So we’ve been home for almost 4 months now. In some ways it feels like we never left, but in others, we notice some things we feel “left” out on, for lack of a better word… things like the latest movies, songs, tv shows, etc. These are things I start to zone out on when people talk about them. I have no clue what that crazy dance move was, or that popular song that came out in January, that all the kids are dancing to. As I mentioned in my last post, living life constantly on the move was our new normal, so it took a little getting used to being back at home base. Food and groceries was a hard one. We had been living basically day to day in terms of groceries: Only buying enough for a day or two, as we didn’t want to be carrying or wasting any leftover food. It really took a concentrated effort for me to get back into the swing of buying food for more than a day or two here at home. It was weird opening the fridge and seeing the shelves full. I have also spent a lot of time sorting clothes and stuff. After having only (roughly) 10 choices of shirts or bottoms to choose from for the year, it was overwhelming to open drawers and closets full of clothes/shoes, etc. We have SO much stuff!!! Completely unrelated, I still remember my first swim back in Lake Ontario…I kept looking around for jellyfish or other weird sea creatures. I also kept squeezing my eyes closed any time water came near my face. It took more than a few swims to remember that we were back to fresh water and not salt water 😉 These are just a few of the things we had to get used to again….But in general, our friends and family have been really good at making us feel at home.
I will say that we have an amazing group of family and friends, who really made it easy to blend back into life here in Canada. From meeting up with family in BC, driving to Calgary to spend time with family and friends, to making our way home, and ending at our friends mechanic shop where we began our trip so long ago, it was nice to be surrounded by our ‘people.’ The boys picked right up with their friends in the neighbourhood, and we had soooo many friends and family stop in to say hello, have us over for coffee, dinner, or hang time. Even a couple of welcome home parties. I really can’t remember everything we did the first month back, because it was such a blur of people and activities, but I do know we felt loved and welcomed, and thankful to be back in a community of such wonderful people.
So, how was the transition from constantly moving and travelling, to being home? Well, I thought a lot about it, and the best comparison I can come up with is this:
It’s a bit like riding a bike again, after rollerblading everywhere. You haven’t ridden for awhile, but it’s a bike you have had for a long time. You get on and it feels familiar, but not quite comfortable at first. It’s a little bit awkward, and you are sore and tired and just want to take a break, but you keep pedalling, because you have to if you want to get anywhere. And you know there are things that you are riding past that you should be looking at; and people that you should be talking to and enjoying the ride with. But you are just so focussed on keeping balanced and getting to where you need to go, that you don’t really pay too much attention to what you’re riding past, or who’s beside you joining you for the ride. You make it to the end of that first day, and you are too tired to remember all the details, but you know you did it 😉
The next day you get on the bike again. And it’s a little bit easier this time. But you’re still focussed on the end…looking ahead instead of around and beside. And each day you get on that bike you find it’s a little bit easier and a little bit more comfortable. You start to look around; you start to talk to the people you are riding with and you start to notice the people who are on the sidewalk waving and smiling at you. Finally, you wake up one morning, get on that bike and it doesn’t require any extra effort at all. It’s a smoother ride; more enjoyable. You still hit some bumps and road blocks along the way, but you are ready for them. It still takes work to ride the bike, but it’s something you don’t even think about anymore.
And that’s what it’s been like transitioning from a year of constant travel, researching, and experiencing new things; coming back to a place we call home.