“You will find yourself wanting to leave and go home at the same time, and there is nothing you can do about this.”
― Charlotte Eriksson
I pride myself on my ability to be strong. I’ve proven to myself again and again that I have the strength to get through things and be okay. And when I travel, I rarely miss home. I love my family and friends, but I also know they’re only a phone call away. When people here find out I’ve been in Nepal for 4 months, they always say “Wow, that’s a long time!” and I shrug and say “Nah, not really.”
But yesterday when I woke up, I was lost.
I had been dreaming about my favorite café back in Kitchener. Their coffee, baked goods… my favorite sandwich. In fact, the only sandwich I ever ordered there because it’s just that good. And I woke up thinking “Yes! That’s what I’ll have for breakfast today!”
And I had one of those moments when I didn’t know where I was and until I opened my eyes, I could have sworn that I was in Canada. Once I realized I had woken up in Kathmandu I was…. Confused. That dream had been so real, but… it wasn’t.
I just felt lost and it hurt. It hurt that I wasn’t in KW. I had to change the plans I had made in my sleep and I didn’t quite know what to do.
I still had a western style breakfast, and a decent iced coffee. I practiced my Nepali for a couple of hours, reading through an old peace corps lesson plan and texting a local friend. Then I ran a few errands and went back to my Airbnb. A lovely little place outside of the tourist area, on a busy, but quiet street.
And as I sunk down onto the bed, tears sprang to my eyes.
I missed my friends. I missed Canada. I missed wine and pizza nights filled with junk food, tinder drinking games, and laughter. I missed my friends cat giving us dirty looks when she decided we were up past our bedtime. I missed being in the same time zone as my friends when phone calls were easy. I missed going out for coffee. I missed random adventures. I even missed school and studying for exams with friends. I missed random adventures and laughter. I missed their hugs and feeling like I belong. I missed understanding what’s going on around me all the time.
I missed normal food and normal grocery stores and normal restaurants where I didn’t stand out. I missed 2-day weekends and the wonderfulness of long weekends. I even missed the normalcy of buses and driving.
Just… everything. I missed everything. And I woke up today feeling the same way.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Nepal. I love the mountains, the hills, the food, the people and the general chaos. And soon, I know I will be enjoying it again.
But for now. I’m texting my friends and telling them how much I love them. I’m pulling out pictures of my dog, and family, and counting down the days until my brother arrives to visit.
Because as much as I love my life, and the adventures I get to go on. Some days, it would be nice to feel the warmth I feel every time my plane touches down and the pilot says “Welcome to Canada.”