Home Again


I’m back from my 3-month exchange to India. As suspected, I’ve learnt more about my time away since returning than I did while there.

My first day back on campus I walked around upper campus, greeted people, and spoke about my trip. I learnt that I felt less Canadian upon my return, that I really liked (and missed) the sun, and that I loved ability to be in a community where I’ve known many of the members for years.

For the first few weeks it felt as though I had not left yet. Little things were different and I knew I had changed greatly, but everything else seemed the same.. Quest.. home.

My discomfort with being back in the familiar led me to think about my growth. One friend gave me the metaphor of a crab. When a crab grows too large for its shell, it has to find a new one. It finds one too big for it and then has to grow into this new one. In that time period of growth, the shell doesn’t fit right. However, the whole point is for the crab to have more space to grow into a shell that’s even bigger. I lost my old shell in India and I’m currently in a bigger shell, trying to take up the remaining space. It’s a scary and rough process, but so worth it.

I had a different set of priorities in India and since I was not as big a part of the community, I was able to re-evaluate my life at Quest. While away I wrote a list of my new ideas of what I find important:

-time for others



-good food

-taking breaks

-being social

-knowing people and names and stories


Coming back home I’ve appreciated knowing people, names, stories, and places and my roles within them.



Surprising those that had made a surprise party for me.. then being given multiple layers, because of how cold I was in the Canadian winter.



Sun and the mountains #SquamishIMG_1871

Hiking the chief for the FIRST TIME within a few days of returning home.


My beautiful views.


Likes of India:

Respect for elders
Importance of family and other relations
Ensuring well being of others, particularly friend
Less partying = more sober decision making in general, on campus it was unlike many North American universities where students use the party culture to relax
My goals with being away were:
Get out of comfort zone (check -flying to India and then going on this 3 month adventure solo for starters)
Be more Spontaneous (check -I went on the bus to the city multiple times without planning to do so –a full half-day commitment).
Take more control -ability to say no, yes, or be the one asking questions  (check -while away I learnt the necessity of standing up for myself in ways I’d never had to before)
Now that I’m back:
I don’t have the first question when people meet me of: “What does your father do?”
People wear seatbelts
There are limits to how many people can fit into a car (and it is more limited than how high the ceiling is -aka. how many people can fit on top of each other)
There is toilet paper in every bathroom
There are rules on the road
I have to know people’s names instead of calling them ma’am or sir
I have to eat food with a fork or spoon
I’m not constantly questioned about my personal feelings about the weather (my friends in India liked to test me to see whether I was cold when they were)
I am happy to be home. This is my home. I’m also now aware that I can find a community in multiple places and Quest, Squamish, BC, and Canada are all their own bubbles that I want to burst by adventuring elsewhere.
It’s good to be back, but it’s also hard. I wouldn’t ask for anything different.
Much love,

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