Dorothy’s “There’s no place like home” mantra feels truer than ever as I sit here writing this month’s entry from “home”. Which, by the way, is currently my childhood bedroom while we crash at my parents for the next few weeks.

That old room of mine has now completely been Australia-fied. Like, big time. A legit flagpole-sized Australian flag now hangs above my bed, the walls are speckled in kangaroo, wombat, and koala crossing signs, and my old shelves now hold vintage tins of Tim Tams. Whose cheeky work is this? My adorable parents who, after their visit last year, are now completely Australia obsessed (mission accomplished).

So why the heck are we back in Canada? A long & boring story short, we’d already planned on coming back to visit our family in September. But after our 8+ consecutive months meandering Asia and Europe, we were feeling the burnout of living and working out of backpacks. By a stroke of luck we spotted a pricing error for a direct flight from Amsterdam to Toronto. Hot damn! We snagged that flight than you can sputter “burnout”. Here’s everything else we got up to in between!

Oshawa Berlin Amsterdam

Top left: Amsterdam, right: Berlin, bottom: Ontario

Our Whereabouts

  • 5 days Germany
  • 3 days The Netherlands (Amsterdam)
  • 23 days Canada (Ontario)

The beginning of August marked our last few days in Berlin, where we then moved onward to our final European departure point, Amsterdam. We filled our few days there exploring on foot – arguably one of the best ways to sightsee anywhere, but most especially in a city like Amsterdam. Unexpectedly that brief time was enough to land Amsterdam on our “places to definitely go back to” list.

Amsterdam canals

Amsterdam Netherlands

Whether it’s Amsterdam’s hyper-liberal vibes or the subtle marijuana infused haze (the two are perhaps intertwined) – Amsterdam is a cool place. Winding canals, colourful brick buildings, houseboats worthy of being featured in an architecture magazine, and a local delicacy of “space cake” – what’s not to love about this quirky place?

Suave as Amsterdam was, the urge to go “home” was at an ultimate high (no pun intended). This past year of nomadic living has been filled with many challenges in us successfully living out the “digital nomad” lifestyle. What sort of challenges, you ask? Because Jen – please tell me, how is travelling the world ever challenging? I’ll cover that more in-depth in another post (you know, behind the 100+ other draft articles sitting in my WordPress – actually, let’s just ignore that fact). Put simply, a combination of moving too fast while trying to sightsee, working from “home” each day while constantly on the go, and forever planning the next destination (all while trying to appreciate the one you’re in)… well, it’s not as easy as we’d expected.

Evidently, we’re still getting the hang of the location independency office-in-a-backpack thing. Would we trade it back for a life of 9-5? H to the no – at least, for now. That being said – man, it’s good to be back, even if just for a little while.

Presquile Provincial Park

Infinite marshlands at Presquile

Presquile Lake Ontario

Shades of blue in Lake Ontario, Presquile Provincial Park

You’d think with all the epic sights we’ve been lucky enough to see that our Canadian hometown would seem increasingly boring. Funny enough, with each trip back, we better appreciate the little things that foreigners so love about Canada. Things that just never seemed all that big a deal to me – like our diverse and plentiful provincial parks, marshes and abundant lakes, summer fairs, picture-perfect snowfalls, and endless maple trees that turn practically all colours of the rainbow each year. Canada is definitely a spectacularly diverse place. Presquile Provincial Park CNE exhibition

Speaking of small places and Canada, this month our local newspaper interviewed us to share our story. Pretty cool with a touch of awkward (this is us we’re talking about). Still, we jumped at the opportunity since our hometown is your average suburbia with moderate levels of those in the lower socioeconomic class. Ted and I both come from single, low-income households and I remember that feeling of feeling “stuck” in my hometown because of money (or lack thereof). I’m hoping our story will be reachable since we’ve learnt firsthand that winning the lottery isn’t the only way to travel. I’ll be sure to post the article whenever it’s published (no matter how awkward the photo – eek!).

Annnnnd that’s a wrap. Time to dive back into the madness that is reuniting with family and friends before we’re off again. I’m already sad about our impending departures (we’ve got some international adventures from October to December lined up) but I’ll be dishin’ the deets on that next month. Till then, thanks for reading!