You’re ready to go. You’ve booked your trip and packed your bags. There is nothing more exciting or more frightening than getting on that plane to go overseas for the first time. Alone.
If you have travelled alone overseas, you will know the feeling I’m talking about. The feeling of wondering if you’ve made the right decision, wondering if you should have waited, wondering if you will survive the whole trip, wondering what places you will visit, and wondering what kind of people you will meet. So much uncertainty, so much wondering, but that’s what makes it magical.
Then all of a sudden you have arrived in a foreign country that you now have to call home for the next eight months. You learn to live without your family and your friends, and you also learn how to make new ones. You learn how to save every dollar you earn and you learn how to live with only the simple things in life. You learn how to stop missing home and you eventually learn how to live by yourself.
Then the time comes to leave and the excitement kicks in once again. You can’t wait to come home and see everyone, to tell them all the amazing things you did and show them all the amazing photos you took.
But when you’re home, you realize nothing changed while you were gone. People are the same, the streets stay the same, even your room stays the same. It’s like you never really left. The rush of excitement you had to come home diminishes quickly and the people you were so excited to see soon get sick of hearing your stories.
You see, when you come home, no one will understand the things you saw. No one will understand why certain places didn’t live up to your expectations. No one will understand why the people you met made such a big impact on your life or why saying goodbye to them was so hard. No one will understand the experiences you had and the way you learned to live outside your comfort zone every single day. No one will understand the way you grew as a person and the way you now approach life a little differently.
And that’s why sometimes the worst part about traveling is coming home.