“Oh, I don’t do that anymore, because when I was in X country #1…” “Oh, in X country #2 I found this thing that…” “In X country #3, things are way better…”(*read with annoying posh voice”)
If you are anything like me, the above sentences would make you roll your eyes so hard it hurt. Or at least judge in a “selfie from below” angle the person saying those things. I used to be from the judging team. But I’m afraid I have slightly converted (hopefully I am not that posh/annoying) into one of those people now.
This past year I have been travelling quite a lot, and first of all I feel privileged, lucky, grateful, humbled, all of the above and more for the amazing experiences. However, I also missed home. A lot of people only see the glamorised version part of travel that is trying new foods, meeting lots of new and interesting people, seeing amazing scenery… But we are not taking into account that maybe one day you’re not having the best time and just want a bit of your own country’s comfort food, or your sofa and a film or simply to vent out with a friend in your own language.
And then you come home and you finally get the dish you’ve been craving for the second half of the trip… and it’s not as good as you remember, or it doesn’t give you the same sense of comfort that it used to. You meet up with your friends, but you don’t feel you can vent out as naturally as you used to, or you suddenly don’t find as many common interests as you used to. You go to your favourite spot in the city, but you don’t feel the same sense of belonging you used to feel.
Travelling changes you and it changes the way you think. How could it not? You see different ways of living, different people, different foods… You are not the same you used to be and you feel a stranger in a world that used to feel like home.
For me Spain and UK were places I considered to be my home. However, when I went back to Spain from living in London for 4 years, I didn’t fully understand how the supermarket aisles worked anymore or what to buy, I didn’t like how uncomfortable the metro seats are, I thought people talked way louder than they should… And then visiting London I hated the pollution I used to not even notice, somehow found the accent annoying at times, the fake politeness would get on my nerves…
It is said that second times are always worse than the firsts… I reckon they are not worse, you are just more aware than you were before, and with a broader perspective comes… bigger responsibility(?). Sorry, that was my inner nerd speaking 🙂 When you have a wider perspective, some of the innocence when you see things for the first time is gone. You are left with the beautiful picture, sure, but the sense of awe is not there anymore. I am aware that change is a constant of life and that it makes us grow and become who we are. But it can be scary and confusing. Other people love it… And that’s okay too.
Are you saying you would have stayed in your country had you known the consequences? No.
So you are okay with being not particularly good with change but not living in your own country? Yes. Because life is short and the world too big for me to stay at one place only.
Isn’t it scary and hard? Yes. But so it is following someone else’s life path. I’ll tell you what though, you do you, I’ll be all over the globe doing me.