Yup, that’s right I am back in Vancouver (until January 5th)!!
I was planning on staying in Dublin for the holidays until my AWESOME dad emailed me on November 19th saying something like If you would like to come home for Christmas, I will will bring you home 🙂 We would love to see you and we could surprise everyone! Less than a week later, I was convinced (it didn’t take a lot of convincing though!) and my flight was booked. Just like that!
The hardest part then was keeping the secret from everyone. NO ONE from home, barring my dad, knew that I was coming home. I have kept secrets before but none of them involved me traveling across the Atlantic!
On Wednesday night, I got to tell my first person from home: my best friend, Heather. After Skyping with her for nearly twenty minutes I finally blurted it out. She didn’t really seem to believe me until I sent her my flight details (hehe). This was Heather’s reaction when I told her:
And from there my journey towards home began. By Wednesday night I was knackered and so I actually slept. All week I had been too excited to sleep but once I was packed and I only had one sleep to go I was ready!
On Thursday morning my lovely housemate Aoife woke up to drive me to the airport. From there I boarded my first plane from Dublin to New York. The flight actually went by fairly fast. I was looking forward to Delta Airlines free wi-fi, however they don’t have it on international flights! Oh well, I was prepared with magazines and a book.
At 6pm (Dublin time) I arrived in New York. After picking up my luggage (argh!) and going through security AGAIN I got through to my next gate. My flight left New York at about 8:30pm (Dublin time) so after a quick bite to eat, I was on another plane! This time, the plane had WiFi (yippee!) so the three hour flight flew by in no time. I have never been to the St. Paul International Airport, but let me tell you, it is one of the nicest airports I have ever been in! Seriously. So nice!
By the time I got off my plane and walked near my third (and final) gate, it was 12:30am (Dublin time) and I was so tired! To keep awake, I re-watched A Map for Saturday, a documentary I watched way back in August while I was in the middle of back-packing and currently traveling through Austria. When I watched it then, the movie was a perfect representation of my lifestyle at the time. I cried and laughed when I watched it. It summed up everything I was feeling and everything I could not express. I was just as emotional watching it this time, even though I have not been a true backpacker in three months. I am loving my life living in a foreign country and even though it is hard at times, it the right lifestyle for me, now. I have grown-up so much even since August. Starting a life in a country, all on your own, has changed me more than I thought and coming home is making me realize that. Sitting in the airport, I already missed Dublin. I can’t explain it, it isn’t really home but it is the home I have known for the past three months!
The movie ended, and it was time to bard my final plane (perfect timing!). Getting on the plane, holding a ticket that actually said VANCOUVER was really emotional. I was beyond excited! I was going home. Five months after I left, I was going home to see the people I love most in the world.
Flying over Vancouver was the greatest feeling in the world. Tears welled in my eyes as I saw the ski mountains lit up over the city. As I stepped off the plane, I smelt the fresh mountain air. 24 hours after leaving Dublin, I was HOME!
After going through customs, I got to see Heather and it so exciting (though my excitement may not have come through, after all I had barely slept in the last 25 hours). Driving home to her house in Maple Ridge, it felt like no time had past. We talked and sung to Taylor Swift and, just like that, I was home. Heather’s mom even left me a note on my bed 🙂
This afternoon, before heading home, Heather took me to surprise one of my closest friends, Morgan. Morgan’s expression of shock was priceless! After a quick visit, Heather drove me home. My family was having a family dinner and my dad had a surprise for everyone. No one knew! Walking through the front door was the best feeling in the world (see clip of me walking in the door here).
There is no place I would rather be in the whole wide world than here with my family and friends for the Holidays!