Wanderlust: a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. Once you get a taste of travel, it sparks a desire for more into your DNA. Living overseas is like living in fantasy land. Everything is new and exciting, and the people you meet have stories to tell and experiences to share; you are cultivated by curiosity wherever you turn. It is addicting. The longer you stay, the more intertwined you feel, and you add more and more pages to your ongoing book of life. But at one point or another, you have to finish one chapter in order to move onto the rest.
When you return home after being away for a long period of time, you tell yourself it’s going to be easy. You have the mindset that everything is going to be the way used to be and that you’re just going to fit back in like the last awaiting piece of a near-finished puzzle. But if there is anything I have learnt over the past couple of weeks, it isn’t like that at all, because the person coming home isn’t the same person that left. When you travel you unconsciously are moulded to the suitability of your new surroundings. You find yourself using new phrases, trying new delicacies and attending social events that are nothing like you would ever expect them to be. You are in an unknown world, but it is a world that is so pleasing to you that you don’t see yourself getting caught up in it.
I have only been home for a couple of months, and yet it feels like my whole overseas adventure was a dream. It was like I suddenly woke up and it was all a fragment of my imagination playing games on me; a hallucination. And I haven’t been as okay as I expected myself to be. I feel like my heart has been torn between two different places: the home I known and the home I have grown to love through experience. You don’t realise how much you love being a part of a diverse universe until you are plucked away from it and are right back where you started. And it’s a horrible feeling. My brain was telling me that when I returned home, I would blend right back in and it would be so easy to just spring back into everything. But in fact I have never felt so overwhelmed in my life. I thought going overseas would be the most overwhelming thing I would ever do, but despite what I thought it has been coming home that has stunned me the most.
Feeling comfortable in your own skin is a privilege in life. No matter how much you tell your body how it is supposed to feel, it will feel whatever it wants to feel regardless. You have no control and you have no assurance of what you will be feeling in a couple of hours, days or years. Isn’t that a scary thought? Life has a funny way of throwing tests at us, even when we are unaware that we are even being tested. The most important thing I have learnt over the past month is that feeling vulnerable and unsure is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of simply being human. I have been bottling up my emotions ever since I returned, and have only now come to the realisation that it is only a certain amount of time before it will break you, whether you like it or not. It is inevitable and it is not an enjoyable feeling.
I have now told myself and confirmed in my mind that it is okay to admit to yourself that you need a little help along the way sometimes. Nobody is bulletproof, and it is not a weak reflection on your character if you ask for support. There is nothing wrong with feeling mixed emotions after such a life-changing experience, it is bound to happen. Cherish your memories and have confidence in the knowing that things will get easier if you just give it some time. You are a human being, not a robot; you cannot be programmed to feel a certain way at a pinpointed time in life. All you can do is wake up tomorrow, put one foot in front of the other and trust that another adventure is waiting around the corner to sweep you off your feet.
Have you ever experienced something similar? Or fallen in love with a place you never imagined you’d call home?
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