Away going home coming – Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Woke up and ate the complimentary breakfast then packed up and checked out. I located a wireless connection outside on the hotel patio so I worked while the others went shopping. It is really hot and everyone is wearing short shorts and no shirts. People are all dressed up and everyone is checking each other out. I am sitting here at this table getting all these stares and I am only in track pants and a ball cap. Oh. Maybe that`s why. Duh. Whatever. If there is anything I am good at it`s not fitting in. I am all about being different.

I sorted out a shuttle situation saving us the 60 dollar cab ride. So we would take the free shuttle to the airport then jump on a train for 3 bucks then another short shuttle to the Fort Lauderdale airport. Simple. And we even met a cool guy named Mike who bought me my last drink before going home. At the airport, I jumped up with glee as I saw the Pizza Uno which I love usually but it wasn`t quite the same. Airport pizza. Oh well. Sus made me eat it anyway as I hadn`t had anything since breakfast. It is a nice feeling when someone cares about you. (I can hear her reading this saying “Awww” all touched and sweetlike. Then if I am around, she will come hunt me down and give me a big hug…that`s how she is)

Now I am sitting on the plane right all sprawled out over the three leather seats. There are only 51 passengers aboard and the crew are having fun with us singing and telling jokes. Westjet is not only a serious bargain but also very friendly. I am nibbling away on pretzels and cookies sipping on a diet coke. All these things are still free on this airline…one of the few that I have encountered that gives anything free anymore. There is another 5 hours to go and all four of us have lots of space to stretch out and sleep or read or in my case, catch up on writing.

I am feeling quite excited about going home. Sure I am a bit nervous about the cold but I really feel I am ready. I am looking forward to seeing all their faces when I show up unexpectedly. I haven`t had much contact with anyone since I have been gone. My mom has sends me a message every three weeks or so to ask where I am and when I am coming home. I don`t think she is reading the TravelPod anymore.

It`s really cool that I have Sus coming with me and I think it will soften the blow a little. She is the first person who has taken me up on the invitation to my home. As every backpacker does, I have invited half the world to come visit me. I am thrilled to be able to share with her my home and what it means to be Canadian. She is one brave girl to come in the onset of winter. Then again, she is tough…she is a Viking for goodness sake! (She hates it when I say that ;))

My friends are going to get a big shocker when I show up at the party tomorrow night. They have been planning this for over half a year and it`s meant to be one of the biggest. It was one of the saddest realizations when I told everyone I was leaving back in September.

“Oh…you`re going to miss Star Wars?!?! Are you serious?” they would gasp as I told them one by one.

Anyway, I am not the hugest fan but I have a pretty good costume so I am really looking forward to it.

I really feel like this is the end of my gallivanting for a while. I know that I will do a few short trips here and there with Sus but its not the same. I am going to pick up the keys to my house and I will be moving back in. Just me and my backpack. Part of me is eager to start over. I know that I can live with a mimimalist décor so it may even be fun to re-furnish a little. I just met someone who said their friend lives in a house with no furniture or anything. They just have a tent in the middle of the living room. Camping is fun and all but I have to wonder if he still goes out to the bushes to pee.

It maybe strange living in an empty house. I only lived in this house for six months before I rented it out and left on my world trip. I went through quite a lot in those months but this house holds good memories. Something inside me is craving familiarity. Even thinking about snow makes me feel a little nostalgic. I can’t believe I said that.

Today I am grateful for harmony.

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