Thursday, July 01, 2010
Tapestry of Life
On the whole we found that our trip to Turkey was been a time of reflection on the tapestry of our life. This stemmed primarily from the dominant feeling throughout our trip of returning to Canada. This is likely because Serhat is our friend from Vancouver, and this was our first time traveling away from Ireland.
When travelling, people often ask about where you are from. In general we have been saying Canada, which follows with the questions of "where in Canada..." and usually a statement about "my sister (brother, friend, niece, etc.) lives in Toronto". This also leads to feelings of being a Vancouverite. A few times people wondered why we would take a toddler on a 10 day trip from Vancouver to Istanbul... and in explaining, I was brought back to being from Ireland.
In the grand scheme of things, we have only just arrived in Ireland... 6 months this week. And now I understand how being from anywhere is a hard thing to define in this modern jet-set world. It all depends on whether the person wants to know where you were born and raised, or where you have been recently living. When traveling, people generally want to know where you are from so that they can create a stereotype about who you are (polite Canadian stoners; loud enthusiastic Americans; and friendly tippling Irish). As a person who was born and raised a Canadian, I probably fit most of the Canadian stereotypes (eh), but as a person who is living abroad, I know that my views of the world and mannerisms are slowly shifting to meet those of the Irish culture. And with Nikolai having spent the last quarter of his life in Ireland, he is much more an Irish boy rather than a Canadian one.
The other reflective part of the trip was the memories of our previous trip to Turkey... at 26 we were "less established" as adults. Brad was a student, and I was an underemployed free spirit, and most importantly we were childless. Last time we arrived in Turkey, we were on our tandem bike with only 2 sets of panniers to carry all our luggage. We stayed up late, toured the night club scene, spent our days doing all the touristy stuff, and we were generally footloose and fancy free.
This trip was ever so much different. To start with, our luggage has expanded to include most of a household... including a stroller (buggy), car seat, portable cot, two suitcases and a diaper bag. Phew! (To be fair, one suitcase was full of gifts, but still!) Our days were defined by Nikolai's schedule, and featured more playgrounds and fewer museums. Our nights involved early bedtime so that we could get enough sleep before our lark of a child woke us up dawn with the morning call to prayer.
Becoming a parent resulted in a huge shift in personality and lifestyle. This trip only served to highlight our parent-ness, and now I know that we are no longer awesome, but, surprisingly, I'm just fine with that.
The picture is of us in Sirence, eh. Happy Canada Day, eh.