When I graduated from high school each of the 16 students in my graduating class in the small town of Eatonia, SK were asked to submit our future plans, which would be read to the overflowing gym of families and friends when we accepted our diplomas.
By Nathan Frank
I submitted a three-word response, “Travel the world.”
The principal, for whatever reason, didn’t respect this response. He wanted me to write down a career path, such as, “Nathan plans to enter the work force,” or “Nathan plans to enter the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan, with hopes of becoming a paleontologist.”
I thought this was stupid. As an 18-year-old, I disagreed that I should have to have my life planned or figured out before I had even paid rent, bought my own groceries or knew how to do laundry.
All I wanted to do was become a hippy of sorts and see the world. However, after I graduated, I realized that it wasn’t an easy thing to make happen. Well, at least for a prolonged period of time.
I did some travelling, highlighted by a two-month trip around the United States, by trains and planes and automobiles, but aside from spending one day in Tijuana I haven’t even left the continent in my nine years of independence. I did manage to get a degree in four years, though —so, my Grade 12 principal should be proud.
Last summer, after finishing my degree, I took a five-week French immersion program in Montreal. I was having the time of my life seeing Canada’s cultural hub with around 150 college students from across the country, and I wondered to myself, how will I be able to make this a career? How am I going to be able to see more of this planet and its diverse people?
Ideally having a journalism degree could open those doors, right?
Fast forward to late March of this year. I had just accepted the reporter position at the Times-Herald and was excited about moving to one of Saskatchewan’s treasured little cities, when I received a message from an organization called Wycliffe Bible Translators, asking me to apply for a writing position for the organization’s magazine.
The job would require me to travel around the world three times a year telling the stories of those who are translating the bible into new languages. This was very close to the dream job I was looking for when I first entered journalism school and would finally fulfill the desire I have had since I was a teenager to see the world.
After they offered me the job I told them it was bad timing and declined the job. Then three weeks later they told me the offer still stood. I couldn’t resist. I said yes.
So, Moose Jaw. It’s been a short stay for me at the Times-Herald. I only spent nine weeks with you, but this is goodbye. I am thankful for the kind people I’ve met in my short stay. You are a remarkably kind group of people. I can’t think of one person I came in contact with who wasn’t generous with me and friendly. I will cherish the brief memories I have of you all. I will remember your faces and your stories.
Find Nathan Frank on Twitter @nathanfrankster.