At the time of this writing, I’ve been to seventeen countries. More important though, is not so much the number of countries visited, but the overall time spent in those places. Nearly two years’ worth of time away from home. And probably more by the time anyone reads this.
The point isn’t to brag. The point is, that, by now, I think I’m a fairly experienced adventurer, somewhat worldly even, in a rather junior capacity. Junior compared to truly worldly people, at any rate, but experienced enough to share my opinions on the similarities and differences between the countries and cultures I’ve visited. Which I intend on doing. Probably often.
The point I wish to make now is that, no matter how interesting and exotic most foreign cultures are, and most of them are, there’s still no place like home. And unless home sucks, it offers that extra bit of comfort that nowhere else quite can.
Being in comfortable, familiar surroundings, speaking your native language, eating familiar food, and interacting with people that share basic cultural similarities can be somewhat rejuvenating. The ease of everyday life in a familiar environment is taken for granted by those who have never been away from home for any length of time.
Something as simple as ordering food or getting a taxi in a country where you don’t speak the language well, or know the territory, can be a rather formidable challenge. Try ordering products from a shop or the internet in Latin America or the Balkans if you like problem-solving. See how many friends you make by departing early from a family meal in some cultures. How about not eating a little bit of everything on an Albanian table sometime? I’ve personally never done that, but I’ve seen it happen.
Oh, you don’t like our traditional dish? Did we offend you somehow? You’ve only been here for three hours, why are you leaving already?
Weird foreigner. We won’t be inviting them back.
As fascinating and fun as exploring different lands and meeting different people almost always is, it’s certainly refreshing not having to expend conscious effort trying to avoid cultural blunders. A practice that often creates an underlying level of perpetual mild anxiety. In one’s natural habitat, almost no effort is required for day-to-day interactions. It’s easy to be home. It used to be at any rate, for me and my people. But not so much anymore.
Oh Canada! What the fuck are those demonic lefties doing to my home?
My country is rapidly declining into a state of fascist totalitarianism. It’s horribly surreal. I’m Canadian. I never thought such a reality could exist in my simple, hokey, somewhat boring, previously very relaxed, and quite free country. Adolph Trudeau and his demented little band of woke fools have destroyed my once beautiful nation in an alarmingly impressive hurry. Their masters must really know what motivates them. That, and most Canadians are quite dumb and obedient.
So, with that little mini-rant out of the way, my wife and I need to find a new home, because the old one ain’t what she used to be. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Too bad. Our home was Vancouver Island, which is truly paradise.
We’ll make the most of wherever we are, and hopefully, at some point, we’ll find another place that feels like home as much as home used to. Or home will find us. Until then, maybe humanity will come to its senses (not likely), and humans will break the cycle we seem damned to repeat.
Evolving beyond the inevitable, violent meltdown every society before us has succumbed to seems like a nice fantasy to me. And as long as there are still enough of us alive that want a better reality, I suppose nothing is entirely impossible. With that in mind, however, I’ll not hold my breath in anticipation of my fellow monkeys making the smart choice when given the option to do otherwise. I just hope that any fleeting pangs of homesickness I suffer don’t entice me to follow the stupidity of the herd. In any capacity. Ever.