Sports editors note: Throughout the season, Hunter Miska and Olivier Mantha will write a column for the Penticton Western News giving readers insight to their lives either on the ice or away from the rink.
Moving away from home at such a young age was a difficult transition for me. I left home at 16 to follow my dream. I knew I had to do it if I wanted success in my career.
The first few weeks were the hardest because it was my first time being away and it was hard not having my family and friends by my side. I had to overcome that and know I wasn’t going to be away forever. I would look at it and say if this is what I want to do and keep following my dream, I have to get used to it and learn how to be on my own.
I stay in close contact with all my family and friends by talking on the phone or texting. I also use Skype, which is what I would say is the best type of communication because I can not only hear the person, but I can also see them, which made me feel like I was actually talking to them in person.
This is my third year away from home and it has been easier and easier every year to leave because I’m used to it. It’s still tough leaving, but I know I will be able to see everyone throughout the season and then I go home for the summer.
I feel like that when I left home early, I got a head start in life compared to the average person my age, because I am getting a taste on what life is going to be like when I’m on my own. I’m not always going to have my parents by my side to help with everything. I learned to do things on my own and take care of myself.
When I do get the chance to go home, it feels like paradise. Being able to sleep in my own bed and to have cooked meals from my parents. It’s one of the best feelings because I don’t see them much. Then when I leave home, I get back to business and focus on my job, stopping the puck.