I dreamed of visiting Montréal ever since I started learning French when I was in high school. When I was deployed to Afghanistan last year, I promised myself that I would visit Canada before I turned 30 (I am 29 when I wrote this). With everything in place, I finally would gain that opportunity to make the trip.
My family and I were visiting family in the New England area. Her father is in Connecticut, so we visited him before we went to Montréal. My wife and I decided to travel by car from Norwich, CT. I did MOST of the driving from eastern Connecticut to Montréal. The trip would take around eight hours. We would go through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Fortunately, my family had the EZ Pass to go through the different turnpikes in Massachusetts and New York. Even though we had the EZ pass, the drive to Montréal would be long. Just getting to Montréal from New York felt like an eternity.
My family and I finally made it to the US-Canada border. A Canadian border agent at customs. He was a Québecois. He was very polite and spoke French to me and my family. I enjoyed this because I FINALLY got to put use to my years of studying to French to good use. For the most part, I understood much of what he was saying in French. After he checked us in, the gates of my dreams opened when I entered Canada. Now, I could experience Montréal life. Finally, I could put use my French.
After my family and I came into Montréal, I have never felt lost driving in Canada. Driving is different. Instead of speed limits for miles per hour, the spend limits were in meters. Instead of lights that I would look up at, I would have to be careful to look on the side of the roads. In fact, I ran a red light because I did not pay attention to the lights on the sidewalk. One main feature of Montréal that struck me was how bike-friendly this city is. The city has tons of bikes lanes that I thought the bikes lanes were main highways. I understood that I had to change my mentality of driving in Montréal. Vive à Montréal.