I have always said that travelling is an extension of my education. Seeing how people live their lives in different cities, getting around their neighbourhoods, where they live, the food they eat, the taste of the tap water -- I love having these experiences when I visit a different place. I've been lucky enough to get to travel for work, and more recently to do some major travel for fun.

I've generally been a grass is always greener person. For me, that emerald green, perfectly manicured lawn has been next door or across the street. After university I did a bit of travel, mostly in and around North America. I also was lucky enough to visit the Philippines, twice, but I still envied those that had that big European "find yourself" trip after university. I chose to work right away, but wished that I could continue my education backpacking in my idea of "the world", the one that I read in my art history text books. I told myself that it would have to wait until later, though looking back, I'm not sure exactly why.

So thirty-five hit, and the realization that I could have already lived half a life. I made it a priority, and visited Paris, Prague, and this past year more of the UK and Spain, making my way to Barcelona and San Sebastian, secretly hoping that I'd find my own Rafael Nadal and that I would never come back. It's been a combination of the best experiences, and not so good ones, of highs and lows, of enlightening and special moments -- things that I dreamed about even though I didn't know what they were.

Part of the reason Europe called me was because I felt as if there was something missing in my life in Vancouver. That travelling there would reveal some truth, something that I could not and was not finding here in Vancouver. That the grass would be in fact greener and there would be that perfectly manicured lawn with my name on it and a white picket fence to go along with it. But what I did learn is that Vancouver is my home. It is my home base, where I am surrounded by my family and friends. It is where I can continue to imagine and dream, and realize my potential. It is where I can grow and be pushed, just as long as I have the drive to reach those new heights. It is where I can find love for myself, and the romantic love that will one day soon be on my door step. It is where I can dance, love my art, and soar.

I do feel bullish about 2010, and I hope that you do too -- thank you for reading. I've realized that my past doesn't have to be my future. If I'm looking next door, I'm simply not living my life. My happy ending, with chapters still to be written, is both here and waiting to be uncovered.
Posted by double R at 8:03 AM | read on

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada