I’ve written this before, but the hardest thing about a life of travel is the frequent farewells you have to bid to people and places. Today I said goodbye to my friend and fellow traveller Jade, and to Canada. With my visit to Canada falling in the grey area between the best of autumn and the first snow fall, I realise I didn’t see Montreal at its best, but I liked it nonetheless.
The US border isn’t far from Montreal so I got a ticket for a Greyhound bus heading south. I don’t really like buses all that much, but I like travelling overland. Yes it’s quicker to fly, but if you’re not constrained by time then surely the point of travel is to experience the travelling. So I boarded the bus, sat back and watched the miles go by my window as I listened to music on my iPod (‘Takk…’ by Sigur Rós).
Those moments often feel like part of a movie I’m watching, like a slow transition from one scene to the next. They give me a moment to pause, time to adjust, and to put the farewells in their place. Pretty soon everything starts over again, the greetings, and the inevitable questions that follow them. Questions that are so often the same. That’s something you get used to when you travel; the fact that you spend a lot of time having more-or-less the same conversation over and over. “Where have you been?” “Where is your favorite place?” “What’s the best thing you’ve done?”
I don’t mind of course, I like to tell my stories, but I’m happy to be in this part of the world where the people I’m visiting are old friends who know me well. That familiarity allows me the opportunity to relax just a little more than I might around new people. So if home is where the heart is, then for me there’s a little bit of home here, and after visiting 17 countries so far this year, a little bit of home feels good.