Back in Canada
Last Wednesday, I landed back in Toronto. My South America trip officially over. While I was sad that my trip ended, I felt relieved to be back. Solo travelling South America for an extended period of time helped me appreciate the country I call home. Here are a few things I appreciate about Canada:
- High floors. While there are homeless people in Canada, poverty isn’t widespread. Because poverty is widespread, many people turn to crime to survive. This is especially a problem in a third world country like Colombia.
- High ceilings. Many of my friends dream of being artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, etc. To many in South America, the dream is to come to America. The opportunities and support don’t really exist there.
- Multicultural. The locals were of course Latin American. The vast majority of tourists and backpackers were Caucasian. Other than the locals, I met very few people of color. I’m writing this post in a shopping mall food court in Toronto. When I look up I see white people, black people, asian people, middle eastern people, etc. I have friends from all backgrounds and ethnicities. I take it for granted that this isn’t norm everywhere else.
- No language barrier. While I did enjoy immersing myself in a different culture and language, the language barrier added another layer of difficulty. Doing seemingly simple things like getting a haircut was challenging.
- Infrastructure. One of the first things I noticed about South America is that from a progress standpoint they seemed two decades behind. This can be seen in cars, gas guzzling buses, and rusty motorcycles. Dilapidated, cobblestone, one-way roads were everywhere. The chaotic streets and lack of decent infrastructure made getting anywhere stressful and time consuming.
- Proper service. Compared to Canada, the service especially at restaurants is straight terrible. You have to almost shout at the servers to get their attention. I’m used to servers refilling my glass, or collecting my plates when I’m finished, there isn’t any of that there. Once, I ordered some food and water and after thirty minutes of not receiving anything I asked my server and they completely forgot. The restaurant wasn’t busy either. It was the exact opposite. I’m not sure how that happened.