In one word: weird.
There’s a rush of everything and everyone you’ve missed being so exciting, and the urge to do everything you used to do, and the hype of getting a job and a place….then a week or two passes…then all of the sudden it becomes more apparent than ever that perhaps you have actually changed…and perhaps more frightening, the notion that it might just be more comfortable to be new in a new place than new in an old one. I’d rather not know where to go in Hanoi than in the city I was born and raised in….and I surely do not want to be surrounded by 1995’s NINETY FIVES at the bar that are like so totally jacked about toonie Tuesdays and want to tell me about how they just got accepted to trades school and don’t know that Africa is a continent not a country.
I have pretty much kept Starbucks in business the last couple weeks, all the while well having already done 2 jobs, bought a new iPhone in cash, and already taken a week long trip back to Edmonton (where I went to uni). …in 3 weeks. I have been in Canada for 3 weeks. This year so far, I have spent more time in 10 of the countries I visited.
It’s a bit weird though, having the most clean slate I’m bound to have for the rest of my life. I have every choice I could want, but I want everything but to make the decision. I legitimately could go to grad school or work anywhere in the world and in an entry level position in virtually any career path. I have landed softly at home with my parents where my belongings are still in the boxes I moved them home in a year ago. I have enough in the bank to sit back and make ‘the right choice’ …
Additionally everyone thinks my opinion should either be so happy to be home and back to routine or so depressed and wishing I was still travelling. I don’t actually know where I stand. I think I’m in a complacent state of wondering. Probably a state most young people have encountered, but as I’ve blazed through the last 5 years without a spare minute or looking back, this might have been my first take at it.
Anyway….’on coming home’…it’s weird. I advise any traveller to prepare for it before you leave. I hid money around my room, bought fresh lululemon pants, and left myself coffee gift cards. Everything I would have gulped at after a long trip was there for me, and I had a solid 1500 budgeted for ‘homecoming’ just so I could be a little choosier with jobs and have fun with the people I missed as opposed to mooching (we’ll save that for the bday next month). I set myself up for it well, but I will tell you that any choices you thought you’d have to make will have exponential amounts of possibility based on things you’ve learned while travelling…and opinions you thought you had will be tested real quick. I guess in a weird way I feel like I don’t know myself because I know in theory that pre-travels Anika would have blown through 20 job applications by now, and had it ‘all figured out’….I’m not saying that I’d have it any other way, but I’ve definitely been forced into much harder choices much quicker than I anticipated.
The good news. I have great people in my life. Ones that stayed in touch and ones that didn’t really….but I gained the strength while travelling to take a stand for what friendships I value. Everyone I’ve wanted to be there has been, everyone I’ve needed has exceeded their ‘friend obligations’, and even some unexpected gems have risen to the challenge of making me feel happy to be back, and welcomed back.
I wasn’t forgotten. And as many annoying or daunting tasks that I have in front of me, that matters…a lot.