Monday, April 26, 2010

Enjoy Where You Are

I drove from Houston to Baton Rouge on Friday, just me and crazy dog Sadie, and I had a lot of time to think. Staring out the window at 70mph at nothing but fields and fields of fields, on a road I've driven many times before. Needless to say, the mind did wander. This is part of my wanderings.

Point of view.
When you travel to different cities or countries you notice all the differences from where you live. The cultural differences, the environmental differences, and just subtle life differences. When you are traveling or visiting a place they are just curiosities. Things you observe. The money might be different, the food is different, the way people dress is different. It is nice to be able to see these things and experience them. Then you go back home and maybe for a day you realize that where you live has it's own idiosyncrasies and home may look different to you for day or two but then things are normal again.

When you live in another city or country you "live" the differences. Initially those one dollar coins and two dollar coins cause you to think a little more when paying for things or getting change. Those kilometers make you convert to miles to know how far it is to where you are going. The fact that the temperature is in Celsius degrees causes you to never know what the "real" temperature is. Then gradually you start to understand these things and live them day to day along with everything else that defines where you are living.

The topography and foliage that looked so different when you first arrived now looks completely normal to you and looks like "home". Gradually you get used to seeing the sights and the people around you and it is your life. You automatically go for the loonie or the toonie when paying in cash. You know what the temperature is and how far things are when you read Celsius and kilometers. Just by the living day to day you adopt the pace around you, whether is is faster or slower than where you lived before. Where you live becomes home after a while and your former home becomes a place you visit.

Moving back "home" has been interesting. I see things with slightly different eyes this time. While everything is so familiar, which is comforting, it is also a bit foreign. It is like getting to see through the eyes of a visitor. It will all be normal soon enough, but for the last 2 weeks I've been able to appreciate what Houston and Sugar Land look like and feel like to a visitor. Everything is so big and on such a grand scale here. I feel like I need to learn how to dress again. The style is much flashier and colorful here than in Toronto. The pace is much faster, or it just seems everyone is so busy here. And the dollars are paper not coins!Scenery that was common place before now looks new and interesting to me. I have not just come back from a vacation, I have come back from another life. I don't have that day or two of re-acclimation that you get after a vacation, I have that "it's all new" viewpoint. I get to see the place I lived before in an new light, one that is familiar yet foreign. I hope I can see things through these eyes for a long time because it is nice to not take the beauty and vastness for granted.

Every place has it's beauties, it would be nice if we could all appreciate the beauty each place has to offer without taking it for granted like we do when we live somewhere and see it everyday. Enjoy where you are!

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