nathan phillips square

From Nigeria to Canada, My First Solo Trip


john isaiahComing from Nigeria, traveling to Canada is a dream for many people. Fortunately or unfortunately, it was also a dream of mine. However, I had never been away from my family before, so it was both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Canada is among the most advanced nations in the world in every area, from financial to social welfare, so it was a no-brainer when I had all of my options laid out in front of me, and I arrived in a country I knew nothing about in 2015. That was after all of the photo ops and emotional goodbyes.

But this was my first solo trip, so I was nervous. However, in the airport, a lot of people were helpful, perhaps because they could see from my expression that I was lost. However, my first “Canadian experience” is one that I will most likely never forget. On my way to find my gate, I met a family with a daughter my age who took me about with them till I arrived in Canada, which was a lot for me since I don’t believe people do things out of the kindness of their hearts, but these people did. I finally landed in Canada after a very long journey.


toronto airport


And the first thought that sprang to me was, “This place is freezing.” Coming from Nigeria, I’m not sure I was prepared for how chilly it would be, but it was stunning. Moving through the city of Toronto was a sight to behold. To be honest with you, I had never seen that many skyscrapers in one region before. Meeting new people has always been difficult for me, what with having to deal with nerves and all that, but I have to say that this was probably the first time I never had to worry about it; just walking down the reception in the hotel where I was staying in my first week, I was stopped by at least three other students.




They were nice enough to introduce themselves and not make me feel weird at the same time, despite my shyness. Even though those people were nice, I felt lonely since I had left my entire life behind and there was a great deal riding on the journey I was about to go on. Thankfully, as the weeks passed, all of my anxieties and uncertainties faded away. I had made friendships from diverse ethnic cultures and countries before I realized it. Prior to going to Canada, I must admit that I was not particularly a studious student. Instead of learning math, I chose to write fiction or analyze theories. However, the educational structure at my school profoundly changed this for me.

I liked how Canada does not categorize intelligence. The school I went to focused more on our understanding and practicals, but they also paid attention to places you might have lacked. But Tim Hortons was one of the most eye-opening things for me. I have to confess, it’s not very good. That was just a joke. But what made Canada for me was the friends I was able to make. I may not be with them now, but we have maintained a strong bond. Other unforgettable moments include falling face down in Nathan Philips Square, despite the fact that I was a terrible ice skater. Falling was the funniest thing ever. But, living there, I hoped that would be my home for the rest of my life, but life had other plans.

Written by John Isaiah