Of course, with all this Italy talk over the past few weeks as her departure date grew near, I couldn’t help but think about the purpose of travel: Why do we leave home?
As you may recall, Daniela and I went to Cuba earlier this year. It was a lot of fun relaxing and spending quality time with Dee, but the best was yet to come. I had the month of February booked off (MIRACULOUSLY. Seriously, who gets to go away for that long and still keep their job??) to travel with my family in South East Asia and Hong Kong.
This trip was significant to me because my parents are originally from Hong Kong and I’ve always wanted to visit. I still have family there and other family members were also visiting from Canada at the same time so I was prepped for some epic family fun.
My parents and I spent a couple of weeks cruising through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam where we visited amazing temples and local sites, ate delicious food, and lounged on sandy beaches. Hong Kong was really something else though. Maybe it’s because I’m a city person and I love the hustle and bustle of an urban environment. Maybe it’s because I’d just spent two weeks sharing a room with my parents and I consider it a huge accomplishment that we resided in such close quarters without any of us being thrown overboard. But arriving in Hong Kong, there was a feeling of comfort and familiarity despite never having been there before. It was definitely the highlight of my trip and my time there flew by.
Of course, people travel to see historical sites and to learn about other cultures and people. But I think travel is as much about gaining a deeper self-awareness as it is about developing an awareness of the vast world around you. For me, going to Hong Kong was an amazing opportunity to learn a bit about my own history and where my family is from. Although it’s changed a lot since my parents first left, it was interesting for me to see them reminisce and to imagine how Hong Kong shaped them as people, and how my Chinese heritage has shaped me.
I hope that Dee’s trip to Italy is as enriching as my visit to Hong Kong was. But as much l loved exploring Hong Kong and definitely will go back in the future, I’m pretty sure Canada will always be home. As John Ed Pearce puts it:
“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.”
Dee, hope you are having amazing travels in Italy, and can’t wait to welcome you home!