In Toronto, I am a pretty boring person.
Whenever I am not in Toronto, I’m pretty awesome. I get to not be in Toronto fairly often, more than most people. When not in Toronto, I am more extroverted, adventurous and I do things that locals might consider a waste of time. Example:
Frenchwoman: Hey Dustin! I’m going winter camping! In a tent!
Canadian: That sounds like a terrible idea. That’s going to suck.
Canadian: Yeah man, we were at a hotel last night, and we jumped into the pool and started Bollywood dancing. I lost my glasses for a bit, but a friend found them.
Indian: Wow, that sounds a little risky. Did you get kicked out?
Canadian: No no, it was fine. They just told us to stay away from the pool.
Other stuff I did in India I have not done in Canada:
– visited a friend’s coffee plantation
– swam in an unnamed lake in the shadow of a mountain.
– hitched a ride on a school bus full of children (more Bollywood dancing)
– convinced a guy to give us a boat tour of an island-filled area.
– wandered aimlessly around the city for entire days.
– made Sushi by hand (wtf?)
Stuff I did in Redmond and Seattle I might not do here:
– went to a cottage in the mountains with people I just met
– wandered the town alone without a map
– saw lots of theatre alone
– joined a mountain biking group
When I’m abroad, I know that I only get to be there for a short period of time, so there’s a preciousness to my time. Often, if I could not find someone to do something, I would just go do it by myself, and find friends along the way. I would plan adventures. 12 out of the 16 weekends I had in Bangalore I was somewhere out of town. I feel I almost know more about the area around Bangalore than I do about, say, Southern Ontario.
I’m going to Cambridge, UK in one week from now. I get an extra month at the end I have reserved for “dicking around Europe”. Here’s what I have planned so far:
– climb the 3 highest peaks in Britain in under 24 hours.
– rent a bike and bike across France
– attempt to open a Swiss bank account
– meet up with long lost relatives in Finland
– visit legoland
– drink Guinness in the Guinness factory
– see the Blarney Stone
– attempt a caber toss
– swim in a fjord
– swim in the Mediterranean.
– get very, very drunk in a German Pub.
Wow! I sound awesome! Who am I, really, though, in Toronto? What happened, for example, in the month of November? Nothing exciting that I can remember at all. The highlight was probably my Halloween costume. I feel no urge to make my life here exciting because I am never going to run out of Toronto time. I should be exploiting my friends and the knowledge I have of Toronto here to do more weird stuff than I could abroad.
I notice the groups I hang with in Toronto are more insular than the hyper-extroverts I hang with while abroad. When we hang out, its usually the same people again and again. Not that I don’t like you guys (seriously guys, you’re probably awesome) but people are more socially risk-averse when they are in one place. This sucks.
So, the moral of the story is that I do not do a very good job of keeping my life growing and interesting in Toronto. I don’t explore much around Toronto; I’m a pretty bad Canadian. I find myself looking forward to Cambridge in a huge part because I know I have an excuse to switch into hyper-adventurous mode again. I just need to make sure I keep with it when I get back to Toronto in the summer. Let’s resolve to do something interesting every weekend, guys.
See you later, suckers!