On August 27th, we flew from Dublin to Toronto and spent three weeks back “Home” in Ontario. After a year away, we were ready to be back in Canada for a bit. To see people we had missed. To eat food that we couldn’t find on the road. To drive on the right-hand side of roads with few traffic circles and under rules that are second nature to us. To see places that we hadn’t set our eyes on in the past 12 months.
There is a funk that comes along with returning to the place that was once “home” when you have been away for a while. Everything seems familiar… yet so very foreign at the same time. We are all different people after a year of travel and it is challenging to know if or how we fit in with the places and the people that we left in Canada. We know that we look at, and see many things differently. Our perspective has changed. Interestingly, both Marcus and my eyesight changed enough while we were away that we both needed glasses (Marcus for distance, me for reading). I knew to expect the funk… but I’m not sure that it made it any easier. There is a strange vacillation that goes on between “How on earth did we ever leave this paradise?” and “How did we stand to live here in this insanity as long as we did?” A few days where instead of facing the world, we just wanted to curl up in bed…
We got to see a lot of our family in our three weeks back in Canada (which was wonderful), and even got to take the kids to Grand Island a couple of times so they could visit Fantasy Island.
We drove by our old house in Fort Erie. We sat by the Niagara River. We ate Swiss Chalet Chicken, Vachon Mille Feuilles, and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over a fire. We drank Ginger Ale and Tim Hortons coffee. Artie mastered riding his two-wheeler while we stayed at my Mom’s, and Morgan visited her old school while she stayed with her Papa and Grandma Little. We attended the (beautiful) wedding of a friend who we never ever thought would get married. Some things change… some things never seem to change.
We did practical things like sorting out banking issues, renewing insurance, restocking on underwear and clothes for a different season. My mother allowed me to get a bit of a gardening fix by pulling weeds and pruning in her gardens. Being able to “do” things helps with the funk.
The three weeks in Ontario went by in a flash. We didn’t get to see all the people we wanted to see. We didn’t do all the things we thought we would get done. We boarded a plane bound for Dublin late on the evening of the 20th. Our kids got into a (massive) fight while I was checking in our luggage. One requested reassignment to another family (you know… that family where the mother can manage checking luggage/processing documentation/disciplining children simultaneously…). Their fight had been forgotten by the time we boarded the plane. This seems to be our airport ritual. I don’t enjoy it. It makes me want to request a reassignment too.
But then, a few hours later I find myself walking around the corner from our Airbnb in Ireland and feeling the crisp breeze on my cheeks and watching the hazy sky over the low tide on the beach. It is beautiful. I feel at peace. It all feels worth it again. It feels like “home”.
About the Author
Professionally, I am an e-learning instructional designer who breaks down the barriers of space and time in learning. Personally, I'm the Mom in the Little-Green Family, and co-planner in our adventures.