We’re really happy to know Emily, so that we could interview her and bring her stories to you! She’s done a lot of nursing work in other countries, including the United States and Chad. Because of this, she has many interesting stories to share. Listen to this episode to hear about her experiences and insights after living abroad for so much of her adult life. Does this story give you an itch to travel?
Expressions included in the Learning Materials:
- To take off
- To come about
- To compare apples and oranges
- In a nutshell
- To pique someone’s interest
- To have something under your belt
- To get in the way of something
- On the water
- A croc
- The Caribbean
- To live out of a suitcase
- Quote unquote
- An itch
- The grass is always greener on the other side
- A home base
Maura: Now today’s episode is a Chatterbox episode, and that is where we chat about all different kinds of topics and sometimes we also interview people. And that is what we’re going to do today. And today I’m super excited about our guest. Our guest today is my friend Emily, and she is originally from Montreal, although she has lived in a lot of different places and she’s done a lot of travelling. And whenever she comes back from one of her stints abroad, she always has really great stories to tell, so I’m really excited for her to share some of that with you. Currently, Emily is living and working in Montreal. And she trained as a nurse, and so a lot of her work has been done around nursing and public health. So, the first question I wanted to ask you, Emily, is what made you decide to become a nurse? How did you get interested in nursing?
Emily: I’m not sure exactly when I decided to become a nurse. I think it was just gradual. I was always interested, when I was young, in the human body and how humans work and how we think. And eventually, when it became time to choose a program at university, I looked at all the things I was interested in and what’s important to me, and it became clear that that’s where I would start, with a degree in nursing ’cause I felt that I could continue my interest in health and biology. And we also do a lot of psychology in nursing, and teaching, and health promotion, things like that. So that’s… I ended up deciding that nursing would be the best fit for me.
Maura: OK. Cool. And after you finished your nursing degree, did you work around Montreal, or in Canada, or did you just take off right away?
Emily: I stayed in Ottawa at first, for 3 years. That’s where I attended university, and I worked there as a pediatric nurse for 3 years in different parts of the Children’s Hospital in Ottawa.
Maura: OK, OK. Then at some point after these 3 years, you decided that you wanted to move around and do nursing in the US. So I’m really curious how all that came about and how you decided that you wanted to go try working in America.
Emily: So going back, I guess, to why I became a nurse, that was also one of the reasons, was because I enjoy travelling and seeing other cultures. So after having a few years in one place to introduce myself to the profession and become more comfortable, I felt I was ready to try and work in a different place, a different setting, and also to explore another part, and I chose the United States because I had some friends and colleagues who were also interested and I thought it would be a great way also to learn some more Spanish, ’cause I wanted to work on Spanish as well, and I know in a lot of parts of the United States that is the second language spoken and there’s a lot of opportunity to practice. And I also was interested in trying a different part of the continent, different climate from Montreal and Ottawa.
Maura: Well, now I’m curious, because I didn’t know that. Spanish? Did you actually get a chance to work on your Spanish while you were there?
Emily: I did, actually. I had taken some courses before moving… And before moving, yes, I had spent about 4 months in South America as well, where I was able to learn some more Spanish. And then I started working in California, where the majority of the patients I would see every day were Spanish, and often Spanish-speaking only, so I was able to practice, and hopefully, I believe they did understand me a little bit, practice with patients and families and continue that part of my learning.
Maura: Oh, cool. So, the first place that you went was California. And what other places in the US did you live and work?
Emily: Well, I was in California, on and off, for over… about 3 years. But in between, I did complete some contracts in Colorado and one in Massachusetts as well.
Maura: So, hmm. What was your favourite place in the US? Because unfortunately, there’s not enough time to ask you about every place, or I would. So which place was your favourite, and why?
Emily: Well, that’s difficult to answer, because I feel in a way it’s… Comparing cities and states is like comparing apples and oranges, as we say, because they’re quite different. And you might like something for a different reason.
So I really enjoyed my time in California. I lived in three different cites: San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. And they are each quite different, but of course, I did enjoy living by the ocean and having that different type of climate and different type of culture from what I was used to in Montreal.
And Colorado I enjoyed for the Rockies, the mountains, the huge mountains, and all the outdoor activities. And Massachusetts was nice because it felt closer to home, and it was quite similar, but still a different culture, and I was able to see what the East Coast of the continent was like in one particular city.
Podcast/Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast, Photo ©Culips