I fought coming home. Hard. I didn’t want to leave Munich, my new friends, my new life. Every day I would come up with a new plan, a new idea, a new place to buy a plane ticket to. (I’m sure my mom got tired of waking up to a new Facebook message with details of said plans every day). But in the end, I got on that extremely long 11.5 hour British Airways flight and headed home to Canada as planned. There may have been a few tears (okay maybe like 7 hours full of tears until I fell asleep…) but I made it. I came back to this beautiful city, and was welcomed with rain and hugs, and immediately forgot the reasons I tried not to come back in the first place.
I have been home a whole week already, and it has flown by. I had the funeral of my grandma to attend, where I saw people I haven’t seen in years who didn’t even know I went to Germany. It was like a mini family reunion, and I learned that most of them are actually German and had quite a bit of knowledge of the language!
We had family over from out of town that made my homecoming full of laughs, I saw friends that I haven’t seen in over a year, I hung out with my sisters who I still have more fun with than anyone, I even tried a yoga class after not exercising for a year (thanks to Rachel) (ouch). Not to mention getting over some major jet lag, nine hours is a huge difference. I’m still working on sleeping past 6 am.
I have already got the question more times than I can count “so what are you going to doing now?”. “What’s next?” The truth is I don’t know. I have gotten piles of advice “travel while you’re young”, “just get your degree over with”, but there is nothing sticking out to me, no ideas that I must complete immediately. All I can say is that I am going to start working, and hopefully either take off on another adventure, or decide what my future is going to look like in the way of careers and get serious about university. But either choice is fine by me. Because as my seat mate on my Munich-London flight said “life is not a race”.
Most people have told me it feels like I never left, we picked up right where we left off a year ago. I am back in the loop of sending funny cat pictures with my mom and sisters when one cat steals another ones spot, the funny jokes made by my crazy aunt that are completely inappropriate, yet hilarious, and the laughs shared over dinner when we laugh about “The leaf story” for the fiftieth time, after recounting it to whoever is over that night. (or whatever other crazy story we are laughing about, I’m sure something will replace that soon- don’t worry Mike)
But I also notice everything. People think I haven’t changed much, except that I want to travel a thousand times more now. But the truth is, I never noticed how close the mountains are, the fact that I can see them out my window and it looks like a painting, how beautiful my city is, or how much I appreciate the opportunities I have, just by being from this country. I notice every new building, every Canadian stereotype (we do say “eh” a lot and take our hockey seriously), and every difference to Germany now that I am back.
(I also still find the fact that everyone is speaking English (or “Canadian” as one cute lady I know said) after a year of being surrounded by German, quite weird.) But nothing really has changed, my mom still cooks better food than anyone I know, my cat Penny is sleeping with me every night again, just like before, my house has the same cozy feel and is always full of guests (and wine). My bed is so comfy I never want to leave. It’s just like when I left, which is a comforting feeling to me after a year of changes and new things. But I guess that is what the definition of “home” is.
But in Vancouver snow is a rare thing, well at least for people who don’t live too close to our mountains. I didn’t think I would get to see that until we went to our cabin at Mt. Baker after Christmas (which I’m super excited for as it is one of my favorite places in the world!). Maybe it will be a white Christmas after all. 🙂
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!