A Little Detour: Part II

Maeghan Smulders
Mar 2, 2019 · 4 min read

How I feel today quantifying time after A Little Detour:

The year literally felt like a month
A week felt like a day
A day (I have to think really really hard about it….) is a single moment and often the rest of that day is a blank.

Since returning to Canada, it’s been a little weird.

It was a strange feeling to have the selection of more than three t-shirts to wear (I’m sure I looked like a weirdo in the same outfit every day…👚), or the harsh reality that hitting my step-count effortlessly is a real challenge in the middle of a Canadian winter 🏃‍♀️ vs. 🚶‍♀, or not having Olivier by my side as we spent 47 days(!!) apart with each of our families on opposite sides of the country✈️🇨🇦.

I’ve talked a lot about the trip since coming home and it feels like we’ve been living in a parallel universe… and just jumped right back into our normal lives that we left September of 2017.

At first, it was hard to notice anything that had changed. Conversationally, I was still living in the past 14 months and in return asked big questions like “How was your year?” which the most typical response was “oh you know, same old..”.

It felt a bit awkward at first, like a puzzle piece not fitting in (what I assume is) the right spot.

But now that the trip is behind us and I’ve adopted a consistent routine, I see a lot of change. I really love being able to babysit my nephew, visiting and revisiting familiar faces (not making short-term friends), walking one of our many dogs, pursuing French classes and finally grasping how the heck grammar and verbs work (still working on it in English…), being invited out on a Friday night, impromptu brunch with my siblings, oh and sleeping in the same bed for more than 4 nights.

But it wasn’t until recently that I was truly able to understand how much we’ve grown. While traveling everything around you is constantly changing and you have no anchor or point of reference to how things used to be. You see yourself the same every day, but in reality, you are adjusting and understanding a world that is much bigger and diverse than the one you used to know.

So now I surprise myself for being more confident, aware, thankful and humbled than I ever used to be. My conversations with friends/family are more frequent, diverse and I’ve learned to ask better questions 😊

Lastly, I had the chance for the first time to really reflect on my past achievements. Not just in the last year, but over the past decade. So many special moments, incredible people, unbelievable opportunities and challenges have occurred… and it’s almost incomprehensible considering the time that has passed.

I’m so grateful for that.

You’ve taken your break, now what?

During A Little Detour, Olivier and I made a promise to not think about our “what next” and remain in the moment/present during our adventures — it took 4 months to fully disconnect, but once we did it was awesome. I made the same promise to myself when we returned to visit family — I know I’ll be moving again (no idea where), so I wanted to take the time to be here with them, without any distractions.

It’s now been almost 3 months since our return to Canada and the desire to get life moving again has been an overwhelming one, but Olivier is the best partner and we had the chance to challenge each other on what we both want, hope to achieve, and have the ability to do next.

So after considering some personal objectives and our timeline, we agreed to extend our little detour to a part II. 🌏

A Little Detour: Part II

A year away is a bit too long for us this time around, but a few months is on the agenda. Our initial plan is to hit the places that weather/timing/logistics didn’t permit on our last tour — Nepal, India and somewhere warm for scuba diving.

We’ve got big goals! Hiking the Annapurna circuit, visiting some new coral reefs reaching 50 dives, volunteering and launching some personal work project’s we’ve been tinkering on.

We have our flights booked and we’re heading to Malaysia on March 7th. Backpacking mode is already kicking in and I’m excited to share some more updates soon 🥰

See more on our website www.alittledetour.ca🌏✈️👫

Winter, it’s been fun. But I am ready for the sun and some adventure. 😎

A Little Detour

Hi there! Maeghan & Oli here - we're taking a break to travel the world and hope you'll join us for the ride. 🌏✈️ 👫 www.alittledetour.ca

Maeghan Smulders

Written by

Hi! 🙋 I'm a tall, homeschooled, well traveled, terrible speller, who loves ice cream, building things and can be hilarious at times 👉 www.maeghansmulders.com

A Little Detour

Hi there! Maeghan & Oli here - we're taking a break to travel the world and hope you'll join us for the ride. 🌏✈️ 👫 www.alittledetour.ca