I have officially been home for 7 days today. This time last week Rachel and I were hugging our parents outside baggage claim. It feels like months ago.
I remember landing at Pearson airport thinking holy crap this is actually it… this is the end of the trip!! It seemes surreal that 8 months ago Rachel and I were taking off to Athens Greece to start a crazy trip of mountains, maps, coffee and most importantly adventure.
– 26 gyros (27 if you count the one in Christchurch)
– 16 airports
– 9 kinds of transportation
– 243 days
– 7 WWOOFs
– 2 Visits from my mom, 1 visit from Rachel’s mom
– lost count of the cups of coffee…. a lot
Coming home I guess I was pretty split between the sadness of the trip coming to an end and the excitement to see my friends and my family & get back to a normalish routine.
My first day was a bit of a blur… the flight was a red eye leaving Victoria at 9:50 with a one hour flight to Calgary and then an hour layover in Calgary before we took a 3 hour and 45 minute flight to Toronto. I did not sleep well at all – probably all the excitement! We got off the plane and saw our parents at the end of the baggage claim room. Without waiting for our bags we went over and gave them all the biggest squeezes. It was such a great moment! My brother and my sister were still at school writing exams but my Mum was there and my Dad was very close behind! Rachel’s parents were there with her brother Will. It was so nice to see all of them.
Mum ended up taking the day off and drove me back home making me a big breakfast of eggs and bacon. In the afternoon we ran a few errands but I spent a majority of the day cleaning out my room and emptying Nellie out.
The next couple days following my landing were spent catching up with friends, saying hi to my furry pup, hugging my brother and sister, relaxing with family and catching up on some Zzz’s.
Sunday was a gorgeous day here in Toronto…. 20 degrees and sunshine. It was the first day that I felt the first itch from my Travel Bug. Such a beautiful lovely day and all I wanted to do was hike or find a waterfall or get out somewhere. When I asked my Dad what we had on the agenda for the day he said he had some yard work to do, maybe a trip to Costco and get some stuff for dinner. As lovely as that is for a nice Sunday I felt a weeeeee bit… I don’t think claustrophobic is really the right word but I can’t think of another word. I wanted to explore and that’s when it finally started to sink in and hit me that I’m not backpacking anymore… there is no next location or next currency or next mountain range to Peak. However after feeling uneasy for an hour or two I began to realize how LUCKY I am to have a great place to return to and how going away makes you appreciate where you come from. How wonderful it is to have such an amazing family to come greet me at the airport and have a home that feels warm and accepting and comforting and loving. The world and more adventures await….. I’m just getting started really. I’ll be out there again with Nellie – probably not for anywhere near as long but I will definitely be out there. Right now I’m thankful and happy to be home. I haven’t started planning the next trip yet but I don’t think it will be too long before someone catches me looking at plane tickets.
It’s weird to be alone without Rachel. My best friend is a rockstar. We both had times of frustration and doubt but most of the time we were each other’s perfect side kick. We never had a bad day on the same day, we challenged each other, supported each other and saw some incredible and beautiful wonders of the world. We grew a lot – being out of your comfort zone for such a long time forces you to learn and to adapt and be flexible and self dependent. She is the one person who minute to minute witnessed me grow and develop. When I left on this trip, I was leaving behind large parts of my identity that have defined me for pretty big chunks of my life. I was no longer a student and no longer employed. I was going to be away from my family and friends for longer and farther then I ever had been before. I wouldn’t say it was an identity crisis but I would say I was in search of maybe what I wanted to prioritize in my life – hobbies, things that I thought were interesting and cool before but I chose not to pursue because of school and work and volunteering. Rach agreed to do this jump with me with some of her own self -discovering goals and between the two of us we have not come to the perfect answers but I think I can say that both of us have new perspectives and paths to explore because of this trip. I’m so happy, proud, and moved that she chose to take my hand and make this ‘lucky leap’ with me ❤️.
I want to thank everyone who kept up with my blog…. honestly it was a great ‘daybook’ type thing for me to remember the trip but it was always so nice to hear people mention when they did read it or that they were enjoying it. It felt incredibly supportive which is huge when your so far away for so long.
I hope if you did read this and haven’t travelled much that maybe some of my experiences helped to put into perspective what this kind of trip entails. I hope that if you were reading this having already done travelling yourself, maybe I sparked a memory or two of your from your own backpacking days.
Either way I enjoyed writing to you and I guess to future me! This is officially the last post of the Rachel and Nicole World Tour from the Northern Travelite.
Starting this coming Monday I am beginning work at Caravan Global Canada again (I have worked there the last two summers) and I have a contract for the rest of 2017. Starting in 2018 when I have a little money under my belt I can decide whether I want to do some more travelling, return to a post-grad program, or move to a new town and start looking for a full time starting career. A new/different kind of an adventure.
Sending lots of love and hugs from 6 Jessie Cres. If you would rather have your hugs and love in person, drop by ❤️.