Welcome Winter

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Last Time Without a Jacket... For a While

We are heading home. The trip is over. Winter is starting… for us. Am I sad to leave? Always. A little bit. But to be honest, I don’t mind it that much. We’ve been everywhere we wanted to and a couple of weeks more wouldn’t change anything—we would probably spend it bumming around somewhere.

Some parts of the trip were pretty rough, especially in Honduras. I’m a backpacker, I can take it. But I wouldn’t mind showering in my own shower, which I know for a fact has hot water and proper water pressure. Our kitchen doesn’t come with cockroaches and I’m looking forward to cooking again, to making a meal to my taste. To sleeping in my bed, with clean sheet and comfy pillow.

Coming home last year was psychologically harder because we were geographically far. This time, we are flying out of Cancún and the flight will be short—four or five hour-long, at most. We won’t even be jetlagged.

We’ve been gone for seven weeks and it has been a good trip. As much as I like Mexico and Central America, I like this part of the world as a tourist and I can’t see myself settling anywhere there.

I still love the freedom of traveling. I like exploring places, seeing the world. But I like having a home to go back to as well.

For the first few years, when Feng and I were traveling, we were shouting a big “fuck you” to the world. We had little money saved and it was gone to the last cent by the end of the trip. We didn’t care about going home because we didn’t have one. Life at home didn’t matter. We came back because we were broke or about to be and because we had to work and save money to travel again. We thought in terms of weeks, months left before going traveling. We lived out of our respective backpacks. Our friends were people we met one night and had a quick drink with before parting ways in the morning.

Unfortunately, this kind of life gets old after a while. Early 2004, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was tired to go back to France at the end of each trip and I was tired of traveling, of sleeping in hotel rooms.

We ended up in Ottawa. I ended up being an immigrant. And then, five years later, I ended up being a Canadian. Life changes. We still travel. Maybe we aren’t as crazy. Maybe we are more reasonable now. We actually know we won’t spend years on the road—I’m not sure we would like it anyway.

I’m pretty sure I’ll cry at some point—when I’ll get my exit stamp, when we will board the plane, when I will wake up and realize this is it.

I always do.

But life goes on, and there is a life to live at home, in Canada, the country I choose to belong to. There are projects I want to work on, people I want to see.

Thank you for following us on the road and for all of your comments. There are still stories to be told, here or elsewhere. I’ll be back in a few days as a (tan) Canadian!


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. What a trip Zhu and I don’t think I can be as adventuruous as you and Feng. Oh well, maybe I could be a backpacker for a week, er…maybe two but indeed I admired both your guys to just pack and see the world 🙂

    Have a safe trip home my friend.

  2. Beyond our photos,good times(and bad) and the rest,we are never the same coming in as going out.

    Hoping that you both are wiser and a happier persons for your experiences.

  3. Hey Zhu!

    Welcome back, girl!

    I enjoyed reading about your reflections about how life evolves and how we grow up to change. Those changes are what make life more exciting, right?

    I agree with you: travelling is great but it is always nice to have a home to come back to.

    So, welcome home, my Canadian tanned friend ;)!


  4. Ca a été génial de te lire pour la première fois en direct sur la route, mais je suis aussi heureuse de relire bientôt tes aventures ottawanouninounaises (je n’ai jamais su comment appeler les habitants de la capitale) ! Faites un bon voyage !

  5. Jealous that you can take off 7 wks in a single year and come back with a great tan and so many blog memories to go with it! 🙂 Lovely pics you have taken to share the memories.

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