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Most people take vacations to escape reality. I took this vacation to get back in touch with it. It's been a very good trip.

I didn't see all the sights that the Philippines has to offer. I didn't do all the networking that I was thinking of doing. I didn't even meet all the people I wanted to meet. But I felt truly at home here, and I know that when I go back to Toronto, I'll feel at home as well.

Where is home, anyway? Home is where you know people so well that you can be fully yourself. Home is where you share people's saddest moments and their best ones. Home is where even the most frustrating moments help you grow, and where the best moments make you soar.

Being with my barkada reminded me how *wonderful* it is to have deep friendships, and how totally awesome it is when your best friends are also best friends with each other. I'm still growing all those friendships in Canada, but we'll get there. Being with my family reminded me that through all things, family is there. I don't have family like that in Canada, but I can love my friends.

I'm going to miss leaning over and giving my mom a hug, scooping up my cat and listening to her meow half-heartedly in complaint, and watching my barkada's antics at videoke. But there's a time and place for everything, and I'll be able to enjoy all of that again during my next trip.

I'm flying off tomorrow, but I'm not leaving. When I arrive in Toronto, I won't be lost. I have two homes now. Isn't it so wonderful that I can experience the joys of coming home twice over?

When I go back to Canada, I'm going to keep trying. I'll work hard on my thesis so that I can graduate early. I'll also work on my job permit so that I can take advantage of the opportunities. I'll go out and meet more people so that I can mix more people into the group. I'll dare to live life and to share it with others.

Life is awesome.

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