Home? After a year abroad…

Autumn in Canada

Autumn in Canada

I keep wondering when people will stop asking me the dreaded question… “So… How is it being home after spending a year in Australia?” I don’t even know how to answer anyone anymore. I just keep making a weird, disgusted face and saying, “I hate it”.

I knew I would have to go through a transition period, returning to the small town where I grew up after living in a big city on the other side of the world, I just didn’t think it would take so long. I keep saying to myself, “Okay Amie, it has been almost two months now… get over it”, but I can’t. I just can’t get over the fact that I feel stuck right now. All I can think about is where I am going to travel next. Where will I live? What will I do there? Who will I meet? The other morning my mom told me that she thinks this obsession and thought process of mine is actually unhealthy. I can’t see it changing anytime soon, not unless I can confirm that I will be moving abroad again or traveling for an extended period of time.

While I was away, I did experience little moments where I was homesick or panicking about life. I won’t lie, at one point I even thought I needed to come home because I felt so alone, I felt like everyone was moving on with their lives, getting real life jobs, getting engaged, buying houses, and even having kids. I just needed to accept the fact that I was not at that stage and the life I want right now does not include those things. In Australia, people I had met that had already lived abroad just kept telling me that nothing changes at home while you’re away, aside from some small things. They were right, after nearly two months spent living in my hometown again, I can confirm that not one thing has changed. The people are still the same; it is me who has changed.

Before I left for Australia all I wanted to do was go out and party with all of my ‘friends’ all the time. I used to finish work on a Friday or Saturday night (or any night of the week for that matter) at ten or eleven and race out to see everyone at the bar… now I race home to bed, to watch a movie or read a book. I just cannot justify spending my money at the local bar on alcohol and feeling like garbage the next morning. I cannot justify spending my money on ‘nice’ clothes to party in every time I go out (because of course everyone remembers what you wore to the bar last weekend). Maybe I am just growing up or maybe I can only justify spending my money on travel, it is probably a combination of the two.

People probably wonder if I am even home these days. All I do is work, go to the gym, write, and sleep. I don’t really socialize with anyone anymore because I don’t want to spend money on endless meals out or on drinking. Aside from the money part, I just don’t feel the same connections to people that I used to. Traveling really does change you. In no way, whatsoever, am I trying to say that I am better than anyone else. I just feel like a lot of the people that I was ‘friends’ with before leaving for Australia were more or less friends to party with. I am seeking deeper connections with people, like the connections I made on the road. I also enjoying spending time with people who share my love for travel, as it is something I can talk about forever, which is sort of the reason I decided to blog about it.

I recently met with a girl named Liane who had actually been living and Au Pairing in Melbourne at the same time as me, we just never crossed paths while we were there. As it turns out, we had mutual friends in Melbourne and back home, which is how we were connected. Liane had returned home to Canada long before I did and had experienced the dreaded ‘transition’ period, which gave me someone to talk to about it. Everything she was telling me about with her experience was exactly how I was feeling and it such a relief to know I wasn’t alone. She had stopped partying and blowing her money on useless things too as she had a boyfriend back in Australia and was saving every penny to go back and see him for three months (she is there now). Meeting with Liane gave me hope that I too will overcome this transition period and figure out my own path. View Liane’s travel blog here.

I don’t want to sit and bash the small town where I grew up; after all, it is home. It shaped me into the person I am today and also pushed me to see more of the world. I do have some pretty amazing people in my life that happen to be located in and around the area, which I do make an effort to see and it is nice to be able to unpack your life a little bit. I also have travel plans in the near future, a road trip to Chicago, Illinois with a life-long friend, and a family vacation to Mexico, which is a bonus. I am currently in the process of finding my next opportunity to travel and work abroad, which I may have found but I will wait and write about it when things are official. In the meantime, I am just working my ass off to save all of my money. Even if I don’t know where I am headed or what I am going to do, I know I need to save for it. I am trying to find happiness in where I am now, living in the moment, doing things that I find fulfilling, and planning my next adventure. Just please, for the love of God, stop asking me how I feel about being home.

This is probably the face I make when asked how I feel about being home

This is probably the face I make when asked how I feel about being home

Reunited in Canada with my best friend Dylan (after we both spent a year in Australia)

Reunited in Canada with my best friend Dylan (after we both spent a year in Australia)

Being a tourist in Niagara-On-The-Lake... didn't even know you could see America across the river

Being a tourist in Niagara-On-The-Lake… didn’t even know you could see America across the river

Prowling at the local pumpkin patch... this is where I grew up

Prowling at the local pumpkin patch… this is where I grew up

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7 thoughts on “Home? After a year abroad…

  1. Enjoying reading your blog! And I’ve been there – know exactly how you feel :/
    As soon as you travel again, you’ll come back to life :)
    I hope I never stop travelling as long as I live!!
    (And if it makes you feel any better – the weather in Melbourne sucks ass right now – no sign of Spring yet – boo!) xx

  2. Dear Amie,
    It’s easy to have these feelings after being in Australia. I suggest your next trip Afghanistan or Iraq. Then when you come home you’ll have a feeling of relief instead of feelings of regret.

    Colin Murphy
    Travel psychologist.

    • Dear Colin,

      Thank you for that… your travel psychologist skills are impeccable, especially the time you held a butter knife up to my neck at Twenty Valley after hearing about my mugging in Rio. (ps. I miss serving you Coors)

      Amie

  3. It’s scary how much this mirrors my own thoughts and feelings since I have moved “home” after traveling. Great writing. It makes me feel better knowing there’s other people that feel the same. Good luck in future adventures!

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