My husband and I grew up in India. When we were in our 20’s we decided to take on an adventure of a lifetime, and move away. First it was Dubai and then further west to Canada. That was almost 18 years ago and wherever we lived, Dubai, Calgary or Toronto, we have made the time to visit our family back home.
Travel Home With Kids
I admit over the years this undertaking has become more complicated than it used to be. Travelling back and forth between India and Canada comes with its own problems. It’s not just the long flights and jetlag but also the difference in culture, food, weather.
It starts as soon as you land and are greeted by teeming crowds in front of the airport. People waiting for their loved ones, with taxis honking and the heat rising in the air – whether it’s 2 in the afternoon or 2 am the scene is usually the same.
Which brings me to my question, can a person have two homes?
I live in Canada and most days happily so, but as soon as I land in India a part of my soul goes aaaaaah! Thand pe gayee, my mother would say in Punjabi. There’s something about my soul that relaxes just a little.
At the same time when we land back in Canada after spending weeks sometimes months away I feel relief. Home is where the heart is, but can the heart be on opposite ends of the world at the same time. I’m a proof that it can.
Raising Responsible Global Citizens
My husband and I are raising our kids to be kind and conscious, and to be comfortable in their own skin. We hope they will grow up to be responsible global citizens. That’s possible only when we transform our thinking regularly through different and colourful experiences. Our family trip back to India is a big part of that learning experience and I’m always glad to see the kids’ excitement build as we start preparing for our trip.
This pull may change over the next few years as kids get older and school gets more serious. That’s why I’m in such a hurry to make memories while they are still young. It’s those memories that will draw the kids closer with family living on the other side of the world. And when you add in the culture, the food, spice and colour, and even the noise I feel the same relief that my kids are being raised with a deep connection to their roots in India.
This deep connection can even justify the hyperbole I hear when they are playing,“I have hundreds of cousins in India.”
That’s not true – more like tens. But the overwhelming experience that is India multiplies our imagination tenfold. At least!