The Anticlimaxical Feeling of Being Home After Life Abroad

By Cathy H - 5:52 PM

One day, just like that- I  found myself boarding the 8th plane within the short span of a month. But this time, it wasn't to a new destination, there was no long list of itinerary to follow, no anxious anticipation, but a one way ticket home.  I did not believe this was true. That finally, I would be back to "settling". That finally, my year of abundant adventures in 5 countries has come to an end. Yes, everything ends and I accept it with open arms. But the end that takes me back to home, to Vancouver brough me extreme feelings of loss, panic, and the inevitable void and future I will have to face again. That's all I can say. It's the void. That knowing no matter what faraway destination I have ventured to, whatever spectular experiences I have, the void will eventually come back. That's the feeling of being home. Knowing it is time to "pause" and focus on "adult" matters in life. It is the world telling me that this is reality. But suddenly, home didn't feel the same anymore. Everyone did the same things, kept the same personalities, went about their day to day routines. But what changed was me, I am not the same anymore. 
I am the collection of all that I've experienced, and they have changed me in irreversible ways. My mind constantly flashes back to the rural, impoverished sceneries of Southeast Asian countryside, the nights I ventured out of my hotel searching for dinner like that was the most important thing in the world, of the moment I found myself having one of the deepest conversations in my life with a stranger. Thinking back to the way others have interpreted me, and the way I have acted in response to their perception. And mostly importantly, I now realize there are bigger things in life. And they are accessible to me, they are out there, just a decision away, and ready for me to live out. Vancouver has always been a place of near suffocation where it is the most optimal place to live, but so mind numbingly mundane because of it's perfect infrastructures and living conditions. Everything is predictable- from the constant months of rain to the local mall and few restaurants in my neighbourhood that I have frequented hundreds of times. It is so liveable, so easy, but so expensive, so lacking in cultural and options.
I can't hop on a train and end up in a completely different city anymore. I can't easily coordinate weekend overnight trips with 5+ people anymore. There are so many "I can't"s that I already knew I was going to miss about life abroad. I knew I was meant to live through all that, but now I'm wondering if I'm meant to keep continuing that lifestyle or just settle here for a mundane career and make everyone else relieved and satisfied. Maybe I'll be satisfied too. Being home feels surreal and I am extremely grateful for many things. I am not in a slump or bitter mood but I am simply wondering what is the best lifestyle for me after seeing it all.  But than again, who am I to decide? Maybe my path has been pre-planned out for me. Struggling against it is just futile and I should live each day out making the best of whatever life will toss at me next. I've always been a big believer of fate and predetermined destiny anyway. And, I want to believe that as of this moment- I am in the right place at the right time doing what I am supposed to. I think life abroad made me have faith in life. That it will give me exactly what I need- home or not.

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