Monday, January 6, 2014

A Short Vacation

Vancouver, Canada. As the first semester with Class Afloat wrapped up us students prepared to head home and spend the holiday breaks with our families, but it wasn't as calm and relaxed as one might think. When my flight landed in Vancouver I could feel my heart beating its way out and the pulse in my hand became unimaginably uncontrollable jumping a mile a minute. A smile stretched across my face from ear-to-ear and it was like ants had managed to find my pants. I couldn't quite believe that, down the hall from where I currently sat, my parents and sister were waiting in anticipation to see me again. "Has she changed at all since we left her five months ago?" Will I recognize my own daughter?" What will she think of us?" "Did she pack warm enough clothes?" These were all questions that raced through the minds of each of my family members. Truth be told, I had changed. It was a culture shock to be back in a country that I had grown up in but at first glance was unrecognizable to me now. The consumerism that reflected like a joker wishing to taunt me brought tears to my eyes. The big name brands were overwhelming and to be frank I couldn't stand being alone in a crowd of hundreds. 

For someone who many had said developed emotionally and physically into a more mature being, I sure felt childish. Quickly, however, life returned to how it was when I left. Some things stuck with me such as my continuous frustration with the consumerist society, and my ability to at times play "the devils advocate" as well as the motivation to take pride in everything I do, but others changed. Within a day my bedroom floor went from bare to "it looks like a bomb hit", said Mom. Soon, Class Afloat became a dream. As if none of it had happened and I had imagined every morsel of my trip.

Although, no person I reconnected with was going to allow me to forget the trip of a life time. It was wonderful to be able to share my journey with what seemed like the world. Each story I told had it's own twist on things that was different from the last story I told and each word that ran through my mind before I spoke aloud brought with it a beam of sunshine. I loved being able to share and at times I even loved being in the lime light. 

It was lovely to see friends and family again, except, I couldn't help but miss my floatie family. Despite being back in the house that I left 150 days ago, it wasn't exactly home. To me, home is the Sorlandet, at least for the next few months. The Sorlandet is where I now live and I know it's not permanent, but being back in Vancouver has made me appreciate it even more than I did when I left. It is sad to say good bye once more, but I know I'll be back soon and I know that while I'm typing this, there is a plane preparing to take off and I will be on that plane returning home again. Thank you to everyone that made my stay in Vancouver a hectic, lovable and enjoyable one. I cannot describe in words alone how much I appreciate everyone and everything that creates a life worth living, tenfold. Thank you! I will return soon! Then, Vancouver will be my home once more!

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