The (uh) Oh Canada List

With our upcoming return to the True North getting continually closer, we find the idea of life in our own homeland slightly…odd. There’s a lot of material about reverse culture shock and re-entry, but living it and reading about it are two different experiences. Here are some of the things that we have on our readjustment radar:

  • the difference in the cost of living. My goodness Canadians pay a lot for food, and rent, and insurance, and…..you get the idea.
  • feeling so far away from the rest of the world. North America can feel island-ish sometimes. The world just feels so present here in Europe where Africa, the Middle East and Asia just aren’t that far away.
  • what if it’s all too efficient and everything works as it should? We’ve become accustomed to everyday adventures lunging at us from the business of everyday living. These can be draining at times, but handling the unexpected has become a bit of a sport in the Price household.
  • Canada has changed and we’ve changed – we don’t imagine the process of finding our fit will be simple. There will be trial-and-error. There will be surprises. There will be wins. There will be let-downs.
  • we’ve become accustomed to not having a deep community on hand. We’re wondering what it will be like to live near good friends and family again. We imagine there will be a need to break some of our own insular habits. We’ve come to rely on ourselves quite heavily and finding a way to let people in during everyday life feels like a challenge waiting to be tackled.
  • we get fat every time we go back to Canada. Fortunately, the overindulging in our favourite treats is brought to an end by our return to Europe. There won’t be any such cut-off this time and so we’ll need to grow some self-control. Better yet, we won’t overindulge.
  • through the nature of our work, our lives have been relatively public for the last 7 years. Without regular updates, we’re interested to see how we will view ourselves apart from the public lens. Will it be freeing or will we find ourselves less motivated? We don’t expect either, but we’ll soon find out.
  • all of our Facebook ads will revert to English. Where’s the fun in that?
  • there are going to be moments where we realize just how many European cultural practices we’ve absorbed. It may sound trendy until that moment when Polish directness flies in the face of Canadian subtly.
  • we don’t know if we believe in “picking up where you left off”. Everyone has changed; us included. Perhaps it’s picking up naturally where we find ourselves now in relationship.
  • technology and systems have changed. We still remember visiting Canada after self-serve ticket kiosks came into cinemas. To the dismay and embarrassment of Matthew’s sister, we had no idea how to use one.
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