The Hardest Part Of Traveling No One Talks About

couldn’t have said it better myself

Thought Catalog

image - Flickr / Corie Howell image – Flickr / Corie Howell

You see the world, try new things, meet new people, fall in love, visit amazing places, learn about other cultures – then it’s all over. People always talk about leaving, but what about coming home?

We talk about the hard parts while we’re away – finding jobs, making real friends, staying safe, learning social norms, misreading people you think you can trust – but these are all parts you get through. All of these lows are erased by the complete highs you experience. The goodbyes are difficult but you know they are coming, especially when you take the final step of purchasing your plane ticket home. All of these sad goodbyes are bolstered by the reunion with your family and friends you have pictured in your head since leaving in the first place.

Then you return home, have your reunions, spend your first two…

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So after a crazy month of June I am back in Canada once again…

The past 6 weeks have been absolutely nuts. Started off with a 5 day bushwalk in the Grampians, final exams, a roadtrip down the great ocean road, a long weekend spent in Lorne, a 2 weeks trip to Thailand and 5 final days in Melbourne and the entire journey has now come to an end. 

Being home has been an adjustment. I ended up getting a nasty cold just before I left so the plane rides were absolutely awful. Everyone on the plane definitely hated me and my runny nose and I definitely did not get near enough sleep. Upon arriving in Toronto I was so full of mixed emotions. Started from when the pilot welcomed us to Toronto, going through customs (which are computers now…), and the security guy welcoming me home everything just started to feel weird. Knowing I was in the same building as my dad and Jill and that in a matter of minute everything was going to go back to normal was just so weird. It was bittersweet really. Part of me couldn’t wait to get my luggage and get out to see them and head home (well to Muskoka) but the other part of me didn’t want this life to be over. The first few days were definitely hard to adjust. The exhaustion really didn’t help plus the head cold. The first day I was back I headed into Windermere to inquire about when I was starting work and it was decided I would start 2 days later, talk about jumping into the swing of things. I was able to drive back to Toronto 2 days later to pick up my mom and Emily from the airport, surprising Emily actually which was a lot of fun. 

“How was your trip”, “Would you go back?” and ” How was Australia” are 3 very common questions I keep getting. But I mean how do you really respond? My trip was amazing, I would definitely go back and Australia was awesome are really the only responses I have – how does one summarize the past 6 months of their life with such simple questions? And it’s funny really, after people ask these questions and I respond you realize no one really cares to hear anymore. Most of my memories are really for myself and that is totally ok. Forever people are going to be annoyed with me and my “In Australia…” comments but I really don’t care. I truly feel like I made a life in Melbourne and this experience has definitely shaped the person I now am. The life of adventure is the life for me and I cannot wait to start planning the next one. So it’s time to settle back into the normalcies of life, make some money, study hard and the next opportunities will present themselves when the time is right. It’s really hard to see the people on exchange currently in Melbourne and I terribly miss all my Aussie friends but in the end I think I am at peace with it all and know that I made the most of my exchange and the next adventure will present itself sooner or later and I cannot wait to see what it will be.

Things I will miss:

  • The city
  • Fitness First City Flinders aka the best gym ever
  • The hot Aussies who work at the gym
  • Spicy capsicum dip
  • Leroy’s – working there and the free food I would get with every shift
  • The coffee
  • Aussie breakfasts
  • The cheese
  • Tim tams… duh
  • Charming with the Canadian accent
  • Being the foreign one
  • Using being the foreign one to get away with things
  • The train
  • The amazing street music in Melbourne
  • Emma and Tom’s Life Juice – Green Power
  • THe easyness of VU
  • The laidback Aussie lifestyle
  • The Aussie accents
  • The constant life of adventure and new things to experience everyday
  • Being flat broke but being quite ok with it
  • ‘When in Australia” to qualify doing anything and everything

What I learned:

  • It’s ok to be broke – you will always find a way
  • Going off the above statement – how to properly budget my money and how to properly plan everything –  I have developed methods that work for me (probably wont work for many and you may think I’m crazy if I showed you)
  • To say ‘yes’ to things outside of my comfort zone
  • The independence to do things by myself such as going to dinner
  • A better ability to make decisions (I’m still awful)
  • The ability to do what I want to do with confidence
  • I am 1 person in a world full of individuals
  • There are serious stereotypes out there for people from all over the world – they are generally untrue and it’s not nice to stereotype (you learn this when people stereotype you)
  • The feeling of absolute freedom to do whatever you want however you want whenever you want is an amazing feeling
  • Do things for yourself
  • Determination – if you want something bad enough you will make it happen
  • How to make mistakes and learn from them (e.g. loosing money in Thailand – as my dad put it it was a $35 lesson)
  • Planing- I am a huge planner and plan everything and research everything – but I learned you need to have a balance between things you have planned and leaving things up to fate or to be worked out later.
  • The ability to adapt – things do not always (basically never) go as planned
  • How to be resourceful – how to work with what you have
  • How to be comfortable with being uncomfrotable
  • Compassion and the true meaning of treat others how you want to be treated
  • How to ask for help when I need it
  • The talk to strangers, store clerks, baristas, servers etc. just for the sake of talking with someone.

Until the next adventure xx