Returning home to Canada has been very bitter sweet, I found my self standing in the airport in Toronto and having everything feel foreign to me, seeing so many people of the same race as myself. After coming home from Southeast Asia I found it very strange to be back and slipping into a routine. No longer needing to negotiate prices when I am at the store, being surprised at just how expensive things are. Life in Canada seems very easy compared to being abroad. I no longer need to worry about the quality of the water that I am drinking or drinking massive amounts of it. I am still finding my self wanting to remove my shoes when I enter a house am amazed me at the amount of clothing that I am able to chose from each morning; I am no longer confined to just whatever is in my backpack. Being able to comprehend that I have just come home from the longest trip that I have ever been on has been interesting, it is still hitting me that I have just spent eight weeks on the road flying across the world to experience Southeast Asia. Swimming in the South China Sea, climbing the second largest mountain in SEA, or riding bicycles through thousand year old temple ruins has been quite a reality check. I feel very privileged to have been able to go to Southeast Asia and travel with awesome people and just experience new and wild things. This was a trip that would not have been on the top of my list had I had a choice in the location, but the more that I was there, the more that I was thankful that I was there living in the moment and experiencing such wonderful things.
Being home and seeing my family and friends once again has been so wonderful, but at the same time I have found it hard to relate to someone that has not experienced a trip like this. Trying to integrate back into what is considered normal life by North American Standards has been challenging. You are able to experience so much on a trip like this, then you return and life is the same as when you left. It is strange to return and know that you will be staying in the same place for more then a week and you will have hot water for a shower and that it will be clean. You are not faced with the task of always guarding your backpack, passport and camera or at least the fear of misplacing it is much less.
Finishing up school and getting ready to shift gears into summer has been an exciting time. The tedious taks of searching for a summer job, trying your best to convince someone two thousand kilometres away that you are worthy of a position, and yet really wanting not to work for the summer but go on new adventures presents a challange. But then reality once again hits you and you realize that being in school is almost like a vacation in that I was able to travel this semester and spend time on the beach and see and do so many awesome things that working for a few months does not seem as bad. Knowing that I will be able to travel again soon enough, I look forward to that, once again living out of a backpack, sleeping on airport floors, long bus rides and not really caring where you are sleeping as long as it is warm. This is my personal expericne with travel and being in the best undergraduate program in Canada! (That is in my personal opinion, of course).