As I write this it has been 6 months & a day that I got home from my 2 year trip around the world. I’m laying here in my bedroom with a million thoughts running through my mind and no clue how to express them in words for y’all to read. I have been wanting to write this post for a while… you know the post about how it feels to be home after you traveled the world. The truth is I have been putting it off because I haven’t figured out what I want to say even though I know what is running through my mind. The most obvious thought is that I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I got home. It seems like just yesterday I said good bye to him and a lifestyle I was living for 2 years. At that time I had no clue what to expect of my return home and well the reality of coming home after I have traveled the world for me has been quite the emotional roller coaster and sometimes just down right depressing.
I came home to an amazing surprise party where all my family and some of my close friends attended. I will never forgot how strange it felt to be around them with not a clue of what to say or even talk about. I remember standing to the side and just observing. I felt so out of place and like I didn’t belong there. I remember them asking me how my trip around the world was and in my mind wondering how do I explain to them what the past 2 years of my life were like for me in a couple minutes worth of conversation? These are feelings that I encountered time after time as I became reacquainted with my family and friends.
As that happened I realized early on that people really have no interest in what I experienced around the world and were just happy to have me back home safe. I realized peoples biggest concern was, what I was going to do now that I was home? I felt that people were quick to try and put me back into the life I left behind when I took off. The hardest part for me though wasn’t even that it was the fact that after 2 years on the road I was realizing that nothing has changed at home. I was having trouble wrapping my mind around that fact. Yes people got married, purchased home or cars, got new jobs and even had babies, but their ways of life hadn’t changed much. It sounds arrogant when I say this, but the reason I have been having trouble with that is that the core of who am has forever changed because the journey I took around the world. It’s those feelings that have made it difficult for me during the last 6 months.
I have been home 6 months and still haven’t bought a car or even have a cell phone. Those are two items that are essential to live with in Houston. It shocks people when I tell them I don’t have either and wonder how I do it. I explain to them how I do it and that it comes with a lot of sacrifices, but they are sacrifices I am willing to make to continue living the life I want to live. It’s a life on my terms and free of things tying me down when I am ready to take off again. The other thing on everyone’s mind was the job part of my return home and what I was going to do. In that aspect I got extremely lucky that the law firm my sister works at needed an assistant and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass. I have now been there over 5 months and it’s been helping me reach my goal of saving money to leave again. It wasn’t part of my plan to start working so soon, but I am glad I did because I actually like my job.
Along with dealing with all of the above I have also been dealing with reverse culture shock. I can now say I have seen how a portion of the rest of the world lives and it’s NOTHING like we live here in the USA. It’s shocking how wasteful and what a consumer driven country we are and don’t get me started on how consumed we are in being busy and staying busy or our food portions. It’s also easy for me to see now the bubble we live in here and how we are kept inside that bubble and it’s something you just won’t get until you have spent some time outside of the USA and seen it from the outside in. I also find it annoying at how many times people stress over the smallest problems or problems that if they wanted could easily be solved. It’s the whole #firstworldproblems dilemma that people don’t understand is ridiculous and you can’t mention it to them because they will get offended. I can seriously list a million things here that just blow my mind about the way of life in the USA that I may never understand again and because I have seen how some of rest live I honestly hate sometimes. Yes I am thankful for what I have and for living in a country like the USA, but I have learned it’s not the best country in the world and has a million flaws (like every country).
Just a random shot I took of Big Bird in Central Park. He looks so lonely.
The things I have mentioned above are things I knew I was going to deal with on my return home, but of everything I didn’t know the hardest part of it all was going to be the battle that rages within. I have lost count of how many times I have cried in the last 6 months. Sometimes they are burst of tears that come out of the blue and unexpectedly, sometimes they are just from laying in bed thinking of how my life was on the road and how badly I miss him/it. It doesn’t help at all that I returned home with a broken heart, but that’s a whole other story for another time. I do wish someone had warned me that the hardest part of a trip around the world was not going to be taking off and doing it but the return home. Yes I mean that, it’s been so hard and it’s something I feel like no one around me understands, because it’s hard to explain to them. Also even though I have many great friends I feel so lonely inside sometimes that it hurts. It also doesn’t help that I have fallen out of touch with some of my best friends because we’ve just grown apart. I know I am the one who has changed and no longer enjoys the life I used to live before I left and that they are still living today. The friends I have kept in touch with though I love them dearly and love that they are supportive of the life I want to live. Now that I am home I feel like I can’t lounge around and do nothing for to long because my mind just doesn’t shut off and I think of him and of life on the road. That’s part of the reason I have taken it upon myself to clean and paint my parents home. It’s been quite the task and taking me longer than I expected, but I’m loving the time I am spending with my parents and am glad I am able to help them out while I am home and keep busy to keep my mind off everything else.
It’s like I know what is out there now and no matter what I do I will always know and that’s what has made it difficult being home and I want more of that at least for now. I know at some point I want to settle down, but it’s not now and not yet. Even though it may not sound like it from what you have read I am actually happy at home and making the most of it while I am here. I know I can easily pack up and leave TODAY… like I really could because nothing is holding me here. I know I could easily find a job on the road, but don’t want that. I have an awesome job that pays well and that will help me reach my goal of saving $15,000 before taking off again. I sometimes wonder how is it that I was able to fall back into the routine of life so easily? It’s actually scary how easy you do fall back into the 9 to 5 routine, but the best part is that I have not fallen back to my old habits and have kept my goal the main priority while I am home. It’s a goal I know is attainable and am going to reach to breakaway again.
The last 6 months have been an interesting bunch and I love that I even enjoyed a bit of travel as well like visiting New Orleans, Austin, San Antonio, Toronto and New York City. Now though I’m switching it to high gear and focusing on my goal to make it happen. While I do just that I am going to enjoy the comfort of my home because no joke it is nice knowing where I am going to lay my head to sleep every night and not have to plan what’s next every few days like life on the road. I will continue to embrace the tears of joy and sadness that fall down my cheeks and enjoy my time at home and make the most of it while I am here before taking off again. With the million thoughts running through my mind I know this post will only convey a portion of what is happening inside me, but for now that has been my reality of coming home after I have traveled the world.