I recently came back from another big trip; an almost round-the-world trip, visiting Canada, Italy and Denmark.
On a sad note, I had to go back home to visit my family and say a last goodbye to our dear grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in April 2015. This man was a greater engineer than the profession itself and the most brilliant person on earth in my heart as a child. My memories of him always remind me of the importance of education and learning. He certainly view every pseudo-science with disdain and that’s a lesson I will never forget. Always doubt and always believe in science. It was heartbreaking to see that great man’s knowledge eaten by such a merciless disease. Unfortunately I did not make it in time to say a last goodbye. He suffered a lot; he left us a few days before I reached Québec. Death is sad.
A few days for grieving
After a long 14 hour flight from Sydney to Vancouver, another 4 hours to Toronto and a last stretch to Ottawa… Finally I could breath the fresh and still freezing air of La belle province. Oh Québec, I missed you a lot, as much as I missed my family but, oh dear! April is not the best time of the year to visit…
It took my family and me a few days to grieve. Voilà, the funeral with all the preparations, the speeches, the condolences, the visits of friends and long time lost family members. Grieving is tiring and so is Sydney/Québec jet-lag. For some reason, during this particular trip I was so tired, always completely exhausted and a cold, wet and grey April did nothing to help. There was a bit of snow too; a tiny last breath of winter before the season disappeared in an instant. I did not train for the first days as I needed time to discuss the emotional storm around my grandpa’s death. But I knew I had to if I wanted to enjoy the coming trip to Arco.
Training even when time are toughs
I did not want to stop training while on holidays and lose all the strength and technique gained during my last 2 months of training. At some point it was time to do something but I was absolutely exhausted! I’ve never been good at missing sleep but this time the jet-lag was hitting hard. Fortunately, as I have access to a good climbing gym near my mum’s house and the best fitness centre in town another 10 min from there, I forced myself to skip the afternoon nap (when I could) and went to the gym every second day. I don’t believe in ‘’tricks to fight jet-lag’’ the only “trick” that works with me is sleeping when I need it. So I slept, and slept, and slept.
Strangely, I also noticed that my heart rate was especially high when running on the treadmill (no way I was going to run outside in April’s 5 degrees C) and I felt a little dizzy sometimes when standing up to fast. It’s that 14 hours + flight that makes me in such a upside down mood, I thought, sitting for that long and eating airplane processed food is not good. Or, could all of that be the result of jet-lag?
As a remedy for all illnesses, I enjoyed movement of activity more than my afternoon naps, even if I had to drag myself in the gym.
Having the blues
Living far from family makes a number of insignificant things strangely important and “coming back home” is never a complete relief, as you know that all too soon you will be away for too long again. It is tiring, and I fear missing out on important details. You miss out on good friends you haven’t seen for a long time, nieces births and grandparents deaths. And the worst is that what was once called “home” does not feel the same anymore. Strangely, you can’t imagine living “far away” again but you can’t really imagine living “there” again either. What defines home is still a big mystery to me. Despite snow, real winters and white Christmases, there is so much more I miss from Québec. I felt a big hole somehow that could not filled in my two weeks visit. Homeland… Are the beaches and warm summers enough to convince us to call Sydney home? Or is it missing so many banalities that I will always feel a hole inside, preventing me from being complete?