Thursday, July 04, 2013


Sometimes the phrase sounds a little passe to me, but I mean this literally: I am overwhelmed with gratitude. As often happens after a trip abroad, I return home so completely grateful for my life here. Granted I was overtired on my return, but even seeing our mountains and lakes, blue skies, orchards and vineyards, I got really tearful while descending in the plane yesterday.
I've experienced "happy to be home"  many times before, but never to this extent. When I got home, I must have spent a half hour walking around my home feeling "wow". This feels luxurious, like I'm at some upscale resort or something.
I felt giddy in the shower having water that heats up quickly. On the trip I only used a bar of soap to shower, so having shampoo and body wash felt like an over the top indulgence. The water pressure is perfect, the towels felt impossibly soft, there were two cute pups to greet me as I towelled off, tons of room for shavers and toothpaste on the counter, even an ELECTRIC toothbrush! I was thirsty and could drink cold water from the tap!!!!!
My coffee tastes out of this world, I have a car to drive instead of having to call for a taxi and hope he's not going to rip me off, my clothes have drawers and are clean and by some miracle I can wash them when I want instead of hoping room service doesn't forget again to pick them up.
I can make calls on a cell phone without having to worry about roaming, there's a fridge full of food that I recognize, my TV is crystal clear and wifi works unbelievably well.
My family and friends left my home in impeccable shape, the plants and flowers are all healthy, the lawns are green, the floors clean and dishes done. My dogs BARELY ate my couch, and haven't left my side since I returned.
I shared a slideshow of my pictures and HD videos on a 51" TV last night with my Dad and step mom, followed by some funny YouTube videos. On a TV. Do we live in the future?!
I spent an hour picking through dozens and dozens of work emails with delicious coffee and fresh fruit.
My egyptian cotton sheets and fancy memory foam mattress were almost embarrassingly comfortable last night, not to mention a queen size mattress that now feels gluttonous in size. Do I really need all these dressers and drawers. An ENTIRE closet just for shirts and sweaters and pants? THREE pairs of pj bottoms to choose from? I can wear a soft cotton shirt because its not so humid and sticky and I didn't have to dig through a suitcase to find it.
I'm currently sitting on my patio swing on my work laptop but I could have been using my iPhone, iPad or PC up in the den. FOUR devices to choose from, this is ridiculous.
I think the big difference this time is that I really connected with some locals while I was there; sweet, good people that are happy and fulfilled yet live a much simpler life. I found myself withholding the full truth of what life is like here when talking with them because I was a shy about how spoiled we are. They work harder and longer days than we do, and for far, far less. They pray more than I think we do, say "sir" and "ma'am" at every opportunity, smile all the time, are generous and gracious and polite, and gorgeous.
I'm sad to leave the Philippines behind (for now) and I miss my new friends. I can't wait to connect with the DOZENS and dozens of close friends and family that are here.
I have two lawns to mow (with an electric mower, no less) and laundry to do in the comfort of what now feels like a mansion, and the next four days off work to indulgently deal with jet lag - waaaaahhh.
I feel spoiled, frankly a little embarrassed, and beyond grateful.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Hello BC!!

We arrived @ YVR without incident, but also without sleep. The kid in the seat in front of me did, in fact, shriek for most of the flight, and some little punk behind me kicked my seat no less than 50 times, usually just as I was nodding off.
I motioned him to me as he was returning from the bathroom and had him lean in so I could whisper. "I'm going to need you to go ahead and try a little harder to not kick my seat, mmkay?" Pat on the shoulder, sent the asshole on his way and he was good for about 2 hrs. I think I've been awake for almost 2 days now but feel surprisingly well.
Seeing our mountains fills me with happiness. I'm seeing weather reports of 35 degrees in Kelowna but there's still snow on those majestic beauties. God I love our province.
I should be boarding any time now, and probably home within 2hrs. Can't wait to hug my pups and dad and Sharon!!

Flight PR118

I believe we're on a 787, seats 320 or something like that.
The only child crying and screaming in the terminal is now sitting in the row in front if me. Lol. Keeps making eyes at me, though, so we might be good. Mom's a looker,  too, and I think I can take the dad. Lol
13.5 hrs and I'm in Vancouver! My travel app is dramatically telling me that I have 0 minutes to make my connecting flight, but I think that's a bogus warning.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Peace out!

I leave in 15 min!
4hrs drive to Manila
2hrs wait c/o security
13.5 hr flight
2.75 hr layover in Vancouver
Arrive Kelowna @ 4

Monday, July 01, 2013

Last day

Well it's here, my last day in the Philippines. I leave tomorrow morning at nine allowing four hours to get to Manila. 

I spent the majority of my day watching my laptop reboot trying to address some problems being experienced at the plant here. I feel like such a poor white boy but lack of reliable Internet and the inability to use my iPhone while abroad because of data roaming charges is really frustrating!

So, the morning was a write off but my afternoon should be much more enjoyable. The rains have stopped again and the sky is blue. I've got some company to do a little bit of shopping and have some dinner so it's nice that I won't be spending these last hours alone. 

I've only taken a single photo today and it's another one of my first world problems. I was very excited to have eggs Benedict for breakfast but received the following:

If I've learned anything while here it's that we've really got things good in Canada, to the point where I'm almost embarrassed about it. I hope this renewed sense of gratitude for my life back home doesn't slip away anytime soon. (Which is why posted of the photo above, it feels ridiculous to be disappointed by breakfast. I should simply be grateful for eating! So I am!)

More later...