On the Turtle’s Back

By, Tooker Gomberg and Angela Bischoff, Edmonton, Alberta.

This article, written for Integral, an environmental and health publication in Spain, tells of how it feels to be back in Canada.

We were on a vibrant Vietnam street, when we accepted the inevitable; we were out of money and had no choice but to return. The Greenspiration Odyssey would take a turn back towards Turtle Island.

So here we are in Edmonton, Canada – back in the land of pavement and parking lots. Seeing our native land with Asian eyes has been quite a shock. North Americans seem very uptight, rushing around, distracted, isolated in private cars and houses and indoor shopping malls. It seems that all the material wealth accrued by North Americans hasn’t made us any happier.

That said, we relish the open space, the parks and the wilderness. And we appreciate being able to express ourselves again in English! After two years on the road, it feels like home. Now if only we could import the street markets of Vietnam, the bicycle parkades of Japan, the car-freedom of Hong Kong’s Lamma Island, the organic agriculture of Cuba, and the small-scaled biogas sewage systems of China.

We’re cross-pollinating like bees. We’ve brought back some potent stories and images – let’s hope that these ideas take root and bear fruit!