Packing your stuff and jumping on a plane to go see the world; what a great adventure! Most of us dream about it when we are at home so what about the ones who travel the world, do they sometimes dream about coming back home?
The first time you are about to go exploring the world, your mood swings from fearful to excitement every hour – generally when you land, your fear has magically disappeared in the air and you are left only with excitement. Some people plan to go travelling for 6 months and yet end up a full-time traveller several years later, while others plan to stay a year in a new country but end up shortening their trips to a couple of months. This is the thing with throwing yourself out there, in the unknown, you know when you are leaving and what you are leaving behind, but it is more difficult to know what you are going to find on the way and when you will return.
Travelling has personally given me a strong spirit, it has grown my wings and made me fly to my next destinations with a heart full of wonders and hope. At first, I felt like I could keep travelling the world non-stop in perpetuity, I remember thinking: Meeting people, learning languages, walking new streets, seeing various landscapes, tasting diverse food, getting lost to find myself…can all of this be enjoyable forever?
After making my way through every country in South-East Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Eastern Europe, I heard it again, the same little voice that 3 years back was whispering to me “Just go”. That time, I heard it saying “It is time to go back to France”.
You often get signs or hints that this time is coming. For instance, while travelling, you start seeking out the familiar, places that sort of feel like a home away from home (so-called ‘homesick’), you find yourself less curious about the places around and generally less hungry to explore. Packing your entire life up every few mornings starts to seem less fun, wearing the same clothes over and over starts to makes you miss your wardrobe back home, you start to feel tired of taking trains, buses, planes on a weekly basis, you start to miss having a place to call your own, somewhere you can pin photos on the wall and always have the same mattress to sleep on. And, yes, it is easy to make friends on the road, but the encounters are always followed by inevitable goodbyes, so when you start to miss the feeling of belonging to a group of friends or family, an epiphany occurs and this is when you decide to go back home.
Finally you realise what’s actually great in your country when you start missing it, it can be the food, the people (In my case it was clearly the cheese and I even came to miss and love the way french people always complain).
Heading back home does not mean travelling ends forever, most of us head home periodically to take a rest and recharge the batteries.
After travelling for a while, it’s easy to take striking sights and incredible landscapes for granted so maybe one of the reason why we go away is to learn to appreciate your own home so that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. Home still the same but something in your mind has changed and that changes everything.