Monday, June 25, 2012

Travel Doesn't Always Change You

I look back fondly at the experiences and memories I had from my first solo trips because they changed me so much. They were filled with a energy and purpose, also prompting me to start this blog, because I was so excited by what had changed in me and wanted to share it.

I may have gone into some trips expecting changes to take place and they may or may not have happened because of the trip. In other words, they may have simply happened because I was ready for a change.

I was in a very different place mentally for my most recent solo trip. I had just quit my job. I am mother to a young child with special needs. I went across the country to help a best friend - not because I was looking for adventure or particularly wanted to go there, but out of sense of duty. Still, I resigned myself to see it as a new adventure and make the best of it.

At 6am, I held my son and said good-bye. I took a cab to the metro station, where I caught a bus to the airport. I had a backpack and a small carry-on bag on wheels. I sat at the airport and ate toast and jam I had brought with me. I then went through security. I boarded a plane to Edmonton and the flight took four hours. I landed in Edmonton, bought lunch and a toy for my son. I waited an hour and a half for a bus to take me to Cold Lake. The bus to Cold Lake took over four hours. I was picked up by my best friend's husband at the air force base. I arrived there around 6pm their time (which was 8pm my time). That's 14 hours of travel time!
Believe me, the fact I could have flown to Europe or China was not lost on me!

Unlike other solo trips, I did not feel nervous at all. In fact, I may have even been too relaxed. But I felt comfortable in my homeland of Canada and I also stayed with my best friend most of the trip. I spent only one day and night alone in Edmonton on the way back. Unlike other times, it didn't feel liberating, it just felt good - like a comfy old sweater. I'm past the liberation stage and into the "Old Hat" stage!

In the end, it was more reaffirming that I still have some travel left in me. My life has changed drastically - I'm a mom responsible for another person - but I'm still the same old solo traveler inside.

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