For the first time in my life I have had people ask me where I’m from and when I say Canada they shrug their shoulders and say, “Where’s that?”  After 5.5 months I am officially homesick.

Although some of my homesickness might be brought on by the fact that my entire body is aching, my eyeballs hurt and my head is pounding. To say the least, I’m glad I brought Imodium.  To make the situation even worse, Chris is also feeling like this.  I hope we get on our feet soon because we should jump on a bus and head into Iran. Right now we’re in a city called Van which is very close to the border.  To get here we took a 7-hour bus ride from Diyarbakir where we spent two nights and had a wonderful adventure.

Chris and I enjoying a break in Istanbul on some ridiculous cushions.

The crescent moon and the star are the symbols of Turkey. This is looking out the train window during our 30-hour train ride from Istanbul to Malatya.

Chris and I with Muzaffer, a man who showed us all the sites of Diyarbakir out of the kindness of his heart. He spent 6 hours with us. He was that eager and willing to teach people the Kurdish way and culture.

Muzaffer wanted this photo to look "natural" so this is the pose he chose. Hee,hee. Silly guy.

We’ve had people ask us throughout our trip if we are homesick, but honestly until recently I wasn’t.  Lately, all of my dreams have been about home.  I didn’t think I would feel homesick for Canada, especially in Muslim countries because I spent 10-years of my life in Saudi Arabia. For 10-years I heard prayer call, and felt the sweltering heat that makes you sweat just from standing in it. I loved it. It was home from age 8-18.

When my dad retired from the company in Saudi we of course moved back to Canada.  I didn’t feel Canadian. I felt like a visitor. I didn’t own a winter coat, or even more than a couple pairs of socks. Everything was strange, quiet and cold. I use to walk down 17th Ave looking at all the people having a good time inside the warm bars. One of them even had a palm tree painted on the window. (Everyone is always wishing or thinking they’d be happier somewhere else.) I was homesick for Saudi and lonely. Of course I eventually made friends in Canada. I found a family of them in University and even a husband! I learnt the ways of being Canadian. I got use to putting on a sweater, a hoody and then my winter jacket before going outside.  Although it took me about six years to finally admit I shouldn’t be wearing a skirt in January.

So here I am, in weather where I don’t need a winter coat or even a sweater and for some damn reason I’m homesick for Canada’s seasons and many of its other attributes.  I’m homesick for how green and lush trees look in the summer time.  I’m homesick for the freshness and crispness of our air. And for bathtubs, and toilet paper in public restrooms. I’m homesick for a big, thick Alberta beef steaks. I’m homesick for Taber corn and perogies. I’m homesick for pork roast. I’m homesick for different varieties of food like Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian, etc. I’m homesick for a washer and dryer. I’m homesick for a kitchen. I’m homesick for having more than 5 shirts and 2 bottoms as a wardrobe. I’m homesick because I don’t have a home.

One example of what our hotel rooms usually look like, and how we've been doing laundry for the better part of 5.5 months (except for our wonderful month in Italy).

This is Ayran. It's a drink made out of yogurt, water and salt. Here in eastern Turkey they serve it in large cups or bowls, instead of the manufactured plastic cans like in the west. Just one small difference between western and eastern Turkey.

Me watching the sunset on top of Nemrut Dagi.

I’m guilty of wanting to be somewhere else on -30 degree days in Canada, but now that I have been away for 5.5 months I know that it takes seeing and experiencing other places to remind me that my home is Canada. That it is a fantastic place to live. I guess it turns out I’m more Canadian and feel more Canadian than I ever thought I was.  I look forward to coming home.  In fact, I might just kiss the ground when we get back and take three week vacations to hot destinations.

(I apologize for the quality of the photos. They were all taken with our small point-shoot.)