Being a Traveller: At Home
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.
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.
Originally published at www.dtangasmall.com on January 26, 2016.