Journey to my ideal destination

Externship Project

Dreams are a reflection of our hopes, our perceived happiness, our goals. We call them dreams because they seem sometimes so far, almost impossible to reach. What if we referred to them as an “ideal destination” instead?  Would we be more willing to take the journey? Would we be more willing to take detours, change plans, make adjustments to the itinerary and wait for long periods of time (years in many cases) if there are unforeseen circumstances?

It's hard to believe that I'm starting my externship now! The beginning of one year of clinical rotations for the last year of my journey towards my “ideal destination”. I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to start the most exciting year of vet school at Troy Veterinary Services! It is a practice where I can see myself growing, learning, and training to be the best vet I can be. I am beyond excited to start my 4th year of vet school under Dr. Dupuy’s mentorship.  I will be sharing with you some of my experiences over the next 8 weeks and I hope that you will enjoy reading them and that it will encourage someone to embark on a journey to reach their “ideal destination”! Before I start telling you about my experiences as a 4th year veterinary student, let me tell you a little bit about my journey to my “ideal destination”.

I grew up in Bogota, the capital city of Colombia, but I spent most of my childhood at our cattle farm. Animals have always been an essential part of my life and at a very young age I decided that my “ideal destination” was going to be becoming a veterinarian! As a teenager I spent my days riding horses, which furthered my love for animals and strengthened my desire to become a vet. Horses became an essential part of my life and it was at the equestrian school where I met the most wonderful man, a man that would later become my husband and my travel partner on this journey towards my “ideal destination”.

In 2001, we moved to Canada. This was a great detour; it meant a new beginning, a new language, a new culture, and many challenges ahead.  Once our boys were old enough to attend elementary school I reoriented my navigation tools to continue the journey. In 2011 I received my Honours in Conservation Biology from the University of Western Ontario. It was a trip full of challenges, difficulties and long hours of studying. It was not easy because I wasn't willing to change my priorities, my family comes always first, but I was not willing to change my “ideal destination” either (you see… I'm a little stubborn!). That meant learning to prioritize, missing some classes to attend my children’s school activities, studying in the waiting room if they got sick and required a trip to the doctor… I even learned to study during half times on their soccer games!

At that time I completed my first application for the DVM program at OVC. Waiting to hear for an interview was long and painful, but never as painful as the moment I learned I wasn't accepted. It was a very difficult time, I won’t lie! I went back to the workforce and decided to apply for the second time, and the result was the same, admission denied. I felt defeated, did that mean it was time to change my “Ideal destination”? Then I received an invitation to another destination. It was to join a research lab as a Master’s student and focus on bats! Yes, bats, those little wonderful creatures that fly as we sleep and help control insect populations….I should probably stop talking about bats, because that would take forever! So my husband and I decided that a detour was not a bad idea, it might not have been my “ideal destination”, but it was without a doubt an amazing destination!! And so I did a detour, a new journey! Some of the best years of my career were spent at that McMaster Batlab! Sometimes detours can bring great joy! When this trip was coming to an end, we decided to try one more time to get a seat on the plane going to my “ideal destination”. Finally in June 2014 we received the most amazing news! I had a seat, I had been accepted for the DVM program at OVC; I could finally board the plane that would take us on a 4 year journey to that “ideal destination”! 

And now here we are, I'm about to start the last year of this incredible journey! It has been an amazing ride; it has been filled with challenges, sacrifices, moments of self-doubt, moments of happiness, moments of regrets, laughs, accomplishments, etc. I would lie if I said it has been easy, but I would do it all over again, without changing anything, because every step of the way has been a learning experience. I have travelled this journey with my family by my side, it became a family trip and it has been an incredible one! So I encourage you to take the risk and start travelling towards your ideal destination!

I hope you get to experience a bit of our world as veterinary students by reading the posts of my classmate and mine! Safe travels towards your “ideal destination”