Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Home

Living overseas makes it hard to come back to the same city you've known for most of your life. It's jarring being back in a place so familiar, momentarily suspended in disbelief as you realise you're back in the same place you left those months or years ago, as if nothing has changed. Despite the intangible and irrevocable change to your being that travel induces, everything outside of this remains the same, in stasis. 

Hurtling back into reality, the return to real, normal life feels all too real to handle. All you want is an unknown city, a foreign accent, that feeling of being lost but unconcerned, feeling different currency within your hands and to meet new people again without Australian accents. Deeply missing the adventure of being constantly surprised by the new and foreign.

At first memories frequently appear of those times you've spent on the other side of the world. The array of people you've met, the stories you've experienced, funny moments that make you laugh out out loud but can't explain to anyone because they wouldn't understand, they weren't there. Day by day those memories are gradually stored away so that you can live in the present, the now, and those cherished memories begin to fade in their vibrancy. 

Everything at home has a dull sheen. You see home but you wish it was something else, like falling out of love with a place. It takes time though and slowly the realisation that you like being here occurs. It's nice to wake up somewhere familiar, to see your friends you've known for years without making an effort, to explore the streets that are so well known, to be with family. You're awake to the world and your home in a different way than before you left. Once you're gifted the observant and open eyes of a traveller even home can be an adventure if you let it. 

Sometimes it feels like parts of me are dispersed in the places I have visited or lived in. Different versions of me from different times and if I go back I'll reconnect with them, a self from a different time of my life. They are still there, stuck in time in memory form. Forever settling into Lyon, France on exchange at 20 or travelling Canada at 22. Home becomes less concrete when home is no longer set in a single place. Once you've had moments abroad, part of you stays in that somewhere else even if you leave it and never return. 


New York