No, not the movie with Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery escaping from Alcatraz (but nonetheless a damn good movie, while we’re on the topic), although Newfoundland—aptly nicknamed “The Rock”—can easily feel like Alcatraz, especially in bleak weather conditions that can (temporarily) trap you on the island against your will.
This is why I was taken by surprise when my plane flew towards the shimmering night lights of St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, ahead of schedule.
“It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what might happen.” (Herodotus, 485-425 BC)
My experience in Newfoundland over the past few years has inspired mixed feelings: on one hand, I’ve cultivated some wonderful friendships here. I’m truly grateful to be surrounded by kind, caring individuals, and I’m very lucky for the opportunities I’ve been given. However, I don’t feel like I’m hyperbolizing when I say that St. John’s has sucked the life out of me. I acknowledge that several stressful events, which I won’t delve into, have contributed to my current state of being; this state is difficult to define, but it could adequately be described by a combination of the words “meh” and “fuck this shit” (profanity is necessary to properly convey my feelings, I assure you).