Travel responsibly and sustainably

Because I could never leave this place behind

Suzanne Richard

I was born. And I grew up. I think the highlight of my childhood is the fact that I was born here. I remember the summers spent on the cost, wearing only a bathing suit from sunrise to sunset. As soon as it dried, we would rush into the water. Our playground was a field with strawberries hidden in tall grass, a beach where a rusty oil tank freshly painted became a raft with an anchor, and a rope to climb the cliff.

Suzanne Richard

When you are a kid, the world is blurry. You don't know if the place where you live is prettier or nicer to live in than another place. This kind of thing doesn't matter. My aunt once sent me a letter from Montréal, where she had just moved, saying "enjoy the sea, some kids have never even seen it." I was shocked. I was still very young, and up until then, I thought that kids all over the world had a life similar to ours.

And then it was my turn to leave so I could continue my education. I stayed away a little longer afterwards — 12 years in total. It didn't seem that long, except from time to time ... like that one summer I couldn't come back to the Islands. That was the longest summer of my life.

My mom is the reason I came back. The job I had no longer existed. I was trying to find something else, while moving on with my life. My parents came for a visit. My mom held a folded piece of paper right next to her heart, and when the time came for her to leave, she gave it to me — a job offer cut from Le Radar.

A month later, I embarked the Lucy Maud Montgomery in a red card, with my kids sitting on a stack of pillows and blankets. Two or three guys from the boat literally pushed my car in a corner, with all of us inside, to close the ferry's door. It was the first — and only — time I exited the car by the back door. 

The first few mornings on my way to work, I looked at the horizon instead of the road. I am telling you that in case you want to anchor here too. Be careful.

Magdalen Islands, cliff, sea, winter, snow

It is when I came back, as an adult, after having had a life elsewhere that I understood I could never leave this place behind. Not ever again. Finding a place where you have a chance at happiness is one of life's greatest gifts...

I often think about this image: what were the chances of me getting on that ferry and coming back to the Islands, surrounded by my loved ones and such beauty?

Par Suzanne Richard

Suzanne Richard is an author, a speaker and a musician. She published a collection of short stories entitled La mer, trois kilomètres à gauche. Her conference — Les mots et la mer — is about maritime words and expressions commonly used in the French language.

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