Back to the Grind, but I’ve Changed

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On the Cabot Trail overwhelmed by the beauty of the world, July 2015

What was originally supposed to be a 2-week vacation limited to just Nova Scotia ended up turning into a 3-week adventure encompassing the whole Maritimes and I finally arrived back in Montreal on Monday evening. The sweltering humidity of a brutal heatwave greeted me as I got off the plane, and these last two days have been very slow and sweaty as I get settled in and return to my normal routine. But after having such an amazing time in my travels, I feel as though I am changed by all I have seen and done, and all the wonderful people I met.

For a long time I wondered about my own happiness. I moved to Montreal thinking I would be happier here, but in reality I am no happier than I was back in Toronto. If anything, I’m lonelier than I’ve ever been living out here as a freelance writer. I was content at the best of times, but real happiness was something that always alluded me and I didn’t know why. When I was on the road exploring and adventuring and meeting interesting new people from all over the world every day, I began to feel a shift. I felt lighter, and everything seemed a little bit brighter everywhere I went. With each place that I visited a little piece of my heart remained, but in turn my heart grew larger and so too did its capacity for inspiration and wonder and love. This is one of the crucial ways that travelling changes you. The world might seem small sometimes, but there is so much of it to see, and the more you see the greater you become.

There were times when I could have wept, when I could have lost myself to the awesome beauty and great people that I met. Indeed; I have to say that I fell in love out there, and I never knew that my heart could contain so much happiness. It was true happiness that I was feeling, not the artificial kind induced by drugs and alcohol which I had too often fallen back on in my lonesome life as a freelance writer. I found it on the road;on my own; and not in these francophone city streets. Although the trip is over, I still hold onto that feeling and there is always the longing to get up and leave again; to pack my bag again and head out west to see the rest of this beautiful county.

I have never been as happy as I was then and it still shows in my eyes, in my posture, in my voice, in my actions. I ran into a friend on the metro the other day and he said that I still seemed like I was in vacation mode. It wasn’t just my tan, but I have attained a lightness of being and attitude that still rolls within me. I have not; I will not; let it go. This, I now feel, is what life should be: me, adventuring on the road, meeting fascinating new people and seeing incredible new things. I have always been a restless wanderer at heart; it’s in my blood. Even before I had arrived back home I was already thinking of my next trip; checking airfares and researching what gear I need to buy. It might not be financially feasible to go on another trip so soon, however, so I must get back to my usual grind and start pumping out content again to raise money for my next trip.

Such is life. All things return to the source, but we are always wanting more, always knowing there is more and needing to find a way to reach it, to touch it, to experience it. I will always hold onto the warm memories I made in the Maritimes, because they will always be a source of happiness to me. But I can’t stop there; like how a shark must always be swimming I have to keep moving on to the next place. Even sitting here at my desk I gaze out the window with a longing in my heart, and I know that I have to do it again. It won’t be long until I answer the call of the road.

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