On the road I feel like a better version of myself, a freer version. Things happen when you take yourself outside of your comfort zone in only a way that travel can give you. Every time you travel, you will learn more about yourself as you expose yourself to new situations with different types of people.
When I was nineteen, I decided to pack my bags and start a new life for myself across this vast country. It was one of the hardest and most exhilarating things I have ever done. At the time, home was where my family was, it was where I grew up, and it was my base for two decades.
When I left Saskatchewan, it was because I felt I couldn’t grow in the way I needed. Then, each time I returned to Saskatchewan after being away, I felt more and more alienated from my previous life there. I began to mourn that life, and yet tried my hardest to hang on to it. For the first two years of living in Toronto, I only vacationed to Saskatchewan. I wanted my world there to be static and to stay the same forever so I would have something safe to come back to, but I was a different person. I would return to Toronto feeling the Post-Vacation Blues in the worst way.
In time, things shifted. I realized that I had changed drastically since I first moved out on my own. I also began making more money than I had when I was a student and thus could afford to travel outside of my small realm. Wanderlust has always been a part of my soul, but when my soul was tied up with grief, that part of me was muted. Finally, my heart yearned to leave my normal life on a regular basis, and once again make the world my oyster.
Being this incredibly free-spirited person on the road makes coming back home a bitch. When you come home, you realize that everything is the same as you left it, but at the same time, everything is a little different. Your friends are still going to the same bars, still the same people, the trees are all in the same place, but everything is a little older and more mature. You realize that the life you’ve amalgamated yourself so thoughtfully into can get by just fine without you; they love you, but people adjust.
After the initial hugs are had and road-stories shared, you have to learn to get by; living the same life you were before, but now you’re just a little bit different. You’ll return to your same old apartment, settle back into your routine, and you’ll have to learn to re-orient yourself into your old life being a changed person.
Cue Googling the next vacation spot.