been ghosted after three months of dating, I’ve dealt with intermittent reinforcement, and I’ve been in my fair share of rocky relationships. But the most common dating experience I’ve had? Love bombing. I only recently realized exactly what love bombing is, so I thought I’d share the warning signs and how to avoid it. Because – trust me – love bombing never ends well.
Do you remember, back in March, when we all thought this would last two weeks?
The snow was melting in Winnipeg, I had a new boyfriend, I was almost overwhelmed with freelancing work, I was going to the gym regularly and loving it.
“Two weeks without seeing my family and friends, two weeks without going to restaurants, two weeks without going to the gym?” I panicked.
Oh, how innocent and naive I was. How blissfully, ignorantly unaware.
AdviceDating and RelationshipsHighlight
I met Dylan in a sandwich shop on a snowy afternoon in Toronto. With a charming accent and a mop of brown curls, I was instantly smitten. Lunch after lunch, even though it cost a fortune, I visited the sandwich shop for a chance to speak to the handsome man who worked there.
After six weeks, he finally asked me out. From then on, things happened fast: we became boyfriend and girlfriend, moved in together, and planned a future living in another country, all within the span of six months or so. It was my first truly serious relationship – I was 22 – and I was so excited to finally have someone to introduce to friends and family, to plan out holidays with, and to share my life and all its ups and downs.
And although Dylan and I stayed together for nearly three years, lived in three countries together, and even discussed marriage and children, I always had a worrying thought lingering the back of my mind: I don’t think Dylan is very nice to me. In fact… I think Dylan is really, really mean to me.