The End of My Journey…

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Now my travels have come to an end.  I’m back in my “hometown” after a whirlwind visit to London.  Ahh…London, I truly love this city.  Although there for only 10 days, it was like I had never left.  I picked up my old routine, even went to 3 dance classes.  I found myself feeling very conflicted while there.  In theory, I know all of the reasons that I chose to leave but did I make a mistake?  But to have renewed my visa in London meant that the past 4 months would never have happened.  I wouldn’t give up these past 4 months for the world.

Out of all my adventures, this period of travel was the most meaningful to me.  I think it was because I am at a crossroad in my life.  When traveling, many other travelers are at similar crossroads.  They have finished school and don’t know what the next step is; changing jobs, careers, countries, life…  Crossing paths with these travelers can bring deeper meaning to your travels.  When you open up to them, they listen and reflect with you.  They are genuinely interested in what is going on in your head, perhaps because listening and reflecting will give them some insight into their own situations.  It’s different sharing with travelers than with others who are on defined paths.  They can be quick to advise and opine when all you really want is a sounding board.

I started these travels with clarity of mind for the future and I’ve ended it with obscurity.  However, I have learned lots about myself along the way.  What I’ll do with this new found knowledge is the big question.  Continue to watch this space, I’m sure I’ll be jet setting somewhere soon.  In the meantime, I’m going to sort out the photos and work on the photoblog.  I may even pull up some old emails from the early days of my travels before blog was a word and digital photography was in its infancy (I sound like a dinosaur) and sporadically post them here.

Thanks to those that I met along the way for the insight that you brought to my journey.

Changes- A Farewell to London

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When we are children, all of our changes in life are planned for us.  We start primary school and we are very excited to leave our classroom teachers behind for the homerooms and the lockers of high school.  Through those 4-5 years, we are dreaming of graduation and attending our formals.  We are only more than happy to say good-bye to high school.  Here our paths vary slightly, most go onto some form of post-secondary education, while others enter the work force.  For those who continue with the path of education, the next pitstop is convocation.  This change, when you finally leave formal education, is perhaps the most welcomed change as we finally say good-bye to studying, exams, and papers and we say hello to employment and earning money.

Now, change will continue to happen in your life, but it is no longer laid out for you in a plan.  You no longer have an end date for whatever it is you’re doing.  Unless retirement in 45 years time becomes the new goal post.  Change can happen at anytime, and it will be change that effects only you and not necessarily the masses.  The change can be self-determined or in response to outside influences.  The change can be exciting and welcomed and sometimes it can be scary and daunting.  As I embark on the next major change in my life, it is self-determined and it is a mixture of exciting, welcomed, scary and daunting.  I’ve experience mixed emotions at the idea of saying good-bye and moving on.

I started my journey in London 8 years ago when I moved over here on a working holiday visa, but I had to leave at then end of 2 years when it expired.  I had grown to love the city so much that I was determined to return and 2.5 years later I did.  I love London.  I love the history, the culture, its vibrancy.  I love it.  Don’t get me wrong, it can be a difficult city, with the crowds, the bureaucracy and at times impersonal, but I still love it.  I wish I could say that I was tired of it because it would make leaving easier.  It scares me to think that at some point in time, my life in London will become a distant memory.

More important than the city itself, are the friendships that I’ve made here both past and present.  Some of the most amazing friendships I’ve ever had in my life have been here.   Experiencing new adventures together, laughing together and holding each other up when it was needed.  It’s these friendships that has made London the incredible city that it is.  As London becomes a distant memory, these friendships will always be alive in my heart.  We may no longer be able to stomp in the playground of London together, but our journey together will take on a new path.  I will always be looking for travel companions, and I will love to host you when you come to visit me in Canada.  These friendships will not become memories because they will thrive in different ways.  I love you all.  I will miss you dearly.