Home Sweet Home

The sun was yet to greet us as the clock would soon struck 5. I’d spent many early mornings out and about during European Winters. Though lugging my travel pack to my Uber across the sidewalk that morning, I knew Edinburgh’s chill was bidding me a final farewell with a vengeance.

“Don’t worry, you will climatize,” – I had heard a thousand times before setting out on this journey. 12 months later, my toes are still begging for the Australian sun!

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In April 2016, my University presented me with the opportunity to take my classroom to the United Arab Emirates, then to Italy. Which then tempted me to continue the following semesters at an overseas institution.  It seemed like a lifetime ago that I had grasped that opportunity, and it was.

400 days of travel, of growth, change, and independence. 400 solitary days, and of nights 17,000 kms away from familiarity.

Familiarity – a close acquaintance with or knowledge of someone or something. I’ve watched what is classed as my familiar be rewritten time and again as I changed my path in 2017. As I moved to the UK, as I ditched my studies abroad, and as I decided to just travel and work online. I often wonder what is familiar to me now, especially back home. Life doesn’t pause when you’re not around – funny that.

It’s an odd feeling having to acknowledge that while you’ve watched your siblings grow since birth, they will continue to do so whilst evading your watch.

Though regardless of how much they’ve changed, they still knew how to fill my heart with love as I discovered when I surprised them with my return home. I think the most moving sound is when you hear that crack in a loved ones’ voice as they’re about to cry. That initial embrace that seemed to fill a void that time had dug.

At first, it felt like my family and I were getting to know each other again. Though it took me a while to realise that my family and friends had changed no more than any given year, and that returning to this unchanged place was what taught me the ways in which I myself have altered.

I’m not sure why I had expected any different, because at the end of the day, returning home was bound not to be the same as never leaving.

It’s difficult to come to terms with returning home only to then continue life in an entirely different way than you had before. I visited 19 countries on this trip, and was exposed to a plethora of diverse culture, religion, and ways of life, which undoubtedly evolved my attitudes, values and beliefs.

Because of this, I now feel like I can’t relate to what my old life was on many levels. Things that I may have previously tolerated have become intolerable, I have a new-found confidence of voicing what previously remained unspoken, and I’ve discovered things that are no longer worth my time and energy. Most of all, I have learned more about my own country and hometown by leaving it. It has become apparent that distance and difference is what makes travel so powerful in evolving our perceptions of our world.

Coming home, you see that home is still the same, but you are not, and that changes a lot. You realise that your definition of home has shifted. And although this town will forever hold a place in my heart full of fond memories, that place in my heart has loosened to make room for what I have found love in abroad.

For the moment, I know I have years of more time away from this place. Thus, I want my family and friends to know that the little time I may spend with you here and there, is worth to me as much as the thousands of hours I have or will spend exploring abroad.

– Haylee x

 

 

2 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home

  1. hayleeswordsofwander,

    Do you not wish you had a chance at becoming Instagram cool?

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    Now, imagine that it’s Friday and you’ve just woken up from a sound summer-time nap.

    You roll over in bed to check your cell.

    Opening up Instagram.

    You‘re surprised at what you see: Over 652 likes on one of your pictures! There, you can see a a huge amount of likes on your pictures–over 832 on a single photo alone.

    You put your fuzzy slippers on and head to the kitchen for some coffee. After putting on the kettle, you pull out your phone again.

    Presto! Another 87 likes.

    And here comes another message. It is from one of your many fans asking about your workout regime, and giving you daps on your sixth official month of going to the gym.

    As you read it, you begin to grin. It’s a really attractive person, and they love your posts.

    As you sip your tea, you start typing up your response. But then your phone buzzes.

    It is another message coming in. You glance up at the clock–almost time for the gym. You will have to reply later.
    Listen, hayleeswordsofwander, most people just are not in control of their life. Heck, they can’t even get themselves to eat a balanced brekky, much less hit the gym.

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    Chow until next time

    Like

  2. How’s it going, hayleeswordsofwander?

    Don’t you wish you had a chance at being Instagram cool?

    Have you ever wondered how to be an Instagram Influencer?

    Picture this: You arise early Friday, even before your alarm goes off.

    You pull out your phone.

    Opening up Instagram.

    Wow, you think, Over 1000 likes on one picture.

    Heading to the kitchen, you put the kettle on for some tea and check your Instagram while you wait.

    Bam! Another 49 likes.

    Here comes another one. This time it’s not a like but a message from one of your followers. They congratulate you on your success and let you know they adore waking up to your content.

    The kettle blows and you pour your tea. When you flip out your phone, there’s another message–this time from a young girl–thanking you for posting. She follows you religiously and your’e an inspiration.

    Within minutes, your cell buzzes AGAIN.

    Hmmm, ANOTHER message. You close your cellphone and throw it in the bag. Time for the gym.
    Let’s stop the simulation there. People have a hard time achieving what they want in life. People can hardly get themselves to eat a good breakfast.

    I’m going to show you how to take the reigns of your Instagram.

    Now, what if you raised your engagement by 100%, or 1000%?

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    Like

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