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Home, Sweet Home

Chantal Ratnam

Posted on April 17 2018

Aaaaaand I'm back! I initially started this blog post last Wednesday.  After laying on a beach in Goa for several days in a row I lost track of all space and time and suddenly it was Wednesday, blog post day, and also our travel day as we started our journey back to New Delhi.  No big deal, I thought.  With a nine hour difference in my favour I could quickly pull the post together. Unfortunately for me, the winding roads of Goa paired with a driver in a hurry meant motion sickness in under ten minutes.  

That day, at 5AM Goa time, I found myself pretty homesick and in a rather reflective mood.  Being so far away from home and from my fam really made me marvel at the strength and courage it took for my ancestors to leave India to travel half way around the world to Guyana and it was the same strength and courage that brought my parents from Guyana to Canada.  Could I do it? Part of me says that if I had to, I could, but I also know that my heart would be crushed to be so far away from my family on a permanent basis.  And that’s in an age where FaceTime, Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook are real things.

Before I came here many of my elders told me that India would change me and it has in many ways.  It's also opened my eyes to ways that I've changed in a pretty short span of time.  This was only the second big trip I've taken in my life.  I took the first in 2016 about three months after I had finally caved and started talking to my doctor about depression.  Suddenly I found myself 14,000 kilometres away from home with absolutely no skills to deal with the homesickness and the extreme loneliness I felt even though I was travelling with four of my closest friends.  Fast forward two years, four or five therapists/counsellors and at least a few hundred hours of yoga and I was going into this new trip with confidence.  I knew it was going to be a better experience because, for the most part, I've kicked depression in the butt.  

I once posted this quotation on Instagram that said, "The path isn't a straight line; it's a spiral.  You continually come back to the things you thought you understood and see deeper truths."  According to a Google search, Barry H. Gillespie said it.  I don't know to much about him but it resonated so I posted it.  It's one of those little gems of wisdom that I marvel at every time I find myself at the exact same point in history unexpectedly.  This trip wasn't different.  It was the same trip in a different location except that I now have tools to cope with things that would have previously had me curled in foetal position for many hours. I don't really think there's a way of describing the little bursts of joy that I felt every time I recognized that something that I would previously have reacted too had very little effect at all.  It's a strange sensation, to feel sad but be happy that I can keep a clear head and to feel lonely but still find a type of peace.  I'm not going to lie and tell you that I was master of my emotions 100% of the time.  It turns out that I'm one of those people who may always spend some time on the outside looking in, no matter who I'm with.  That wore pretty thin by the time we got back to Delhi, and for ten seconds in my hotel bathroom I gave in to it... and then I brushed it off and went shopping.

So all of this might beg the question, "Is travelling really worth it?" The answer is 1000 times, YES.  I love travelling and I look back on both of my trips with wonder and amazement.  I feel more connected to the world the more I see of it.  When I say the world, I mean the people, the places, the history and the future of it.  Because of this connection I feel that travelling has taught me more about empathy and I firmly believe that empathy is the cornerstone of our humanity. Radical empathy is the goal and the more I travel and the more I learn the closer I get to achieving it. This being the case, the next question should be, "Where to next?"  I don't know but I do know there will be a blog post about it.

That's all for me for this week!  I've finally hit the colourwork section of my Columbina shawl and I love it.  Here's a progress pic as a teaser.  I'm hoping I'll be able to tell you all about her sometime soon so make sure you come back.  Until we speak again, PEACE to you and your fam and happy knitting!

2 comments

  • Amy C: April 18, 2018

    I love that quote about traveling. It really resonates with me. And yes to the beauty and delights mixed with discomforts and confusion. I think we all need shaking up once in a while if we’re going to learn – at least I seem to.

  • Marcia Parker: April 18, 2018

    Beautiful woman,
    Life is a journey in many ways and being on the outside looking in helps us tread lightly. thanks for your words and safe travels back to Canada.

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