Being from Halifax, it was really hard for me to move away from there as a child (when I was nine to be exact). Moving 2,000 km away to a new city, new school and new province is a really strange experience as a kid.
Luckily, I got to visit Halifax for the first time since moving away at the end of January and it was a really weird experience being back where I was born.
I felt like I needed to go back there alone, and though other's offered to accompany me there, I felt as though this was going to be quite an emotional journey and one that I needed to do solo.
It turned out to be quite a nice trip and get-away from the stress of final exams and papers — I didn't get to connect with any of my friends from there but I highly doubt that they would remember, after 10 years, who I even am.
I checked out some of the places I remembered going to as a kid which probably sounds like a odd thing to do, but it really helped me understand and remember (something I've had a hard time doing lately) my childhood and the important aspects of it. For instance, I always remembered going to the Chapters store and playing with the train set while my parents looked for books, and going to Mic Mac Mall to see the giant Christmas tree around that time of year all lit up.
"Home" is a hard concept to understand sometimes. My physical home is here in the west-end of Toronto, as well as back in Stratford with my parents. But "home" is more of a feeling of safety and comfort than a physical space, and I wanted to see if Halifax still felt like home to me. This was the emotional journey I often heard about while learning the archetypal journey in high school english class. I realized that Halifax still felt like home because of all those places and things that I used to do as a kid — all those assorted memories that somehow made this foreign place seem like home.
Going with the concept that home isn't just a place, but a feeling, I firmly believe that there's more than one place you can feel like home in. Halifax is still home to me, but Toronto and Stratford are too now. Try and think of where you feel like home: is it your actual home, or significant other's, or maybe even your parent's or friend's?
To be completely honest, I contemplated not going on this trip, but not until after I had already purchased my non-refundable plane tickets. I had this fear that somehow I would ruin my childhood memories if everything wasn't the same as I remembered it, because everything else in my life is different now.
All in all, I'm very happy I went on this journey and hope to visit my hometown again very soon.