After 16 months away from Canada, I paused my travels to head home for a holiday visit.
On a Monday in December I was working at a hotel in sunny Melbourne, just over one day later (and three long flights) I was back in snowy Canada. The contrast in weather from summer to winter was revitalizing and exactly what I needed (along with many other things).
I'd wondered for a while what it would be like to head home after being away for so long. I've learned from a previous time of my life that the hardest part of travel is going home. And that doesn't mean because it comes to an end, or because home is bad. It means that back home, it's difficult to be relatable.
16 months of nomadic living is hard to relate to, so conversation was likely to feel stunted. Similarly, it's hard for me to relate to the stability and familiarity of 'home' after being in motion for so long. Simply put, it's difficult to find common ground. For these reasons, I was apprehensive about going back.
And yet this wasn't the case. Things ended up being wonderful. A few encounters devoid of meaning were drowned by a support network of family and friends (old trusted supports & thoughtful new surprises). I had great conversations, ate delicious comfort foods, and explored old settings with new eyes.
Below are some photos to let you visualize things from my perspective. There are lots of blue hues to capture the cold weather, yet there is warmth within them. I've spent time away from Canada before but never had I appreciated winter as much as then. Being away from snow and ice seems ideal, but the cold weather has lots to teach. I reconnected with the Danish concept of hygge that I'd written about before by curling up with a book and tea by the fireplace.
A snowy walk through suburbia to reminisce, standing at a frozen lake to feel fragile and temporary, a Christmas family dinner to feel connected, a spontaneous New Year's Day adventure to set my 2017 theme of intention -- wherever I am in the world, I'm still walking the path that's right for me. ■