I spent much of the last week or so in the Toronto area, visiting friends and spending time in the city I’ve called home for the past few years. It was amazing to catch up with so many of the people I love as well as just take time to assimilate back into Canadian culture. On this trip, I had many hilarious moments, meaningful conversations, and I ate lots of delicious food, all of which made me feel supported and safe even while also feeling a little turbulent as a result of the emotions and stress of coming home from Ghana.
I definitely have had moments of reverse culture shock, which I expected but I’ve still found surprising nonetheless. I thought life back home would be perfectly simple and easy but I’ve changed in the three months I spent in Ghana, which has meant some friction here and there with my Canadian surroundings. For example, I spent a bit of time in the Eaton Centre downtown Toronto a few days ago between meeting with friends. I was proud that I was feeling calm in a place so large and busy that it can be overwhelming to anyone, let alone someone like me who’s hasn’t been in a building so imposing in quite some time. After an hour or so wandering around the bookstore though, I was sitting on the windowsill and looking out into the massive shopping centre when I suddenly felt melancholic, even near tears, for seemingly no reason. I realized in that moment that coming home is a process and that it’s okay to feel a little unhinged here and there.
It’s been over a week now that I’ve been back on home soil. Much of this time has been spent with friends and family, relaxing and catching up. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time running, one of my favourite exercises and something I just didn’t do in Ghana since I’d get a lot of attention so I preferred working out indoors. While in Toronto, I met with my co-op coordinator, who is working with me to secure a new co-op placement. It looks like I’ll be able to go abroad again for about five months, which I’m very excited about! I’ll not be on the road for probably over a month from now so, in the meantime, I’m at home with my family.
So far, it’s been very nice to ease back into the Canadian life. I’m trying to be patient with myself as I go through all sorts of emotions reacting to being home much sooner than anticipated. I keep reminding myself to be kind to myself, which is why I have no problem spending time doing the things I love like chatting with family, drinking tea and reading a good book, or thrift shopping with friends. I still haven’t even unpacked from Ghana, as I’m just taking my time to settle back in at home. I’ll get around to it eventually!