Moving – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Cortney drove us to the Vancouver airport and waited while we checked in. We sat for a few minutes before saying goodbye and wouldn’t you know it. The waterworks began. I thought about all the things I was leaving and wondered when I would see them again. All the things that make Canada home for me…the big things that make your heart ache every so often…and the little things that make you sigh wistfully, surprised at your sensitivity and sentimentality.

The gap in the sidewalk that you automatically hop over after stubbing your toes oh so many times…the frequency in which you run into some old friend while shopping…the mental roladex you flip through in your head of who to invite to your BBQ…ease at which you can navigate the streets even though you may only have been there once…maple syrup…always being able to find the ingredients to make your favorite dish…tulips poking out of the almost melted snow…being able to smile at a stranger and not have them eye you suspiciously…never worrying about the quality of the drinking water…being able to distinguish a five and ten dollar bill with out having to inspect it…going to the farmers market…having “remember the time” belly laughs with friends…turning over the box from the French to the English side to read the instructions…driving for hours without seeing another human…TimBits…catching snowflakes on your tongue…everyone always taking off their shoes at the door…understanding what someone is saying…being able to go get a Mom hug anytime you need it…how you know exactly where to find the icing sugar in the supermarket…knowing which are the best radio stations…marshmallows…being able to stop by your grade school to see how it has magically shrunk over the years…knowing the shortcuts…hot chocolate after a night of tobogganing…knowing the general etiquette and customs…reading my nephews just “one more story”…having an idea of what the weather should be like for that time of year…slurpees…being able to go to the doctor anytime, anywhere for free…hearing the Hockey Night in Canada theme song as you pass by the sports bar…knowing when something is a good deal…Family Days (a statutory holiday in Alberta)…being sure of the rules of the road and the speed limits…being there for their big game…lots of space…not being the one who is “not from around here”…

Well. We made it onto the plane with no problems and to be honest I don`t really remember much of the flights back. They didn`t go very smoothly but Max took care of everything while I guarded the bags. I peered out the window as we passed over the Andes and thought about how they were like the bottom part of the Rockies…kinda all connected. Different but the same. I began to realize that I wasn`t losing anything at all…everything I had will always be with me in all my experiences and memories. Now I just have more. My new (family, friends, country) won`t replace my old…they will only deepen my appreciation for both. I began to relax. Everything was going to be ok. But I still wish I had remembered to bring with me some maple syrup. As much as I like it, dulce de leche on pancakes is just not the same.

So that ends my travels for now. I will be updating a few missed logs and reflections now that I have my pile of journals that I wrote along the way. As well, I will also update the photos. Hopefully it should be all done before the end of the year. A few people have told me to write a book. OK, I would love to! If anyone knows any publishers or has any advice on how to do this, please forward me information.

I wanted to thank everyone who was with me along the way. Whether you were someone I met on a plane or train or car or bus, if we climbed a mountain or hiked a forest together, a friend who sent me an encouraging “you can do it” message, a stranger who smiled at me, a family who took me in, a reader who wrote me and told them I made them laugh or cry, someone who helped me find my way, someone who took a picture for me (thanks for not running away with the camera!), someone who slept above me or below me and DIDN’T snore, someone who shared a meal with me, someone who got lost with me, someone who told me their story, someone who listened to mine…everyone who I have met, even if only for 5 minutes, has taught me something. We are all teachers. In every moment, we are teaching each other how to take care of one another…for better or worse. You teach people how to treat you. So, I guess what I have learned most of all is to be aware of my Self…be aware of what I am teaching. Be the change you want to see.

Now I will write about how it is to try and live in a different family, culture, climate, city, country, continent, hemisphere…well, just how it is to live differently than what I have always known.

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