What Happens When You Come Home: Part Two
Its amazing how much thinking you get done on a flight across the world.
I'm sitting in an airport cafe in Guanghzao, China. My first of two flights en route to Vietnam.
For the first time ever, I didn't want to get on my flight.
After two full months back in Canada, I had a hard time leaving. It was actually meant to be a 6 week visit, but that time flew by too abruptly to bail so soon. I actually considered extending my staycation a lot longer, aka permanently. Staying home. Staying put. Canadian living for the long haul.
So. What made me change my mind?
Just kidding. It's my perfect home. Let me explain.
The first time I came home, I wrote a tiny post about the weird world of returning. Moving to Whistler felt like leaving the country. For one, it's chockers full of Aussies. Secondly, its landscape is frickin swoon-worthy. Both aspects infatuated me to the fullest. Eventually, my time in this adult amusement park came to an end. I returned home to my suburban roots in Eastern Ontario.
Within a week, I found myself feeling sour about my stale surroundings. Of course it was great to see my friends and family, but I didn't get what "home" even meant anymore. I had this weird notion that I might never be "at home" again. The experience of leaving stretched my mind. When I returned, none of it really fit anymore. As much as I loved my hometown, family and friends, I didn’t think I’d ever again mesh with any of it. I’d even go as far as to say I judged everyone who did.
I didn’t get why they were fine with it. Fine with living minutes away from our high school. Fine with the cookie-cutter corporate lifestyle their parents laid out for them. Fine with staying stagnant.
Thing is, they’re all right. Everything at home is alright.
It took two years, 7 countries, and a return flight home for that to hit.
I owe this perspective shift to a couple different aspects. It comes down to convenience, opportunity, privelege and continuity.
A country I'd longed to visit since I could first spell Koala; Australia has been my home away from home for the past 18 months. The culture, accents and novelty made it tough to leave. What I realize now is that the land down under is no better than home.
Stay with me.
Of course the beaches are unbelievable. The people are chill and the accents are contagious. I could happily live the rest of my life in this beautiful country. What I realize now, is that I don't need to. What I realize now is that I have the capacity to love Canada just as much. Along with 10kg too much luggage, I packed a lot of enthusiasm with me to Australia. I was jazzed to acclimate to my new Aussie life. Existing in any country with that sense of open-mindedness and acceptance is the key to loving it. I carried the same sense of wonder home with me, and realized the same sense of embrace followed.
This perspective change is the reason I'm leaving with confidence. Knowing that home is somewhere I'm happy to be is a really light feeling to travel with. The need to continuously be on the go doesn't drive my decisions anymore. I realize now it's okay not to travel. Its okay to come and go.
Home will always be there and from now on, I can't wait to come back every time.