Rogers Centre (Skydome) - Toronto, Canada

Being a Traveller: At Home

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The cold brings the quiet. The clouds bring a certain calm. It’s a familiar feeling, comforting even. Exactly one month ago, I returned to Toronto. I wasn’t sure of how I would feel when I returned, considering that the last time I returned, I fell into a phase that could only be called PTSD: Post Travelling Stress Disorder. When I returned from Sweden, it was accompanied by the fact that it was my first time leaving North America and truly living on my own. The adventures that I had there are still fresh in my mind even today, so when I returned to Toronto last year, I was emotionally drained. I wanted to get the hell out; not because Toronto is a bad city, and not because I didn’t have any friends, but because I wanted to see more.

Well, I saw more. I had some downs, but mostly ups. The second time living abroad matured me. I learned of some crushing realities about living alone in a different country, learned more about culture, learned a new language, and learned not to take everything so damn seriously. It was after this time that I felt I could finally return to my home and not feel so lost. As much as I liked my time in Belgium, Spain and Peru, I was excited to return to Toronto.

That excitement though, like the spark of a budding relationship, is starting to fade. But just like any mature relationship, that spark is turning into a subtle appreciation and comfort. I’m settling back in, with a new head on my shoulders. I’m here to finish the job and I’m excited.

A question I get asked frequently is if the travel bug is gone.

The answer is: not really.

It doesn’t help that my Facebook newsfeed is filled with deals from Toronto to Vancouver for $350 or New York to Colombia for $300. It doesn’t help that I still keep in contact with many of the friends I made abroad. It doesn’t help that every time I look at old photos from my time abroad, I start to get a bit emotional. None of that helps with the travel bug, but why would you want to be helped from it? The travel bug pushed me into a new realm of thought and self-acceptance, not to mention some crazy stories.

All-in-all, I am home. On one side, I feel that subtle appreciation and comfort, despite the timidly cold winter. On the other side, I am already planning my next trip. It could be next month, it could be next year, but I’m planning it, even if my mind doesn’t know it.