The feeling of coming home after a long trip is weird. You’re happy and sad at the same time. You can’t wait to get back into a routine, but you’re also dreading it. You want to connect with family and friends, but you also want your space. It’s a game of tug of war.
It’s not exactly an exciting feeling, as it is a feeling of relief when the plane hits the tarmac. It’s the familiarity that lifts a weight off your shoulders as the plane rolls up to the gate.
You know the way out of the terminal and to baggage claim without having to read the signs. You know the best place to hail a cab or jump on a bus back to your apartment.
You recognize the buildings of your city as you drive by.
You notice that the neighbors didn’t put out the trash as you round the corner to your place. You roll your eyes and think, back to reality.
You walk up to the front door and play with your keys.
You’re flustered from the journey.
You hear your dog’s paws scuffle across the floor and right into your arms as you open the door. What a happy feeling.
You walk around the apartment and everything is just as you left it.
You go straight to the fridge and open it.
You stare at it. Not really thinking about anything.
You do the same thing with the cupboards.
You don’t want to cook, but you also don’t want to eat out again.
You settle for some old crackers and a bowl of oatmeal and call it a day.
You put your feet up on the couch and turn on the TV.
You’re not really watching it—just sort of decompressing.
You start going through the photos of your trip—nostalgia hits and you already want to go back. You sigh, back to reality.
You take a hot shower, grateful for your own shampoo and conditioner.
You brush your teeth using a full tube of toothpaste.
You towel off, throw on an old pair of pajamas, and climb under the covers and into your beloved bed.
You close your eyes and let out a long, deep breath.
Your alarm goes off.
You throw the covers over your head and groan, back to reality.
You do your morning routine as if nothing’s changed. The familiarity of it makes you feel a bit of stability after a loose trip. But you already miss those days when you woke up without an agenda.
On your way to work, you look around and feel reassured by the familiarity of the buildings. You’re happy to be reunited with your city and the people in it. You’re proud to live here.
It’s a slightly unsettling, yet reassuring feeling to be home. This is where you’re comfortable, yet you can’t help but daydream about your next trip. It will always be a game of tug of war. At least, it will for me.