The Luckiest Girl

Jun 20, 2014 by

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Dawdling in Doha with these Dubliners

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We met on Easter Island

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Dancing Spirit Sisters… after 9 long years

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Only I would find an African wedding to attend in Copenhagen

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My adoptive Danish family <3

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Three hoes from Hoboken in the Lower East Side

I sleep like a rock. My bed swallows me up, refusing to spit me out. Reverie grips me and the Sandman sits on my eyelids. I struggle every day to get out of bed and go to work. A 7:00 am wakeup call in Canada is a whole lot different to the one I heard every morning in Mumbai. Yet I do what I must. I need the money, and I need the chaos that comes with a routine.

Yes, I’m home.

And I want to say this. I hope you’re okay with that. Recently, I changed the About Me section for my blog, feeling like I can no longer call myself a travel blogger. Really, it was other people who had given me this label, but after my experience in India, I no longer relate to this term. I am a traveller and a writer, but I am really not a travel blogger. There are far too many gifted and talented people out there who are travel-blogging and doing it for a living, and I just can’t find space for myself in that suitcase.

So this is what you will be getting from me if you like reading my blog: stories, mostly about travel, but at their core, they will be stories. After my genius pre-scheduled posts that I had prepared for my trip through India and Nepal ran out, I had the idea that I would be blogging from the comfort of my friends’ homes. Only once or twice did I accomplish that. When I was sitting across from my friends, coffee or rum or shisha in hand, blogging was the farthest thing from my mind. It was too important for me to live in the moment and be with them to trouble myself with being a really good travel blogger, as some people are, and create high quality content.

I went to Qatar, England, Wales, Denmark and the USA, staying in 6 different homes of friends. Can you really blame me for not bothering to blog?

*

“What were you doing in Qatar?” the immigrations officer asked me at Heathrow.

“I was visiting friends.”

As soon as I said this, I knew how strange and suspicious these words sounded.

“How do you know these friends?”

Then the words tumbled out, and the more I spoke, the stranger the story sounded. “Uh… they are from Dublin. And they used to live in Winnipeg, in Canada, where I’m from. I met them there. They just got jobs in Qatar so I went to visit them.”

“Okay…” he peered at me with a raised eyebrow. “And what are you doing in England?”

I spoke slowly, hearing my own echo. “Visiting friends.”

“You don’t have any friends in Canada?”

I thought he was joking and came back with, “Nope, not really,” but he continued to frown, looking at my passport and stamped it, deadpan expression lingering on his face. Imagine if I had told him the friend I was staying with in England was a lady I met on Easter Island, and then I was later spending time in Wales with a friend I met when I volunteered in England 9 years ago, and that I was then visiting a Danish friend in Copenhagen who I met while I lived in Mexico, and then I was going to Aalborg to visit a Danish family who are distantly connected to me and only through marriage but who I have adopted as my own family.

What would he say at this big, long run-on sentence?

Truth be told, I didn’t care, because it was the truth.

As I hopped from place to place on my way home, I got an interesting snapshot of myself, a reflection of the people I’ve kept in my life, the people I count important. I saw how I fit together like a jigsaw, how each of these people matter deeply, inexplicably. I reflected on how I went through a couple of odd years where my “best friends” dropped like flies, where I thought I had no friends at all. But then there I was, being collected at the airport, given couches or beds to sleep on, food to eat, a hot shower and a fresh towel, and the best part of all was the heavenly company – people I can just be with. Soulmates.

They say friends are the family you choose for yourself, and in my case, I am the luckiest girl in the world to have this family. These people are the loves of my life, and I just hope they know that.

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Hi again! Remember me? I am just getting into the swing of things back here in Canada. I have a butt load of pictures to share and (obviously) stories too. I have another writing project that has taken priority, but I will continue to blog. Also, please say hello: like my Facebook page, and follow me on twitter and Instagram.

 

 

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20 Comments

  1. Zhu

    The dancing pic is almost as awesome as your header picture. You are a girl in motion 🙂

    • Colleen

      Oh I love action shots! Particularly when one is dancing!

  2. Love the statement – “a reflection of the people I’ve kept in my life” – great souvenir and it fits in the overhead. *grin*

    • Colleen

      It was such a neat snapshot of myself! To see those sides of me polarized against one another in such a short period of time…

  3. i still think its so funny when that guy here in goa went to school in winnipeg!? or lived near you?! crazy world. you have great writing skills on your blog about travel & i’m a travel blogger who has no writing skills lol , if we combine we will have a super blog.

    • Colleen

      Oh my god, that story still blows my mind!!!
      Girl, I think you have great writing skills. Anyway, anytime you wanna partner up, let me know. I’d be honoured to work with you! 🙂

  4. I love reading your stories, travel or otherwise, so write what you love to write & I will keep reading, no matter the label you (or others) place upon yourself!

    We had a similarly humorless interrogation at Heathrow, but my understanding is this is simply the way it goes in the UK for foreigners. No questions about our previous travels, but our officer asked us whether the friends we were staying with were American or British (I kept wondering if there was a wrong answer to that one…) and whether they actually knew we were coming to visit & stay with them. Oh how it made me miss immigration in Asia where it was truly uncommon to be asked a single question at all!

    • Colleen

      Thank you Steph, means a lot coming from a talented writer like you.
      Also, glad to hear that I wasn’t the only one “singled out” at UK immigrations. :S

  5. Well I love the stories you’ve already told and so I am excited to see what is in store for future tales!

    Also, I love a world of many wonderful friends. It is one of the best feelings ever to have a big family of friends! Say hello to Canada for me – we have a brief stop-over in a week or so, but that’s it until later this year!

    • Colleen

      Happy Canada Day from the motherland. Hope you are doing well where you are.
      I’m so glad you can relate to this feeling of a world of friends. It’s really the best, something I would wish for everyone. It’s when I’m happiest, for sure.

  6. Welcome back to Canada, Colleen! We are always so proud of you and your several month journey and life learning in India. Forever will those children be blessed in memory from their experience with you. All of these photos were like a trip down your Memory Lane of Friendship as I looked at them and put a big smile on my face! The immigration officer needed some chocolate, eh LOL? Wonderful post! 🙂

    • Colleen

      Thank you Mike! It has been an interesting adjustment, but I do think I am happy to be back, haha!
      As for the chocolate – good thinking. I should have some handy at all times!

  7. I relate to this a lot I find I really love living in the moment too much and find it so hard to schedule in posts now. I am also settling down for a little in Bristol and am looking forward to having the time to focus on writing up the past few years!

    • Colleen

      YES! Glad you relate… time with friends = just too precious.
      Cannot wait to hear some more of your stories.

  8. Your stories are always nice to read so please keep writing them no matter if they will be travel related or not 🙂

  9. I feel like this, too. And I kind of love it. 🙂

  10. Blogging and writing are great, but when it comes down to it, living in the moment and appreciating the experience is far more important. Whether you’re travelling or not, keep the stories coming thought 🙂

    • Colleen

      I find more and more my life is tearing me away from blogging… and I’m 100% ok with that. Except for the fact that I feel like I miss my blogging friends sometimes!

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  1. The Indian Curse? *Part Two* - Colleen Brynn Travels - […] separately, and I chose carefully the items that would join me on my journey through India, Nepal, Qatar, England,…

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