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Finding Comfort Overseas

Sidrah and friends pose in "Omar's Happy Place."

After a sports injury abroad, Sidrah finds her happy place.

I have been in a rut the past few weeks. Living abroad has its challenges, and I've dealt with my share all at once. I can almost guarantee that this will happen to you at some point. When you live in a different country, your life is changing everyday. When hardship comes around, what will give you that inspiration and support to continue treading the waters? Well, for me, this happened to be my friends.

I recently had a sports accident where I injured my legs and right hand so badly that I didn't even want to go out of my apartment because of the fear of pain or re-injury, but my friends continued to include me in their plans. One of these plans was what we dubbed our trip to "Omar's Happy Place." This unclaimed piece of land behind private property is where our friend Omar goes to think and find peace, and he generously shared it with me and the rest of our friends.

After taking the tram to the farthest stop on the line, we trekked along a bridge and through some soccer fields to arrive at a magnificent panoramic view of the city of Bordeaux. We had a wonderful picnic there and watched the sunset together (I can honestly say that the sunset in Bordeaux is one of the most beautiful I've seen so far). It was a day full of fun (for those who joined in on a game of volleyball on the mountain) and reflection (for those like me who weren't able to play) and love (in the company of friends who have become lifelong partners).

While I was thinking about all the homework I had missed due to my accident and all the hassle I went through due to a terrible medical system in a foreign country, I also realized as I looked around that I was happy. I was at peace. I knew that whatever would happen was going to be for the best, and I knew I'd have more than a few shoulders to lean on.

What I learned from this trip is that you must find a happy place of your own, whether that means to be alone somewhere or in the company of certain individuals who really bring out the best in you. My happy place is definitely wherever I feel like I could still climb a mountain even with a bad leg and bloody knees, or at least in the company of those who continue to believe I can, even when I don't.

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Sidrah Shams

Sidrah Shams is a Canadian Communications student studying in Bordeaux, France. Her interests include music, health and fitness, cooking, henna design, travel, languages and writing. Follow Sidrah’s adventures in France!

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