Tag Archives: Living abroad

Back in Canada

We are home.

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The neighbourhood I grew up in. Was it always this pretty?

It’s fitting that the process of getting home ended up being a big story in itself. In total, we spent about 3 days in transit, flying from Zurich to Gothenburg (2 flights), finding out that our original flight back to Toronto was cancelled, and then flying from Gothenburg to Toronto (2 flights).

As usual, none of it was so bad considering that Mike and I were experiencing all of it together. No doubt it would have been worse if I was alone when the flight staff told me at Gothenburg that they couldn’t check me in because I had missed the flight (that they rescheduled the day before at the last minute).

I’ve been trying to figure out how to sort out my thoughts on our trip. It’s important to me to document as much as I can because I never felt that I did enough of it on past trips and this one is worth remembering. It was life-changing. I learned so much about myself and what I want in life. I haven’t quite figured out how to get myself there, but at least I have a direction and a sense of purpose.

Being back in Toronto has been interesting. When we left, it was cold, snowy, and depressing. I really dislike Winters in Toronto and that’s the main reason why I pushed for us to leave in January. Now, everything is green and sunny and I find myself developing a new appreciation for how beautiful the neighbourhood that my parents live in really is. As a kid, I was so focused on rushing downtown or moving out into my own apartment in different cities for school that I never really stopped to walk through the neighbourhood and see what was really there. Has it always been this plush and peaceful? Or is it me who has changed? I suspect it is the latter.

We leave for New York first thing tomorrow morning to spend a few weeks with my sister and her husband. I am sad to cut my time with my parents short after being away for this long, but I am also excited to see my sister and embrace the wedding planning that we have to do between now and her reception on June 13. I’ll be baking my first wedding cake (no pressure!?) and I also have a menu for the wedding shower to create and cook/bake for. At some point, I also have to tackle the scary load of boxes that we packed up before we moved out of our apartment to find a suitable dress for my sister’s bachelorette and maybe something other than running shoes that I can wear – that might be important.

Despite the fact that a part of me feels like our time in Europe was too short, I’m happy to be back and am looking ahead at what comes next. It doesn’t seem too bad.

alison

An end to our European chapter

Our European trip is coming to an end. It has been everything I had imagined and hoped it would be. These past four months have been a dream that I’ve holding onto for at least half of my life.

After a very short visit to Scotland and Ireland last week (both countries where we wanted to visit friends), we are back in Switzerland to pack up the rest of our stuff and slowly make our way back to Gothenburg where we fly back to Toronto on Tuesday.

Spring has arrived in Granichen. Actually, it almost looks like summer already...
Spring has arrived in Granichen. Actually, it almost looks like summer already…

I’m sad. I knew this adventure had to end eventually, but it feels like it came too soon. I’ve gone on 2-3 week trips before where I’ve felt desperate to be back in my bed and living in my apartment again. Not so much this time around. A few places really began to feel like home, especially Granichen. I don’t know when we’ll be back, but I sure hope it’s soon.

I do know that I need a break from city living. I need to be living near mountains, water, green spaces and nature. We fell in love with Berlin while we were there and one of those reasons is because it reminded us so much of Toronto except it had delicious German food (the bread, oh the bread) and its central language was German. I felt the same about many of the English cities we visited. It also made me realize how easy it could be (jobs and income aside) it could be to live in different parts of the world. The biggest reason that I stayed in Toronto, Canada for so long was for familiarity. My family lives there and I had built up a solid community of friends and work experience. Does that mean I will stay there forever? Not necessarily. Change, distance, and new perspective all help me evolve as a person and it makes me appreciate what I have in Toronto even more.

I have so much more to say about our trip, about all the different countries and cities that we’ve seen over the last four months. Alas, I’ve got too many thoughts and I have thousands of photos to sort through first. And the next phase of my life to figure out. That’s important, too. I’ll be writing more about my trip and experiences of course. I hope you’ll stick around to read about it.

alison

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