As I mentioned in a previous column, I recently went to Halifax to see my best friend Tyler. I can say with even more certainty now, that a place is what it is because of the people there. Coming home was wonderful for the very same reason.
The first interesting people I met on my trip, were the people I shared a table with, in the airline lounge, as we waited for our flight. I had a complimentary lunch, as compensation for a delayed flight. Since it was my first flight, I had no reference point about how long it takes to get on your flight, so it didn't bother me. At lunch I spoke with a monk, and a globe-trotting retiree. The conversation was mostly centred around the retiree's many travel adventures. As we got in line for our flight, I then had an engaging conversation about Canada, with a U.S. soldier, who was heading back home, after training sessions here in Canada. While on the plane, I was kept occupied by a friendly elderly woman, who was going to visit her son and daughter-in-law, and make some German pickled beets.
Once in Halifax, I saw many interesting sights, including Peggy's Cove, and Citadel Hill. And as fascinating as all the places I went are, it was the time I was able to spend with my buddy, that truly made it a fun vacation. Hanging out with Tyler was my highlight for sure. From the places we visited, the interesting food joints we patronized, our intense games of tennis, our games of chess, to our late night talks and tea, it was truly great to hang out again.
Of course being able to see my buddy so much, would not have been possible without the generosity of Elena, his land-lady. She is a kind, and godly woman, with a great sense of humour. Speaking of generosity, it seems to run in the family. Going to Peggy's Cove, was made possible by Elena's son Josh, driving us out there. Thanks again Josh!
To further illustrate my point, about how interesting people make a trip worthwhile, another place Josh generously drove us, was to church. Tyler's church was filled with a very diverse group of believers, ranging from the very young, to those seasoned by the years. It was made up of people from just about every ethnic background you could think of. There's something truly wonderful about worshipping God with people who are so different from you, knowing that the clear and uniting factor between you all, is Jesus Christ.
It was at church, that I was able to meet Tyler's other friends, and make a new Halagonian friend as well.
Our now mutual friend Hannah, turned out to be a great “tour guide”, with lots of ideas for things Tyler and I could do, or see. From suggesting interesting food, like peanut butter burgers; to taking us to a unique, board game themed, café; Hannah's ideas and company were another fun highlight of the trip.
As our editor has written in a previous editorial, it's important not to miss the joy of coming home, after a trip away. Getting to hug my sisters when they got to the airport, was welcome after a nearly “hugless” week. I think we can easily take things like that for granted. On the way home, I also stopped in for a barbecued dinner, at my friend Matt's house, not far from the airport. Friendship and free food is always a winning combination.
But the best part about coming home is being with family. These are the people we especially shouldn't take for granted. The way to have a strong family relationship, is to be there. This isn't limited to the geographic sense of “being there”. Some can be there physically, but not emotionally. Others can be there emotionally, contacting home as often as they can, without being their physically. This is one of the modern advantages of technology. It's a matter of the heart we can't overlook.
In all this, it's been clear to me, that the people we meet on a trip, and the people we come home to, are the greatest souvenirs.
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