I'd rather be burlesquing.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Happy Anniversary

One year ago today, I left Canadia behind and boarded a London-bound plane.

Happy anniversary to me.

Funny, that on my one-year anniversary I should find myself back where I started. Or perhaps, in some way it's completely perfect.

I think there is a common misconception about travel. Some of us dream of far-off places, and of how these distant lands will enrich us - body mind and spirit. We forget that sometimes, things really do look better from far away. That sounds depressing, but the truth is, travel won't change who you are. It only changes your perspective. Spins you around a bit, turns your world upside down, but at some point, you always end up where you started.

And that's the beauty of it.

When I headed off to London in search of beer and Belle & Sebastien concerts, I had a plan in mind. I was going to leave my life behind, start anew, and finally take advantage of whatever the world had waiting for me. In retrospect, my plan did not include the 6 months it took me to get a bank account. It did not include the month spent worrying about whether or not I would find a job. It did not include the harsh reality that wherever you go, it's not the weather, but rather yourself, that you take with you.

I have met many people that hate London. Despise it. People who can talk nothing but of how great they had it back home. These people move on, and never really see the beauty in it all. I admit, she is a tempermental beast, and sometimes you do stand screaming in the middle of traffic because it was just so easy to get a decent coffee back home. But to these people, honestly, I really don't have much to say.

London has given me many gifts, but none of them were anticipated. I have been granted the opportunity to work with one of the world's most respected art collections, I have had the opportunity to stregthen a 22-year old friendship, and I have had the opportunity to meet someone who is incredibly dear & important to me. I have learned the beauty of small gifts. Of having people to count on when you do stupid things like cancel your bank acccount. Because, guess what? Just as you suspected, you're a bit of a freak.

Travel is as much about getting to know the world as it is about getting to know where you fit into it. Sometimes, we just aren't cut out for a jet-setting lifestyle that takes us to the edge of every ocean, tasting the salt in the air along the way. I have come to appreciate the simplicity of my life here in Canada. The fact that we have so much space. So much blue sky. The fact that Canadians truly are just so damn nice. We have a beautiful secret out here. Have you ever danced with the Northern Lights?

I am always charmed in the least likely places.

I head back to London on Thursday morning, and I do look forward to going back. I wouldn't take back the opportunities that lie ahead for any price. London may not be home; I may not dream of settling down and raising a family there (do I dream of that at all?), but being there has changed the way I see here.

And that makes it all so very worthwhile.