And that’s the problem.
When you go abroad you leave as a certain person; you think you know who you are. While you’re there everything changes.. you experience new things, have to adjust your perspective on the world 100 times a day, meet new friends and develop a completely new sense of self.
Then there comes the time when you move back or just come back “home” to visit family and when you talk to people you knew again.. they aren’t different. They don’t feel like strangers, but you feel like a stranger in your own body.
It’s like if you left as one body and one soul, then your soul is altered but you come back in the same body. This new person that you have become is no longer familiar with the people and the space you once felt most comfortable with.
Now, I sit with friends and family, hear their words and it feels like I am disconnected somehow. I still care for these people and know why we are friends, but while we are talking, I feel like these are conversations I’ve never heard and heard a million times all at the same time.
There is an uneasy feeling inside me that doesn’t go away when I am back home.
I’m just waiting for things to feel “normal” again, to feel at ease and for everything to feel familiar.. but I know that that isn’t possible anymore.
Moving around and constantly being uncomfortable is now my normal. Coming home to what is most familiar fills me with anxiety, like I’m going to be sucked back in. And never be able to escape again.
I don’t know if this is permanent, but I have been home 4 times since the beginning of my travels and this place hasn’t felt like home since my first flight out in 2012.
As I was driving through my old stomping grounds today, seeing my old university, driving by the house I lived in during college, and catching up on all the drama of high-school friends, I realized that the reason that I like traveling is that I am constantly moving away from everywhere that I have memories.
The thought if going somewhere new that I have no attachment to entices me. I don’t want to go somewhere and remember anything about the past. I want new. I want fresh.
So, I guess that is what changes while you’re abroad.