At first you wonder what you got yourself into. Some thoughts of regret find their way into your mind underneath all the excitement you’re feeling. You find ways to bring up your travel plans in conversation and tell everyone where you’re heading.
The date creeps up faster than you could have imagined, one second you it was just an idea and the next thing you know you’re trying to read up on what to pack and the destination you’re going to soon be calling home.
The sadness starts to creep in as you start to say goodbye to the familiarities you’ve grown to know and love so much. You say goodbye to your friends you’ve never been apart from for more than a few weeks or months at a time and you head to the airport with a load of nerves, anxiety, fear and excitement all brewing together in the pit of your stomach.
You told yourself you wouldn’t cry when you said goodbye to your parents, that you’ll be strong and that you’ll be back. But you find yourself shedding a few tears before you go your separate ways and head through the security check ready to embark on a new chapter of your life.
Thoughts go racing through your head and you wonder what your new life will be like on the other side of the world. You’re filled with uncertainty, but then you get off the plane and you find your bags and you walk out of the airport and all you can feel is happiness.
You did it, you made it to the place you’ve been longing to be for so long. It’s here and you’re standing on the soil of a foreign country. It’s like a dream.
There are so many new people to meet and places to see, you want to dive in and cover it all, but there’s so many things you’re still unsure of. Differences in driving, in culture, communication barriers, even if they still speak the same language. It’s learning how their money works and opening a bank account, it’s transitioning into a new place you only dreamed of living.
After the initial excitement wears off you find yourself comparing everything to home, you think about how the food at home is different, about how people do things differently and you start to miss the comfort because you know now that you’re going to be living this way for a while.
You get a new phone plan and you text everyone from back home that you miss them and to keep in touch. You ease your family’s worries and tell them everything is okay.
But the loneliness sinks in and you start to feel completely alienated. You moved to a place where most people have an established life and you’re just passing through. You try to find topics to talk about with the people you cross paths with but most nights are just filled with silent thoughts of home and you start to question if everything you decided was right for you.
But then time continues to go and the people you work with become your friends and they become people you look forward to seeing. You start to develop a routine and you meet souls that are like yours who love to wander. You share stories of past times and plans for the future. You get used to driving on the opposite side of the road and you learn your way around the markers. You still miss home, but you’ve adapted to your surroundings in your new home.
You still feel lonely from time to time, but in the back of your mind it’s always telling you that this is what you are meant to be doing. This is where your life path was meant to take you and you’re thankful for it because it’s provided you with a lot of amazing opportunities and cool people to interact with.
You realize home will still be home when you get back. Sure, there might be a few minor changes but it will always be the same place it was when you left. The people there might not change at all, but you know you’re changing a little more every day and you wonder what it will ever be like when you return.
You’ll wonder if you’ll start to compare things back home to the life you’re used to living now. You’ll wonder if you’ll text your new friends from here and tell them you miss them. And you know you will.
Then it hits you that you’re never going to feel completely whole again because you’ll always be leaving pieces of your heart with people from all over the world and you finally feel okay with that.
Moving to another country teaches you a lot, a lot more than you’d ever learn if you stayed home. But the number one thing it teaches you is that no matter where you go you’ll always find souls you connect with and that traveling the world isn’t so scary after all. And most importantly home will always be there when you return, so don’t be afraid to leave.