Time is a funny thing. I started today walking up and down (but mostly up, it seemed) the streets around Marseille’s Vieux Port. Now, as the hands on my watch creep towards 11 pm, am finding it hard to believe that only twelve hours have passed since I stood at the end of Canebiere wrinkling my nose as the smell of the fresh fish for sale by the locals wafted towards me.

Confusing my time perception even further, of course, is the fact that when the plane I am on lands in Montreal in a few minutes the local time will be about 5:00 pm. Add in a layover followed by a flight to Toronto and by the time my journey home from my month in Europe is over, it will be almost 2 am for me.

And yet, I’m not a bit tired. In fact, I have more energy than I’ve had in months.

I decided to take 12 weeks off to travel when I found myself facing the absence of housing costs for the first time since I was 19-years-old. Goodbye mortgage payments, hello hotel bills.

If only it were that simple.

Selling and moving out of my house of five years was one of hardest things I’ve ever done. The approximately two months between putting it on the market and moving out on May 29 were particularly rough. While I wasn’t quite as depressed as I found myself last fall when my relationship of more than eight years came to a very difficult end, it was a close second. I slept very little, worried way too much, and came close to breaking down on several occasions.

The people that supported me through that period will be forever in my heart. For staying up until 1 am to help me pack (Mom, no greater gift could you ever give me), calling / emailing / pinning / facebooking me to see if I was okay (MC, SA, your efforts at reaching out in particular kept me going), and driving eight hours in one day to help me move all my belongings into storage (who else
but family would do that?), I thank you.

This is probably a good time to also recognize some folks that were particularly awesome in the months leading up to the house sale. For talking me into taking a break (NB), giving me places to breathe (AH, JD), and helping me find moments of happiness (KA for a great winter visit, LB for some great lunch breaks at French school), I thank you.

To everyone who kept telling me it would get easier with time — good call.

When I’m traveling, I find a day can feel like a week, an hour, or anything in between. I get lost in the details of where I’ll be sleeping that night and the one after it, figuring out the fastest route from the restaurant to the museum, wondering whether the bottle of olive oil produced by my WWOOF hosts leaked in my bag or not . . .

Did a month in Europe make everything better? Well, not exactly. But it certainly helped. If only by forcing me to focus on having fun for 30 days . . . or was it 40?  : )

As I finish this post I am standing outside Pearson Airport waiting for my parents to pick me up. Thinking about all that has passed, and, for the first time in a while, excited for what is to come.

Am at the half way mark of my 12 week break. Up next: two weeks in T.O. Mission 1: Buy a new road bike. Mission 2: Get in shape for 500 km cycle tour that starts July 24!

Plus, there’s still that whole YouTube thing to figure out . . .

I may not be able to keep busy enough to work as much magic with time as I did while in Europe, but I’ll certainly try : )

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