Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Homeward Bound

So. Here we are. Our last day. After 444 days of adventures around our glorious planet, we can finally say, with no small amount of excitement and anticipation, that today, we are homeward bound!

How to summarize our trip? We've been to 18 countries, and one principality over the last fifteen months. We've traveled by train, plane and automobile. By foot, bicycle, bus, bus roof, campervan, auto rickshaw, cycle rickshaw, tuktuk, tri-shaw, metro, funicular, monorail, ferry, catamaran, longtail, glass-bottom boat, kayak... We've marveled at the sun rising over the snow capped Himalayas, and set behind Cambodia's Angkor Wat. We've met the friendliest locals, ate the most delicious food, and witnessed the most inspiring displays of humanity, and humility. We've been overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers and have had plenty of time to consider our roles, responsibilities and impact on the communities we've visited. We've contributed our time through volunteering in Lao, Cambodia and China and felt incredibly lucky to have been let into the lives of people in each of those places. We've mailed 434 postcards and 6 packages. We've visited old friends, and then made new friends and visited them as well. We've spent time with family and made friends so close that they felt like family. Its really been a fantastic, eye-opening, thrilling, exhausting, frustrating, educating, epic, once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

That being said, we are also super happy and ready to come home. Home. A word that represents so many wonderful things to me. Especially after being away from it for so long and all my memories are especially rosy. Whenever we fly anywhere with WestJet, the flight attendant always comes on the announcements after we've landed and says something like, 'We've landed in Calgary, ladies and gents! If Calgary is home to you, then lucky you, welcome home...!' Welcome home. No matter what, even though I don't live in Calgary, or Toronto, or Vancouver, or wherever it is that we've just landed-no matter- I feel that sad little prickle of tears behind my eyes. Pathetic, I know. But, 'Welcome Home.' Welcome home. It gets me every time. Sweeter words I really can't imagine. Home. Its an all encompassing word for me. My country, my province, my street, my awesome friends, my incredible family, everything that is the most important to me. Though, its not really a physical place as much as it is a feeling. Its where I feel most happy, most loved, most comfortable. Its where I belong. Home is where I belong (when I'm not travelling, of course). And someone, even though she's just the West Jet lady and may or may not mean a single thing by her words is nice enough to welcome me to all this. Welcome Home. Welcome home. Welcome Home.

Home. Canada. I'm always proudest to be Canadian when I'm traveling abroad. At home its not so special. Everyone is Canadian. To be honest, I miss hearing the Canadian accent. I miss people who say 'eh' and know what a toque is and where Newfoundland is. I miss being around people who understand that it is offensive when people first mistake you for an American and then follow it up with 'Well, close enough, right?' Umm. Well, physically, I suppose. Oh! And Tim Hortons and everything Presidents Choice makes. And maple syrup. I miss Canada's majestic rocky mountains, the red roads and lighthouses that dot PEI' s coast, the pristine north channel, the prairie sky, Newfoundland's rocky shore, and, more than any other slice of our great country, the windswept pines, moody waters and the perfect in every way, 30,000 islands of Georgian Bay. No, I haven't been gone long enough forget all Canadian geography- I do know that I can't just hop in the Mooney-mobile and drive over to Vancouver Island for the weekend from Niagara Falls. Yes, I do still know that I actually live no where near the west coast's mountains or the east coast's lobsters. But I just love knowing that hey are there, somewhere in our vast country, my home, and that they are just one quick West Jet seat sale away. No passport required.

Its really been a fantastic, live-changing adventure that I wouldn't trade for all the tea in China, and believe me, that's a whole lot of tea. But now we are ready and excited for the next chapter in the Adventures of J&K- life back in Canada.

In the words of fellow Canadian Michael Buble, 'It'll all be alright... we'll be home tonight.. we're coming baaack hoommme!!!'

ps. See you at the airport TONIGHT Mom and Dad Mooney! Be ready for the Morning of Maple tomorrow Mom and Dad Moldie and GG! (Cutest Gramma in the whole world- its official now- we've checked)


karly said...

Ok you officially broke me!! I was doing so good till I read this!! :) miss you soo much !! Can't wait to be with you again!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi J and K,
Welcome home though I am not there to be able to enjoy the occasion. You have had a wonderful trip which you will long remember. I said I would pray for you each day and I did and now I thank God that you have come home to tell us of all the wondderful places you have been to and of the amazing people you met along the way.
Having a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all that is best for 2012.

daniel j. taylor said...

I just returned from a 90 day domestic journey (for me, domestic is the United States). The people in my life think it was totally awesome and incredible and in a lot of ways I agree with them, but...

What YOU did...what YOU did is just something that is on a whole other plane. I know your a stranger (the "Next Blog" link gets me to all sorts of cool blogs) but I am so jealous of you. It's not that hard, mean kind of jealousy, but that loving kind, if you know what I mean. The kind the imagines the stories, the sights, the people, and that feeling of "this is my world" and I want it for me.

I know I don't know you and we'll likely never meet, but I love your spirit (I mean that for both the J and the K!). Here's hoping you a satisfactory return home, and that your friends and family have original questions--eventually "What was your favorite part?" will get old!


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