On my flight back to Australia I created a list in my phone notes titled “upon return” that listed all the things I had to do, “upon return” - as is self-explanatory. Now I am home starting to tick things off my list like Christmas shopping, bonding with my family, etc. I am getting my spring classes in order and I am feeling relaxed as opposed to the feeling I have of constantly being on my feet when I am traveling or living abroad. As I settle into being home, I can not help but feel a strange way. I always feel weird after traveling somewhere long term and going back “home.” Maybe this is because I do not know what “home” really means anymore. I feel a lot of places can feel like home as well as people. Sometimes I have felt more at home with a group of strangers I’ve only known for a few weeks compared to a group of friends from my hometown that I have known since childhood. I have felt more at home in some places the second I am in them as opposed to my hometown as well. It’s a hard feeling to describe, but sometimes I just go to a place and everything feels right there. I think studying abroad in Australia was an experience that tied a lot of ideas about what constitutes home together for me. A lot of the friends I made there I feel will be the kind of people I know for a lifetime. Even the first day I was home, I facetimed my best friend I made in Australia and I have a feeling we will continue to talk often. Social media really helps these days because everyone is able to watch each other's life play out from afar in a way. I think social media is actually what made leaving friends I have made abroad in Australia so easy. It is also what made leaving home so easy initially. When I came home I sat down at my kitchen table with my family and we all looked at the pictures from my time abroad from my Instagram.
Once someone drew me a “travel mood chart.” It showed a line graph with time on the x-axis and mood on the y-axis. It is a chart made to show general stages of travel moods that people go through before, during and after travel experiences. I can not say anything honestly factually backs this chart up other than a lot of people relating to it, especially myself. The chart shows the initial excitement of traveling to a new place and energy and emotions high. The post-travel part (the return home) is the piece I always relate to after travel or living abroad. It shows a sort of “post-travel depression” and I would not go as far as to say that I am actually depressed after leaving a place, but it definitely feels like I’m missing a piece of something I’ve learned to love. It feels like I’ve returned to a sort of ordinary world that makes me question how ordinary I really want to be. It makes me think that what I feel most after coming home from travel is that I want to go back and do it again, and again, and again.
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<p>I love to write, and I have for as long as I can remember. Being by nature, listening to all genres of music, dancing, playing instruments, philosophy and film all interest me intensely. I love learning more than most other things, and I search for "off the beaten path" everything, when I go anywhere.</p>