Posted by: Waheeda Harris | January 26, 2015

The local girl…

W winteror the story of a woman who keeps finding places to belong.

January is a very reflective month for me – its a month before my birthday and in the middle of Canada’s winter, hibernation is a daily temptation.

I’m not one to embrace the cold, especially in the big city where the snow quickly changes from white to brown or black and my fellow citizens look miserable. So I spend more time inside, and more time thinking about my past year and my future.

As I’ve travelled for work and fun the past few years, I’ve been lucky to keep finding places where people assume I’m local. It may seem funny or odd, but for me, its gratifying.

When I was a kid growing up in small town British Columbia, I was never considered local. I was foreign, an immigrant, someone who didn’t come from here. I felt I was on the outside, looking at the local community and local society as an observer, not as someone who part of the circle.

I wasn’t ignored, nor excluded, but I knew I wasn’t considered local. When I started to travel, to visit family, to see friends and eventually on my own or with friends, I started finding connections. And hearing from strangers that they assumed I was local – someone’s family member, someone who lived down the road or at very least, someone who must live here.

In the past few years I’ve made many friends, seen new places, experienced amazing destinations and been grateful for the welcome I’ve had almost everywhere I’ve gone. I’ve been the person that is able to blend into the crowd, assumed to belong and been considered local. It’s a precious gift to me.

So as 2015 begins, I’m going to start sharing on this blog those tales of belonging. And why travel to me has made this world seem like a bigger family than I could ever have imagined.

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