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A Potion of Mixed Emotions

Once you have lived abroad, whether it be for 6 months or for 6 years, coming home can seem an exciting prospect. To see those you love and those you are close to, and to finally see all of those people you haven’t seen for so long; to tell them your news. Once you are there, of course, a whole new wave of emotion sets in that you may not actually be prepared for. When you get back, it may seem as though no one has realised that you’ve even left, because it seems no one actually cares enough to ask you about it, or knows what to say. Often, it can take almost as long to get over it, as the time you were away. At times, nothing quite feels the same and the longing may get worse over time, but it encourages and pushes you to pursue the next adventure. Sometimes, planning the next adventure can consume you, and although you are physically in one place, your heart and head remain in another. Conversations have changed and so has your mindset, but your new thoughts and feelings have only brought a stronger, more open-minded you. A version of you that propels your thoughts and feelings productively and in a direction that can bring the next adventure that little bit closer.

When you have experienced colourful cultures and the outbacks of the jungle, coming home can feel quite like a luxury, and your now strange bed becomes your safe haven for the first few days. When you finally pluck up the courage to leave your travelling blues at home and to venture out to see the family and friends again, listening to the small things people worry about can seem mind-bending. Why are they worrying about these minor things, when many people all over the world are experiencing life-threatening situations on a daily basis? Of course, everyone’s problems are important, but after experiencing the bigger picture you may find it hard to sympathise with unimportant daily woes. You may find yourself unexpectedly feeling as though the nomad in you is screaming aloud and telling you to jump on the next plane to the perfect view, but reality brings you back to the place you call home, and to the reality that you need to save for the next voyage.

The feeling of being home is a potion of mixed emotions that everybody handles differently; easier than expected for some. Being home doesn’t signal the end of an adventure, it is a sign that there is a new one to come. Although perspectives may have changed, the people in your life remain the same, and it helps the traveller in you accept that everyone has a different path and a different direction in which they will go.

It can be difficult to accept, and hard to comprehend, but home may not seem like home anymore; home to you has become wherever you have been lucky enough to find a bed across the other side of the world. People may think you’ve changed or turned into a ‘travelling hippy‘, but you only see that as a compliment; you have changed, and you have experienced. You may have become more sociable and extrovert when away, yet ironically back home, you may now be the shy and enigmatic one around the table, daydreaming of memories passed.

If one fights hard enough for what one wants, then in time, it will come. Travelling is done by choice, not luck, and many people tend to forget that. “I wish I was as lucky as you”, well, the world is literally our oyster, and waiting for us to explore it. The time we step out of our comfort zones is the time we really start living and learning, and you may even find that, actually, the difficult part is not the idea of solo travel or even stepping on the plane…but the coming back.

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