The End of a Chapter: Last Thoughts

Where do I even begin in this post? So much has happened since the last entry. For those of you who are unaware…Im currently back home in beautiful Vancouver, BC. Surprise! Let’s rewind a bit before I get there…

My time spent in Bali was amazing. I saw most of the island and many of the temples and sights in the first couple of days, while I was mopeding around. The rest of my time in Bali consisted of moving to Seminyak, meeting up with some friends and enjoying that beach life and the local cuisine. Even with more time spent in Australia, the majority of my drinking was done in Bali. I’ll admit, I’ve gotten real acquainted with Bintangs- the local beer. It really isn’t the most delicious, but for 20-30,000 Rp ($2-3), I couldn’t complain. I’ll also admit that I finally had my crazy, crazy one night in Kuta.The decision was also made to head back to Canada, instead of proceeding with my ticket to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

There were many things that factored into this decision. Prior to heading to Australia, I had no idea what I was looking for in my travels…through travelling Australia, I realized what I wasn’t looking for. SE Asia had everything I eventually realized I was looking for, in one form or another– culture, beaches, sights and cheap, yet delicious food and alcohol.

What it didn’t have were people I knew, connected well with and were close to. I realized in Bali that I didn’t want to explore SE Asia alone…not because I was afraid of travelling alone, but rather, I wanted to be able to share my experiences with someone I was close to, someone I love. Seeing the Angkor Wat at sunrise would be amazing, but who would I be sharing it with? Journaling only does so much, it’s great to try and recapture the moment with your words. However, journaling at times can leave you feeling empty. You’ll never see the look of awe in a journal, it can’t tell you how being in the moment made them feel…only being with someone can provide that. I had spoken to my brother, who had expressed interest in travelling both Hong Kong and South East Asia next spring. Perfect. That provided the ammo I needed in slowly realizing I wasn’t headed to Asia.

The next couple of factors that played a role into why I decided to return to Canada was described perfectly by L, so perfectly that I realized after reading it that those were precisely some of the reasons why I came home. As she stated….”[I’ve] been facing lots of mental and emotional challenges [while] traveling and that this is (likely) the main reason why [Im] returning home so quickly.” L also guessed that traveling alone in a foreign place plus homesickness was a huge factor.

Quite on point.

The next realization I came to whilst travelling solo was that Im not a long term traveller. I’ve met many people who have been gone for a year, sometimes two. I once met someone in Byron Bay who had been away for seven years. I’ve always wanted to be that nomadic, adventurous traveller, but alas..I discovered that that just wasn’t me. I believe that I can do four or five months..provided I know that I am coming home after that. With the way I was travelling, I had an open ticket– that is, I didn’t actually know when I was coming home. The initial decision of one year was extended to possibly two years, which then changed to possibly after SE Asia. Even then, I didn’t fully know if I was coming home or heading back to Melbourne for work. As contradictory as this may sound, I also believe that I AM capable of travelling long term…provided I know that I’ll be doing some travelling with people I know for a couple of months. There’s a huge difference in going completely solo long term and in knowing that although you’re travelling for a while, you’ll meet up with people you know.

While in Bali, I was informed by my mom that my grandma had been admitted to the hospital. That was the crux for me. In the hostel room I was in, I broke down and realized that I couldn’t continue travelling. With all the realizations mentioned above and with the knowledge that my grandma’s health was declining, I made the decision to return home.

I booked a ticket for Denpasar to Vancouver the day after I spoke to my family. Unfortunately, it was an extremely long trip- 39 hours in total with a 20 layover in Hong Kong. The great thing about the layover, was that it was long enough for me to leave the Hong Kong International Airport, and to see family and a bit of HK. I finally met my cousin’s kid over dim sum, no less, and explored the HK from the little memory I have of it when I was eight. Hong Kong was amazing, and it refueled my need to travel back with my brother; and to try and relearn much of the language that I’ve forgotten to speak. It was the perfect way to end my whirlwind romance with travelling.

11 hours later and I was finally home. I remember sitting on the plane as it was taxiing into the terminal and being in awe…at the fact that I was truly back in Vancouver. It all felt like a dream. Didn’t I JUST leave for Australia? How has it already been a couple of months?! Time moves fast.

The plan now? Enjoy the Vancouver summer, climb climb climb in Squamish and get a job. That travel fund has to replenish itself somehow…and eventually take off for another adventure. Depending on my budget, I would love to go to Spain and Greece in the foreseeable future..all before SE Asia with my brother. It remains to be seen.

This adventure is most definitely not the end, rather..it is only the beginning. Being away has only reaffirmed my belief that I love travelling. Although short, I’ve learned and experienced so much more in Bali and Hong Kong, than I ever did or ever could in Australia. Both those places have shown me that I love being able to experience new cultures, new ways of life and new experiences. Some call it the travel bug..call it what you will. All I know is that I’ve merely opened Pandora’s Box and the number of destinations that I want to travel to are endless. Travelling will always be a part of my life, I’ll always find a way to do it. Whether it be a smaller trip within North America, or a larger one internationally, I’ll find a way to go.

For now, I reacquaint myself with life in Vancouver and with enjoying the beauty of a West Coast summer.

Thank you for keeping up with my travels.

Until the next adventure, this is The Lone Traveller signing off 🙂

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Doing my part in releasing baby turtles in Kuta, Bali.

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Happy Hour on Kuta Beach. Bintang’s all around.

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That crazy, crazy Kuta night. Partying here WILL mess you up. That’s a promise.

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Seminyak Beach in Bali. Beach bars for the win 😀

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The Bali crew. Large Bintang’s to celebrate Canada Day….I forgot to mention, we celebrated Canada Day not once, but twice. Balinese time and Vancouver time, it was necessary.

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Gateway to a traditional Balinese massage. For 80,000 Rp ($8.50) I had a nice ritzy stay for an hour.

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Lanterns lighting the way, adjacent to Seminyak Beach.

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Hong Kong’s Nathan Road.

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Located at Nong Ping. I was grateful enough to have Auntie J take me on the MTR and up here.

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And this somehow got mixed up in order with the HK photos. Departing from Bali, Indonesia.

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This was also mixed up somehow….arrival at YVR, post HK.

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39 hours later and I was finally home. Taken at  Nguh Rai International Airport.

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Hong Kong.

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Nong Ping, a Buddhist monastery located close to the life sized Buddha.

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Hong Kong. Close to Tsim Sha Tsui.

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2 thoughts on “The End of a Chapter: Last Thoughts

  1. Dee says:

    Thanks for the glimpse into your adventures with the beautiful pics and insightful writing. Learning about and keeping true to yourself–sounds like successful travels! You & your grandma are in my good thoughts.

    1. celina says:

      Thank you Dee! Happy to hear that you’ve been keeping up with all of my adventures. It may have been a lot shorter than I expected, but it was definitely extremely successful. Lots was learned and experienced- all things I wanted out of my travels. I look forward to the next adventure, but for now…I’ll be in town for a bit. I’ll hopefully see you around.

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