Adventures as Miss Saigon

Home is where the heart is

Posted on: March 13, 2011

“If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.”

Today officially marks 6 months in Vietnam, and I have a big announcement…I’m moving home earlier than planned. I still have some details to work out, but I should be home in 2 months time.

Let me explain my decision, as best that I can. This has been a difficult decision for me, and definitely not one that I took lightly at any point in time. I am not running away from anything in Vietnam. I am still enjoying my time here, and haven’t had any dramatic experience here that would make me want to leave. I enjoy the people, the lifestyle, the traveling, my work and my friends. I am also not moving home due to extreme homesickness or any problems at home that I need to get back for. I made this decision on my own, with a clear head. I am moving home, because for the first time, I just knew that it was the right thing to do. My heart and my head both agreed that I needed to do this for me, and once I allowed myself to start thinking that this was a possibility, the clearer it became that I need to be back in Canada and the more I ached for it to happen.

The decision to move home has been just as big as the decision to move here in the first place. This decision has a lot of implications and complications- especially for J, the little guy I’m working with, and his family, and for my supervisors and friends here. There’s also potential complications with me returning to my employer in Canada earlier than anticipated. Thankfully, and most importantly, it looks like my supervisor has been able to find a therapist to replace me, so there will be minimal impact on J and his family. Leaving J is the most devastating part of this whole situation. After spending 6 months with him, I really feel like we’ve bonded and I’ll miss working with him every day.

There are a lot of unknowns in my future right now, and a lot of things that I am terrified about. Most of these things are things I would have had to deal with in 6 months time when I was due to return to Canada at the end of my contract…they’re just coming up sooner than I had planned now. I’m unsure of what my life will look like back in Canada – unsure if I can go back to my job early, unsure of where I’ll be living after my temporary stay on my mom’s pullout couch (both where I’ll find an apartment and what city I’ll choose to live in), and unsure of my future education plans. I’m terrified that I’ll be seen as a failure for not surviving 12 months in Asia. The handful of people that I’ve spoken to already about my decision have been supportive (thank you), and at the end of the day, I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I’ve lived in Vietnam, traveled through Asia (and Australia soon), and have come out of this experience stronger and more confident in all aspects of my life. I’m also still scared that I’ll return to my old ways in Canada, but I know I’ll just have to make conscious decisions to change my ways.

So, two months left in Vietnam. My mission is to make the most of my time here…with J, with my friends, and embracing the travel plans I have already booked and paid for. This coming weekend, Wendy, Laura and I will have our last trip together to Bangkok. Bangkok was supposed to be one of our first trips together, but was delayed, and now I’m more than a little excited that it’s almost here! I’m also supposed to spend a weekend in Bali in early April (although there’s some complications with connecting flights that I’m trying to sort out…stupid budget airlines in Asia!), and have 12 days in Australia before I head home.

I can’t wait to go home. I can’t wait to see my mom, my sister, my nanny and the rest of my family. I can’t wait to catch up with my friends. I can’t wait for cuddles with my furbaby, Lexi. I can’t wait for the comforts that I took for granted and that I had no idea I would miss when I moved here. Watch out Canada…I’m coming home.


2 Responses to "Home is where the heart is"

We can’t wait to see you again. Please know that the last thing anyone will think of is that you have failed because you didn’t stay for the full extent of time that you thought you would. You are to be envied for the strength to do something as daring as you have done. I thought moving to California was daring when I graduated from Nursing–huh!!!! No comparison, and I didn’t even go.
I’m catching up on your blog and am enjoying your news and photos. It sounds like you have a few more adventures to encounter before you head back. Enjoy!!!
Lots of love
A. Monica

thanks aunt monica! can’t wait to see you all again too…can’t wait to get home! sounds like you guys have had quite the week…hope everyone is okay now! thinking about you guys!
ps…i hope mom told you that i got my package from you – thank you!

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