A Note Of Finality

By Jane Mountain | August 5, 2014

15,775 km total.

Even though this won’t be the last blog we post on My Five Acres, I still feel the need to wrap up our trip with one final, mind-blowing post, encapsulating the lessons we learned on our trip, the effects it has had on our souls, and the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

Being ill-equipped to do so, however, I will leave you with a rumination or two on my return to North America.

Practicalities and Cogitations

After travelling slowly for more than a year, rolling past cultural changes one effortful pedal stroke at a time, a 30-hour marathon of 800kph (!) flights feels like time travel, like I popped into a wormhole and emerged onto an entirely different planet. It was sort of a surprise when I learned that the rest of the world was pretty much the same as when we left it.

Stephen’s note: What?!

Sunshine through the garden, Vancouver Island, BC.

Sunshine through the garden, Vancouver Island, BC.

Was the whole trip some fever dream from which I have just awoken? Did we really exist in all those places, and see all the things we saw? How could Asia be real and exist on the same planet where I am today, so dramatically different it is from my present surroundings? Am I really here, or are we all just a holographic projection of activities taking place at the edge of the universe?

Are we merely tiny fleas on the back of a giant turtle?

Are we merely tiny fleas on the back of a giant turtle?

Putting philosophy and flights of fancy aside for a moment, these are the technicalities of our current situation.

Stephen has returned to Hong Kong, and will continue from there to Shanghai, and then Europe, teaching yoga workshops as he goes. You should go practice with him if he’s coming to your neck of the woods. His workshops are going to be awesome.

I am visiting my parents on Vancouver Island, and will enjoy the rest of the summer in the company of family and friends.

And after that?

Plans are still unfolding, but I will rejoin Stephen in LA in early November. There may be an extended West Coast bike ride involved to get there.

Don’t worry, this period of separation between us is not by choice, but rather practicality. It costs too much, both financially and environmentally, for me to travel with Stephen while he teaches. And right now, travel is not what I want to be doing anyway.

Sweet Home

In fact, I’m bloody relieved to be home.

Though we haven’t lived in Canada since 1998, Stephen and I both still consider it home. It’s the only place on Earth where I don’t feel like I stick out, like I am a little out of sync with everyone else, like my accent, or my height, or my blue eyes make me an obvious outsider.

In Canada, I don't stick out like a lone power pole against a blue sky.

In Canada, I don’t stick out like a lone power pole against a blue sky.

It is so beautiful here.

Astonishingly beautiful, every time I see it.

Astonishingly beautiful, every time I see it.

And so clean.

Spotless streets of my parents' neighbourhood.

Spotless streets of my parents’ neighbourhood.

The air smells amazing.

There are no open sewers, or piles of garbage on the side of the road. There is so much empty space. Here, you can drink the tap water and eat fresh vegetables without worrying about getting sick.

Veggies picked today on Vancouver Island.

Veggies picked today on Vancouver Island.

Here, it doesn’t seem like people are just a nest of ants writ large, or a plague on the earth. Here, it feels like nature is still our boss, and we are her servants.

Small farm in the countryside, Vancouver Island.

Small farm in the countryside, Vancouver Island.

It is, in short, breathtaking. Every time I look up from my computer, I can’t believe what I see.

Hummingbird at home, Vancouver Island.

Hummingbird at home, Vancouver Island.

A row of evergreens stands sentinel in front of the steep slopes of Saltspring Island rising up behind them.

A view of Saltspring Island from my parents' deck.

A view of Saltspring Island from my parents’ deck.

The snow-capped pyramid of Mount Baker gathers clouds in the distance. If I tilt my head just right, I can see the deep blue of the Georgia Strait peeking between the trees.

We have seen so much and experienced so much in the last year that I have not processed it yet. I have not yet discovered the true meaning behind it all. Maybe I never will.

But sitting here looking out on the near perfection that is this part of the world, I can assuredly tell you, there’s no place like home.  


  1. Comment by Fiona

    Fiona August 17, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Wow it looks amazing there and a great place to recharge. Can I come and live there for a while?
    Well done for completing such an epic trip! Please get in touch if you get back to London at any point as I’d love to hear more about it.

  2. Comment by Donna & Michael Webb

    Donna & Michael Webb August 6, 2014 at 6:39 am

    How lovely! We have followed your journey and have enjoyed it and worried for you along with your parents.
    We are glad you are home safe. I have even shed the odd tear for you.Enjoy the rest of your summer with family and friends.
    The blog was so wonderfully written and photographed.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane August 6, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Thanks you two. So glad we could pull you through the whole spectrum of emotions along with us. I am enjoying the BC life immensely so far – when it doesn’t rain it’s absolutely spectacular here.

  3. Comment by Scot

    Scot August 5, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Well said, Jane. I am having the same feelings about our trip. It doesn’t seem real. I am already going back and reading our blog to make sure it really happened. We saw and did so much while we were travelling, it felt like we lived five years worth of time. So it doesn’t seem to make sense that everything at home is pretty much the same. I guess it will take a while to re acclimate. I kind of hope I never fully do.

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane August 6, 2014 at 8:29 am

      I have the same worry about re-acclimating. I don’t want to ever look at the world the same way again, but fear that it won’t take long until our amazingly lucky lives in such a wonderful part of the world seem normal and dull… I guess that’s the sign that we need to travel again.

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