An incredible 200 days has passed since I hopped off a plane in Luxembourg and met my host family and new Rotary in August. It is difficult to believe how much time has passed and how many incredible adventures I have had with so many marvelous people…

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Getting muscles for supper in Normandy (Christmas 2015)
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Normandy, France (1st host family, Christmas 2015)

Paris+Normandy+Gerardmer+Verdun+Nancy+Strasbourg (FR), Bergamo+Sirmione+Verona+Venice+Milan (IT) Stockholm (SE), London (GB), Madrid+Toledo+Marbella (ES) —These are the mains places that I have been to since I arrived back in August, some I have been to with my host families and others I have been to with the other exchangers from district 1790 with whom I am particularly excited to travel on EuroTour  with in less than three weeks! Each of these places has held a special memory for me or was a time that I did something incredible such as zip-lining in Toldeo, New Year’s in Stockholm, snowshoeing in the mountains of Gerardmer and finally making it to my favorite place in the world that I thought would only ever be a dream…LONDON! I have been so fortunate to be able to experience all of these things in the last 200 days and though the adventures are not yet done and I still have around 97-100 days left, the thought of leave everything here behind and heading back home is a difficult thought that has crossed my mind multiple times. I am truly happy to see everyone and be back home but leaving the other in D.1790 and Europe will without a doubt be hard to do.

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Marbella, Spain (February 2016)
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London, Great Britain (Harrod’s January 2016)

Exchange is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience that can never be replaced and the memories and good times from exchanges will stay with me forever. However exchanges do not always pass easily and without difficulty. I had a recent stint with a small bullying situation in my school. As someone who as dealt with bullying through their whole life; I was truly disappointed when it happened to me while I was internationally abroad studying, but with the help of my host family, exchange + school friends and teachers at school I have been able to finally get the group of students to leave me alone and stop with the messages and interrogations before and after my classes. Although exchanges do come with difficulties such as this and among others, it was always important to remember that there were friends in my class who stood up for me and to thank and be grateful for the other amazing people in my life who supported me.

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Stockholm, Sweden (New Year’s 2016)
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Nancy, France (A few exchangers for the DELF Blanc  March 2016)

I am set to return back to Canada between the 16th and 19th of June and I sincerely cannot believe that I will be stepping off a plane in Toronto that soon!! It seems just like yesterday that I was taking off from Toronto on my way to Amsterdam, the start of this big, great adventure that it is intimidating now to think and start to plan the trip back to Toronto; my mum, my sister, my friends and the life that I had left behind back in August.

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London, Great Britain (On the London Eye: January 2016)
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Verona, Italy (October 2015)

I truly hope to make the most out of these last few months with the rest of the travels and memories that are waiting to be made with my friends, exchange friends and the next host family! Thank you again to all of those who have been there for me and helped me get to where I am today…

Xx~Cassandra

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Gerardmer, France (D.1790 Snowshoeing January 2016)
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Gerardmer, France (January 2016-Day before snowshoeing with one of my best exchange friends, McKayla)
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Gerardmer, France (January 2016 snowshoe day with the crew from N.A.)
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