The last time I was in Canada was the day I left the country on September 9 2014. I has a whirlwind of emotions that day and it was pretty surreal to think that I’d be going back and wouldn’t be hassled by immigration officers. As soon as my visa was sorted and I was able to save a bit of money, I booked a flight back to Alberta. I didn’t have much time there but between Edmonton and Calgary I was going to spend just under three weeks catching up with people.
I tried my best to keep in touch with people since I’ve been in Australia and having between 16-18 hour time difference made things a bit challenging. But as the old saying goes.. you make time for things (or people) that are important to you. One of the realizations I had to accept is that some people who I thought would stand the test of distance, didn’t. And that’s ok! I’m learning the difference between seasonal and lifelong friends. I think with social media it’s easier to remain ‘friends’ by being connected, liking a post every now and then, when it the past friendships just naturally ended. Friends that I met shortly before I left for Australia have remained the closest and those I’ve known for years are slowly drifting.Although it had almost been two years since I left, and a lot had changed with my friends, I didn’t feel that out of the loop. I knew there were new babies to meet, new husbands and partners but meeting everyone would be more of a formality because we’d kept in contact.
I didn’t have any expectations going home. I just wanted to catch up with people, eat timbits and drive on the right side of the road. But I was praying for God to make it clear that Australia was the right move. I knew deep down it was but I was unsure whether going back home would shift something inside of me.
First stop, Calgary. Ahhh! I know I only spend four-ish years there but that’s where I really started seeking God and being there prepared me to leave for Australia. I was so thankful that I had access to a car from my dear friend Teneshia so I was able to get around and see everyone I wanted from old co-workers, my old church family and I even completed my first Escape Room (so much fun by the way!).
I think the highlight of the entire trip was hanging out with my friends Jen and Nii and their little family. These two are incredible. I can’t really put into words what they mean to me.
So I remember praying about how I was going to get around before I left Australia because the cost of renting a car was out of the question. God is so good to provide! For real! So I was able to drive Teneshia’s car everyday that I was in Calgary. However, Edmonton would be more tricky. It’s about a three hour drive so I was going to either rent a car and drive up there or take the bus and then figure out some way to get around (either by bus or… by bus. Edmonton doesn’t have a lot of options). That wasn’t feasible but I was just trusting that God would figure something out for me. I really needed the flexibility to drive around and not be trapped anywhere.
Three days before I had to leave for Edmonton I booked in a car rental because it was going to be cheaper than taking the bus. I still felt uneasy about the booking (probably because I was supposed to wait on God) but fear stepped in and I just wanted to make sure I had a way to get to Edmonton. Well! I had a sleepover planned with another dear friend named Katie and we got to talking about my Edmonton trip. It just so happened that she was leaving for a work trip and since she also has a motorbike (because she’s that awesome) she said I could take her car to Edmonton for the 10 days and she would ride her bike the days that she was still in Calgary. I was blown away by her generosity and it helped me more than she probably knows.
A few days later I packed up and headed north to my hometown. Edmonton was a bit of a whirlwind and what’s a trip home without some family drama? I won’t get into it here but Edmonton wasn’t the most pleasant part of my trip.But you always have to find the silver lining! Here’s just a snapshot of my adventures!
And of course I spent some time with Wendy, her husband Mario and their two girls. 🙂 They were so kind to host me in their home. I love these four to bits!
I wish I could write about things I did but I really didn’t do much. All I wanted to do was see friends and family and that was usually over dinner, coffee or sitting on their couch at home. I’ve realised the older I get the more I crave intimate conversations and strive to deepen my friendships. I saw so many people and I don’t even have pictures for it all! I was so caught up with hangout with people that we forgot to take photos. Oh well, we have the memories 🙂 .
So after all of that, do I think I made the right decision to move to Australia? Without a doubt. After my time home (which was more good than bad) I just didn’t think I fit anymore. Again, I’m open to wherever God wants me to be but for right now Australia is stuck with me. 🙂