For the first time in 2011 I am broadcasting to you from the motherland. Yep, that’s right, I have returned to England!
For the most part, these first few days after getting back from traveling can be a real downer. Time to face reality; utterly daunted with the prospect of having to find a job in the big bad working world. But, and I feel a touch guilty about saying this, I had no qualms with returning. As much as I enjoyed my time in Canada, I felt like I had got all I could out of my stay there with the money I had. Now it’s time to get my save on once more, a race to summertime to see if my financial situation will whisk me away yet again.
Looking back, I can’t say I loved every second of my Canadian experience; I don’t think my traveling spirit it set for the ultra-Western world of North America. I longed for the beautiful simplicity of India or the bohemian tea houses of Budapest. I think there’s a charm about not knowing the native tongue of the country you’re visiting and having to find other ways of communicating. It forces you to strip down to the bare essentials, using hand gestures to get you by. Using physical communication like this brings people together, something that can be difficult between two people from entirely different countries and backgrounds.
I wasn’t thrown by any bizarre acts of culture specific only to North America (other than being dumbfounded at them making almost anything a drive-thru, I’m pretty sure drive-thru hospitals are only a year or so away.) Other places I have visited, even by just hopping over the channel, have caught my attention more so just because their practices seem to alien to me, which is perfect writing material of course.
Having said all of this, I don’t think I would take back a single second of Canada, the trip itself has done wonders for my soul. I’ve learnt so many things about myself that were once unknown to me; these will not be divulged here until I get to grips with them myself! I’ve learnt more about my friendships back home and who I missed more than I expected. I’ve learnt about how I react to being utterly alone in a big city.
I will miss the views of the mountains no matter where you are, even in the heart of Vancouver. I will miss the buddies I’ve made, and wish them all well as they’ve barely made it a quarter of the way through their long journeys. I will miss baby Jennica at Goat’s Pride who I looked after for quite some time, I wish I could see her grow up! And, of course, I will miss that Canadian charm of every shopkeeper I ever came across, wishing me to have a great day.
However, I have to say, I’m excited for the next chapter. Whatever that may be…