The Hardest Part of Travelling

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I can’t quite describe how it all felt. I’ve done nothing but dream about travelling to Australia, and as I write this four months on - I still can’t believe I spent a whole year there. We travelled around five different states, met some amazing people, experienced moments out of the ordinary, worked in the Outback, watched Sydney’s New Year fireworks from Sydney Opera House and swam with a turtle in the Great Barrier Reef. Towards the end I felt ready to return home. It felt right. We felt ready. 

We landed back in England just before Christmas 2018. We were greeted by our parents at the airport, we were reunited with more loved ones and friends, we had welcome home parties, experienced an amazing Christmas and we spent every single day telling others about our year abroad. But once January hit, that all went away. Christmas quickly passed and we were no longer the exciting new objects people were interested in. It was now time to find a job, settle back into a routine of living at home again and getting used to living a part from the person you had just spent a whole year with. 

I found it all a lot more difficult than I could have ever imagined and I quickly realised that nothing had changed, everything and everyone was exactly how I left it. My house was the same, my bedroom was how I left it a year before and now everybody had gone back to work I was now sat in my living room wondering where the year had gone. The difference was - I’d changed. I was no longer the same person who left her parents at Manchester airport, I saw the world differently, I knew what else was out there and the bubble I was living in had now burst. 

I felt lost. I felt sad. I felt frustrated. I had moments where I felt like my life was just at a stand still and would never be the same again. I never realised that living a dream would ever make me feel so lost and confused; if anything, I thought it was going to do the opposite. I felt angry that nobody understood how I felt, I felt frustrated that my lifestyle was now back to normal and I felt upset that my dream was now all over. 

The thing is, leaving home and realising you won’t be seeing loved ones for a year or longer can be difficult and overwhelming, but nobody prepares you for the similar feelings you experience when coming back home. There are no distractions when you’re home. The same television shows are still playing, there’s no more adventures and everything else just feels like a distant memory. 

Whilst we had many down moments in Australia, from finding accommodation, living in squalid conditions and running out of money, the highs would always outweigh the lows. It’s difficult to get the same feelings when your bubble has burst and you’re now back to living in reality. 

For me, this is the hardest part of travelling.