Saturday, February 18, 2023

Toronto to Saskatoon, February 17, 2023

I’ve been thinking about these things for a while: what I’ve learned, what I liked and didn’t like and what future travel might look like for me.

This trip ended a bit too soon as I was really looking forward to Southeast Asia - the climate, the food, the green, but at the same time, I’m glad to be going home.  I’m tired and not sure if it’s the hernia, if I have a bug or if I’m just played out.  A 5 month trip is better than no trip but from now on, my trips will be shorter - 65 days maximum so I can use my retired teachers medical insurance and maybe come home with some energy.

I enjoyed a lot of this trip- my favorite thing was definitely the Camino.  That’s so funny for me to say as someone who doesn’t, or didn’t like walking.  I met many great people who will be friends for a long time, I learned more about myself, I enjoyed great wine, beer and food, got fit, saw nice scenery and had a spiritual experience.  Malta was good, as was the Middle East but Israel was exceptional.  India, not so much.  I expected more of a spiritual time in Varanasi and Rishikesh but it’s hard when people are constantly annoying you, every day there’s  a struggle or two and English isn’t always spoken.  My yoga school was a disappointment, not just because of my hernia but because of the food and some of the teachers except my two yoga instructors were exceptional.  Perhaps I didn’t exactly understand what I was getting myself into.  

I missed my grandchildren, my family and friends, the end of golf season, subbing and the life I became accustomed to the past year.  Maybe that is the root of the problem - did I get lazy and too complacent taking that second year “off”?  Or, have I done and seen enough?  Would I enjoy it more if I traveled with someone?  Was I lonely? One thing I know for sure is my long term tenting days are over - I’ve become too soft for that but I’ll be traveling even lighter than before using my camino backpack which will avoid checked baggage fees and wait times plus make getting around even easier.

I’m not sure what the answers are to my questions but as my last long trip comes to an end, I know I’ve been lucky and I have so much to be thankful for.  I’ve seen a lot, learned even more, had loads of fun, met many awesome people from all corners of the world and created good, good memories.  What more can a person ask for?

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