In January 2004, I boarded my first greyhound bus ride to Buffalo New York, one year after I moved from Nigeria to America. I had barely adjusted to living in Yonkers New York, and here I was in Buffalo, in the middle of winter, starting a new life.
And unlike in Westeros, I didn’t have to wait 7 years. Winter was already here, and in Buffalo, it was bitter cold and lasted 6 months, not a few hours! – Sigh D&D! – Sorry non-Game of Thrones fans, just go watch the show already!
Fast forward several years later, after pharmacy school and residency training, I had moved out and back to Buffalo, and finally out again in 2016. This cumulative 13+ year journey was a rollercoaster experience, to say the least. Filled with ups and downs, successes and failures, perseverance, determination, fear, laughter, tears, love, relationships, and lifelong friendships.
I returned to Buffalo, in September 2019, (en route to Spain) to reconnect with old friends and colleagues. I reflected on my past experience and now my immediate future, as I yet again step into exploring uncharted territory.
I expect this experience to be filled with a similar rollercoaster ride; but this time, I am older, wiser, and more equipped to ride the waves.
As I boarded my plane out of Buffalo, NY, I was filled with gratitude. I was grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with old colleagues, amend wounded relationships, and strengthen friendship/ family bonds. I am grateful that some of these friendships have stood the test of time, as I look forward to many more to come.
Finally, I am grateful for the person I am today and how my time in Buffalo, for better or for worse, played an important role in shaping this very moment.
Now to a more important question, What’s Really West of Westeros, Arya?