Tag Archives: friendships

On coming home…

In one word: weird.

There’s a rush of everything and everyone you’ve missed being so exciting, and the urge to do everything you used to do, and the hype of getting a job and a place….then a week or two passes…then all of the sudden it becomes more apparent than ever that perhaps you have actually changed…and perhaps more frightening, the notion that it might just be more comfortable to be new in a new place than new in an old one. I’d rather not know where to go in Hanoi than in the city I was born and raised in….and I surely do not want to be surrounded by 1995’s NINETY FIVES at the bar that are like so totally jacked about toonie Tuesdays and want to tell me about how they just got accepted to trades school and don’t know that Africa is a continent not a country.

I have pretty much kept Starbucks in business the last couple weeks, all the while well having already done 2 jobs, bought a new iPhone in cash, and already taken a week long trip back to Edmonton (where I went to uni). …in 3 weeks. I have been in Canada for 3 weeks. This year so far, I have spent more time in 10 of the countries I visited.

It’s a bit weird though, having the most clean slate I’m bound to have for the rest of my life. I have every choice I could want, but I want everything but to make the decision. I legitimately could go to grad school or work anywhere in the world and in an entry level position in virtually any career path. I have landed softly at home with my parents where my belongings are still in the boxes I moved them home in a year ago. I have enough in the bank to sit back and make ‘the right choice’ …

Additionally everyone thinks my opinion should either be so happy to be home and back to routine or so depressed and wishing I was still travelling. I don’t actually know where I stand. I think I’m in a complacent state of wondering. Probably a state most young people have encountered, but as I’ve blazed through the last 5 years without a spare minute or looking back, this might have been my first take at it.

Anyway….’on coming home’…it’s weird. I advise any traveller to prepare for it before you leave. I hid money around my room, bought fresh lululemon pants, and left myself coffee gift cards. Everything I would have gulped at after a long trip was there for me, and I had a solid 1500 budgeted for ‘homecoming’ just so I could be a little choosier with jobs and have fun with the people I missed as opposed to mooching (we’ll save that for the bday next month). I set myself up for it well, but I will tell you that any choices you thought you’d have to make will have exponential amounts of possibility based on things you’ve learned while travelling…and opinions you thought you had will be tested real quick. I guess in a weird way I feel like I don’t know myself because I know in theory that pre-travels Anika would have blown through 20 job applications by now, and had it ‘all figured out’….I’m not saying that I’d have it any other way, but I’ve definitely been forced into much harder choices much quicker than I anticipated.

The good news. I have great people in my life. Ones that stayed in touch and ones that didn’t really….but I gained the strength while travelling to take a stand for what friendships I value. Everyone I’ve wanted to be there has been, everyone I’ve needed has exceeded their ‘friend obligations’, and even some unexpected gems have risen to the challenge of making me feel happy to be back, and welcomed back.

I wasn’t forgotten. And as many annoying or daunting tasks that I have in front of me, that matters…a lot.

The People Make the Place

On the note of the holidays, being away, and leaving Australia, I thought I’d talk a bit about the sweet ass people I’ve met…and meeting people on travels in general.

It is interesting to think that people I’ve known for less than 3 months have become as familiar to call as my friends from home I’ve known for years. More so interesting about the East coast is that it’s like a massive college residence…The same group of people heads to the same places at the same pace…everybody knows everybody’s business, has people they like, others they don’t and there’s even a bit of a popularity hierarchy. That being said, all of us ended up in Sydney for the holidays, and dramas aside we were family for xmas and new year 2012/13. That based on the fact that in this new country we are all in together, our 3 month long ‘relationships’ were the best ones we have, and those people were the only ones we wanted to be with. Oddly enough I didn’t actually miss home because holidays were so social…it wasn’t until the week after the New Year when everyone started to move on that I realized the family that we’ve all built in Oz.

I found it weird that it seemed like I’ve known everyone for ages…but I’ve known most of them for the entire time I’ve been in Oz…Australia is what it is because of the people, and them leaving makes it different, and me leaving Oz is leaving them. Every experience I’ve had in Oz (well most…due to knowledge that my parents and their friends read the blog) have been documented here in detail, have been photographed and whatsapped to friends back home, and updated in statuses on facebook…but ultimately these people are the ones that were actually there, that know what each party was like, how soaked we were on the whitsundays, and how awesome our flat was in Bondi. Knowing that realistically I may never see 90 % of these people again is leaving me with a bit of a bittersweet feeling as I continue my adventures.

As I keep quoting Eat, Pray, Love…Liz mentions ‘accept everyone you meet as a teacher’. When I consider that combined with the cliche that everything happens for a reason, it is quite interesting to look at the turn of events that has led me to the relationships I have with my Oz family. Some of whom I spent a couple days with, others months.

Basically, if I hadn’t flown to Cairns on Halloween I wouldn’t have met half the people I did…because I was the foreign girl who faceplanted in bite the box… Specifically I wouldn’t have met Elliot who fed me goon like water, which got me out and partying where I met Shannon and Simon. The next day I lent make up remover to Simon in the common area where I met Stacy and Jasmin. Because the Irish girls continued travelling, Simon and I used the bar tab at PJ OBriens, became good mates and started travelling the coast. If I hadn’t become friends with Titia I wouldn’t have gone out irresponsibly before my 7am bus leaving Cairns, but because I did I met Tim, Dave, and Fraser who I saw in Airlie, Byron, and shared a flat with in Bondi! If I hadn’t wanted to see my friend Brennan in Townsville we wouldn’t have gone to Magnetic Island…which means Simon wouldn’t have rode horses in to the sea…yeah,… no big gain, but I did see Brennan!…In Airlie we met Kristy and Nicki who spent the holidays with us in Sydney as well, and we met Izzy, Gemma, and the Twins who I’ve seen again at Wake Up in Sydney…because we were predrinking with the 3 boys..Off to fraser island where I realized the kind of traveller I don’t want to be…(we’ll leave it at that)…and also how to ‘give feedback’ to foreigners…I also met Danielle and Emma who I got to know better in Byron bay. Then off to Noosa where I met up with Josh from home and was re-inspired to continue my travels beyond Oz and met Anna who turned out to be one of my biggest teachers on this trip, and only because Jasmin was working at the hostel so I felt peer pressured to go out. If it weren’t for Jas I wouldn’t have met German, who was a gem and got me to go out with Emma, Lyam and ‘big dave’…Then to Brisbane then Surfers (nothing much happened there…just accepting that I was once as immature as schoolies, and that it’s ok to let people learn for themselves and not be an uptight bitch) then to Coolangatta…where nobody goes, but where I met Rachel, Ellie, and Lucie who have become some of my best friends in Oz (staying with them in Sydney right now!), I also wouldn’t have hurt my knee which is what made me sit down and actually reflect in Byron Bay where I spent the first week with Anna going to crazy parties, and watching sunsets with Danny reflecting on life and my ‘crazy’. Then to Spot x where I met girls and germans that I liked, and might have actually mellowed out for the first time, but also realized how much of a pity party I throw for myself when I watched Steph not complain once about her injured ankle. And if I had never gotten together with Eva in Sydney I would have never thought to apply at lululemon again where I ended up spending most of my holiday working, meeting sweet people, and getting my aussie accent! Ultimately that’s a super abbreviated version and vague in spots…but it’s fun to look back at the sequence of events, and the points where saying ‘sure why not’ or ‘fine i’ll go’ end up being the sweetest nights or leading you to the sweetest people. It makes it hard to argue against the saying ‘everything happens for a reason’…or at least we make a reason out of it. If I hadn’t gone out in Cairns I wouldn’t have met my roommates for the holidays, which would have made my Oz experience completely different.

Basically I couldn’t imagine any place I’ve been without all the people I met while there. Any place in the world is ‘what you make of it’ but based on the law of attraction, you chose the people you surround yourself with and that come in to your life. So be totally jacked on life, happy to be where you are, and ready to have a good time…because surely you don’t want to be forced into a situation where that isn’t who you’re with and your opinion of something or somewhere is anything less than amazing. Everything you do costs money and time. To not absolutely maximize it to the best of your ability is probably the dumbest thing you could do. The more I travel the more I realize that everything is a choice…everything. As much as making the wrong one can teach you, nobody intentionally makes a wrong decision to learn from it…they chose what they think is best at any given moment then learn later. You don’t know the outcome EVER, which is why I say to chose ‘yes’ over no…because as much as you don’t know if it’s the wrong choice, you also have no idea the exponentially crazy awesome potential of it being the right choice. But because you thought it was the best choice at the moment, regret is useless. Useless. Almost as useless as me inventing what other people are thinking about me and trying to act based on assumptions (Assume = ass out of u and me.

Anyway, to all the lovely friends, old and new that have made Oz what it’s been so far, Cheers (because you’re mostly English)! It’s been a slice, and I wouldn’t change a thing if I did it all over again.

And to think, I have a week of seeing old friends in Melbourne ahead of me still…lucky lady I am. Travelling…try it sometime…