This week, Medium deposited a story in my inbox telling the tale of a couple's bittersweet return home after a year of travelling and volunteering with NGOs. The title piqued my interested and the way in which author Danny Forest shared his experience was grounding & real. His account totally hit the nail on the head of how I felt moving home after 2 years living in Dubai, and even after the shorter jaunts to whichever corner of the globe took my fancy.
Returning home from Dubai left me in a really bizarre limbo; I'd been away for two years, many of my friends in Cardiff had settled down or moved to London, and thus common ground automatically dwindled. They had careers, and marriage plans and babies on the way - the latter two being things I've never factored into my future but it certainly contributed to a feeling of being stuck in a rut.
I had my reasons for returning and quickly learned coming home isn't a bad thing, but you do need to figure out ways to adapt to the change. So, how to turn homecoming blues into homecoming keen? For me, these four things get me through every time.
Many moons ago, moving to London and scoring a job in the music industry were my priority. Hard graft, saving up and flinging open the door when opportunity eventually knocked got me to where I wanted to be.
Of all my current challenges the greatest will be starting a new job working in tech. The company specialises in AI & I'll be working remotely. A fairly massive change from running eCommerce for a major record company based in a very normal office in West London with a group of people who started as colleagues and I left as friends.
The desire for progress, opportunity for a new education, & greater means affording me to travel more have been the biggest drivers to this change. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little apprehensive about it all but let's see how it goes. What's the worst that could happen?
Allowing my brain to constantly wander to new destinations is a regular occurrence. This constant wanderlusting really helps me get over the hump of coming home. These days, you can bet I'm already planning my next activity before the plane lands back in London because I can't go away again if I don't come home in between, plus Teddy & Birdie wouldn't be best pleased.
As well as my constant search for the best matcha in London, this year I'm planning to visit:
- Hong Kong & Taiwan. I want to see where my Grandpa lived in Hong Kong many, many, many moons ago, and Taiwan is a short-ish hop away so why not, hey?
- Morocco for a horseback desert expedition.
- Finland. There's a trip with Flashpack I'm booking the second payday rolls around.
Bigger picture, focusing on self-improvement and trying my best to make sure what I do leaves a positive mark is vital. As an introverted extrovert, I frequently have speed bumps caused by self-confidence or lack thereof, so one way I do this is by sharing my experiences in the hope it helps someone find the energy to explore. Turns out, it has & that is wonderful.
My goals for this year are:
- Continue to grow SS&S in a way that helps other people get out into the world with a strong solo state of mind
- Smash it in my new job
- Refresh my Japanese (it's pretty rusty)
4. Don't Overthink It
Share your story! As a serial over-thinker, worrying about boring people with stories from my obviously awesome experiences or that they'll think I'm talking shit, or what I'm saying is just plain stupid is about standard. I'm just me, what do I know? Turns out, quite a lot.
A knowledge that can help other people from merely sharing a story about that time I went and did that thing by myself which it was mostly fantastic and I learned x, y and z from the experience.
Following a return from long-term travelling & gone through something similar? How did you cope? What were your next steps? Drop a comment & share your experience.
The author is a writer called Danny Forest. Have a read in full on Medium & get lost in his storytelling rabbit hole just like I did!