My name is Michelle Leech, and I'm so glad that you have found my blog!
Searching for Sanuk is a blog about my journey for independence and my upcoming trip abroad. If you’re curious about me and why a girl who seems to already have it “all” decides to pick it all up and leave… well, keep wondering because that’s exactly why I’ve put this blog here. To discover that answer myself!
As a young Canadian, I was raised with the spirit of multiculturism in mind. At every stop I was reminded that Canada is a place where everyone is welcome, and that for almost everyone living here, it was a place that they or their ancestors had come to. I was taught that this country was great for the opportunities it afforded to anyone, but that I should always be thankful for being able to live here. I have always been thankful, but I have often wondered; what is it that makes Canada so great? Why does this country attract so many different types of people and cultures from around the world? I have grown up with this small but fervent voice in the back of my mind asking whether, while Canada is certainly my home, whether I actually belonged somewhere else. Where did I come from, if not from Canada?
The truth is, I do not know much about my ancestral past, other than that they mostly came from Europe, the United Kingdom to be exact, and that it was many, many generations ago. Being that I am a Caucasian person with slightly darker skin then the rest of my family and British ancestors, I wondered if maybe someone in my genetic past came from somewhere different. I wonder if they, too, sought out far reaching regions and if maybe that is how they came to grow a family in the British Isles. This curiosity, this all encompassing feeling that I have always had has blossomed itself into a form of intense wanderlust that I have never quite been able to thoroughly explain, nor dissipate. Where am I from? And most importantly, where are we all from?
Any opportunity to learn and to explore more about myself, my surroundings and any history about the world I have found myself vehemently intrigued by. Whether studying sociology in college, anthropology during a study abroad trip to the Mediterranean, or through the host of books on my bookshelf and hundreds of newsletters in my inbox I have sought to learn more about other cultures with the hopes that one day, I will better understand myself. I earnestly believe that learning about oneself is the best way to better any life and in return, better the lives of those around. Because, as famed philosopher Plato has written centuries ago, the unexamined life is not worth living.
Writing has always been something that interested me—I wrote my first short story in the first grade when others could barely write a single sentence. My dad salvaged an old laptop from his shop when I was eight and I was able to make the word processor work and write multiple short stories. I carried this laptop with me everywhere I went! When my mother tells stories of me growing up, she always laughs at recalling all the little bits of scrap paper she would find around the house with little blurbs of writing. I have always found writing to be a sort of catharsis for me, and as someone who struggles with anxiety, the ability to mollify those anxieties with text is a welcome one.
My intent with this blog is to share writings from my past– as you will find with Entering the Labyrinth, the Run Diaries, and the Mountain Diaries– and build an opportunity to create new writings, share more adventures, and work out complex issues through text. Searching for Sanuk is important to me because happiness is not a stagnant state. It is something that we are constantly building, improving and striving for. Searching for Sanuk is my lifelong ambition, and what a better way to record that then to share it with all of you. I hope that my readers will find a little bit of themselves here.