Monday, 11 February 2013

Retiring the Passport. For Now. **Tears Up**

Monday, 11th February 2013; 11:12
Location: My kitchen counter, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Why: I need to get these mixed emotions off my chest.

Mixed emotions. This is an understatement right now. Because you see, in what seems like a blink of an eye, my traveling feet have stopped.

In Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Yep.

The Low Down:
I embarked on my worldly sojourn back in May 2011. Twenty one months later, I am back in the city I used to call home before I had moved out west to Vancouver. I never thought I'd find myself back in the Big Smoke but love is a crazy force of nature.

While living in Melaka, Malaysia, my fancy-free heart decided it wanted to learn French in France. And so, I followed the bread crumbs which lead me back to Toronto for a French Long Stay Visa last summer. During this pit stop, I met a handsome young man, albeit controversially (that's another post...).

After months of skyping with said Handsome Young Man, I found myself happily skipping through the streets of Lyon, Paris and London with Him; frolicking in fromage and downing pints at Blues Kitchen in Camden Town. And before I could say "au revoir France; g'bye mate", I am literally knee deep in this white stuff from Friday's snow storm. My expensive red boots are not impressed...

So now, my backpack has retired onto a shelf in the bedroom closet of my fancy new living digs - a box-in-the-sky condo on Toronto's lake front. Am I happy? Yes and no.

Yes because: 
1. I've shacked up with said Handsome Young Man and we are giddy like two college kids.
2. I'm so grateful for being able to travel as long as I have.
3. I can re-connect with my friends in Toronto.
4. I am in the same province as my family.
5. Vancouver is only a 4-5hr flight away.
6. I now have wonderful stories to tell at the next cocktail party I get invited to. (Now accepting party invitations)

No because:
1. I keep thinking about all the places I've traveled to and miss dearly.
2. I could really use the 30+ degrees heat in SE Asia - I'm a terribly wimpy Canadian.
3. I really want to ask for un pain au chocolat avec un cafĂ© long in French.
4. I wish I could see my family - all of them.
5. I miss Vancouver and lululemon so bloody much.
6. I haven't been invited to any cocktail parties yet.

I used to wake up in whatever country I was in, thinking "Hmm what do I feel like doing today?" And then I would go on doing whatever with a sense of freedom that is now suddenly not there anymore. I'm not sure how I feel about this new circumstance. I feel like I have to wake up from my traveling slumber and rejoin the 'rat race' that I happily left behind two years ago. And it's making me anxious again. This anxiety I loathed so much is swiftly creeping up on me these days - I've only been back a week (have been avoiding changing my location on FB). I'm neither on this side of the world or the other. I feel a bit lost.

I want to hang on to my travels so badly. But at the same time, I'm excited for the possibilities ahead. This is another chapter in my life that I can write with whatever storyline and character I fancy. However, I'm not done with my traveling obsession yet. There are still many stories to share with you, my faithful readers and supporters. The only difference now is I'll be writing them in recent past tense instead of present tense.

The awful reality: Having to retire my passport. For Now:

I am choked at the very thought of having to retire my passport. There are so many stories stamped in these pages that need to be told.

Having said that, please invite me to your next cocktail party. I promise to deliver interesting stories - after a few drinks.