I said in my last blog that I would need to write something about going home. Home being that place I grew up and not somewhere that I had considered home for a very long time. Well, here it is!
I have a journal that I have been writing in (old school with a pen and everything) about my travels, just random thoughts, things I’ve been feeling and stuff I’ve been dealing with. Ya know pretty standard journal type topics. Before I went back to Canada I wrote about how nervous I was to go back to my hometown. I love my family but I had never really felt like it was somewhere that I belonged. Being the black sheep the only one who left, traveled, moved around and found a home on the other side of the world in New Zealand it was hard thinking about going back.
Now Wanaka, New Zealand is somewhere that feels like home. I have a few close friends I would move the world for if need be and a job that I love, a small town in the mountains with a bunch of very like minded people it’s easy to fit in. Most of the people there are from all over the world, ventured away from their families and fell in love with that incredible place we are so lucky to call home. With similar stories to mine, I came for a few months or a year and that was 10 years ago. There is no way Tweed is going to compare to this paradise.
Sweating on the plane thinking about getting off and having to spend the next two weeks with people I wasn’t sure would understand me in a place that was strange to me. Which is kinda funny cause I’d just spent the last month traveling alone meeting strangers in foreign countries but the thought of where I grew up is what made me nervous. Making my way through customs I was welcomed home, which felt weird, I smiled and thought this is not home but thanks. After ages waiting for my luggage, thinking the whole time is this the flight I lose my bags on? (I had this thought pretty much every flight) Finally, I made my way toward the exit and before I got there the automatic doors opening and closing with every person I could see my sister in law and my niece. I didn’t even make it down the ramp before I was met with hugs and tears that flooded my eyes I had no idea I was going to be that emotional and just for the record I’m not an emotional person by any means. 10 YEARS! How did that time go by fast? Standing there hugging my niece, that was six the last time I saw her now she towers over me and I might add has a license to drive a car, WTF. The journey wasn’t quite over yet as we still had a 2-hour drive to get to Tweed. Arriving at 10:30pm I didn’t think I would see the rest of my family until the next day but I was wrong. Pretty much everyone of my immediate family members came to see me! It was overwhelming that they put that effort in. Family breakdown, Grandma(96 and totally killing it), Mom, Dad, 2 brothers with wives, 1 sister, 3 nieces and 2 nephews. At this stage, I didn’t feel that emotional just glad to be there looking forward to spending some time with the kids that had clearly grown into their own individual little people. The next couple weeks involved a lot of hockey, catching up with friends and extended family, big dinners and breakfasts. I really enjoyed being a part of this functioning family unit. It was amazing to see how they had grown, evolved and how close they all are.
The last 24 hours I was at home were probably the best and the worst. As with most good stories it starts with so I met this guy! Yes it was on Tinder and we’d spent a week trying to meet, I would never put this much effort into meeting someone but there was just something abut this one I didn’t want to give up. Finally Saturday night the day before I left, I kidnapped him. I drove 45mins to collect him and forced him to come have dinner with my family! Who does that? The poor guy being thrown into the deep end with a school of sharks. At least we had the 45min drive back to get to know each a bit more. I think he did very well, it wasn’t the adults (I use this term loosely) that he needed to be concerned with it was the kids with their brutal honesty. Having a few drinks with my family just chatting I felt so comfortable and happy like I really belonged. Now not only did he have to endure dinner but breakfast and me saying goodbye to a bunch of my family. I’m not a crier but saying goodbye to Haelie (the youngest at 10) pretty much ripped my heart out of my chest. There are not many people who would do this, but I loved having him there for support and felt very connected to him. How does this happen it’s been a day really!
This is when I felt it, I didn’t want to go! These people who just a couple weeks before I thought didn’t/ wouldn’t understand me, did! They totally excepted me, loved me, wanted me there and made me feel so welcomed like I had never felt before. The drive to the airport was umm….. a bit stressful, we were running late and part of me was like if I miss my plane I’m ok with that. No luck though after showing up 5 minutes after check-in they still let me on. Standing outside the security gate saying goodbye to my sister in law and 2 nieces was so hard. I didn’t want to go and am tearing up now just thinking about it. We had talked about me coming home for Christmas in a couple months and all I could think was , how can I make that happen? I cried my whole flight to Montreal, most of the flight to Paris. By the time I got to Granada, Spain I had already decided it needed to happen. So I whipped out my credit card and book flights.
The one question I kept being asked the whole time I was in Tweed and always had the same answer for was “Do you ever think you’ll move back home?”. Of course the answer was no I have a whole life on the other side of the world. My dog, friends, my job that I really love and a community I felt I had a place in. The more I was asked this question the more I started to think about all of the shit that I had been through in the last few months in Wanaka before I left. I’d never let it drag me down but man it was tough to be there sometimes. Wait what was I thinking? Maybe Wanaka has given me everything it can? The one big thing that keeps crossing my mind is these people, they love the shit out of me and me them, unconditionally I’d missed the last 10years of that. Throw a new love interest in the mix and WTF was I thinking?! Now don’t get me wrong I do NOT regret anything that I’ve done in my life, no point all the good and the bad made me the person I am today and I can honestly say I like the person I am! It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve picked up my life and moved across the world or stayed on a whim.
This is my adventure, traveling with no agenda, making it up as I go. Yeah sure the second trip to Canada doesn’t exactly fit into the budget but it’s important to me to be there and spend more time with these amazing people. I fully believe that you make time and prioritize the things that mean something to you. Whatever your goal is! Anything is possible if you want it bad enough and are willing to work for it or in this case pay for it. I didn’t know what was going to happened when I first got off that plane but there was no way I was prepared to feel so accepted and loved. I don’t know what the future holds and in the name of mindfulness I’m not going to decide right now but spending more time in Canada at the chance of seeing those awesome people new and old is defiantly something I want to do. Life’s too short not to take a chance on love! What’s your adventure? What are you willing to do to make it happen?