I am back in Canada, back “home.” But what is home?
I used to talk and dream about going to Europe, going to the Colosseum, the Louvre, the Alps; I wanted to see the fashion and eat the food, I wanted to experience Europe. But it was always this idea; Europe was this far away place that, despite how amazing it seemed, was far away and not very relevant to the world that I live in here in North America.
Then it was no longer a “one day I’ll do go there and do this,” because I went to Europe and I did all of the things that I dreamed about, and so much more. This in itself was amazing; so few people have done what I have done, and even fewer in the context that i have done it –traveling with my classmates and professors and learning about history in the very place where that history took place. This was a once in a lifetime experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life. But the one thing that this trip has done for me –and my previous trip to Asia did the same thing– is make these places real to me. Europe is no longer this far off place that I may or may not ever go to, it is very real, with real people and real thoughts and traditions and cultures. I can put images and faces and names to what before had only been vague concepts. I can now not only see myself going back, I can see myself living there. The world is so much bigger, yet at the same time so much smaller than it was before.
So I thank you, Europe and everyone who I met there and everyone who went there with me. It is because of you that my horizons are expanded while my world has been shrunk. People may say that the world is their oyster, but something much more important becomes truer for me the more I travel: for me, the world is my home.