I write this exactly one month after returning home from an epic 11 months around the world. I’m sitting on a bus, heading back to my beloved Canterbury, as its my turn for a stint of Jury Service – back home with a bang!
I’ve had a million and one thoughts running through my head since the day I’ve been home but how on earth do I express them for you lot to read! The truth is I’ve been putting off writing this because I haven’t figured out how to sum up something so life changing!
It’s only been a month and everything is obviously still fresh and super close to my heart. It seems like just yesterday we said goodbye to our family and friends. Fran and I both agree that we can still remember that final look around at our parents before we turned the corner and were officially on our own. At that time I had no idea what to expect of my return home, as you can imagine I wasn’t even thinking of it as it seemed a hell of a way off! Well the reality of coming home after travelling the world has been quite an emotional roller coaster but before I get to that I want to talk about saying goodbye to Brazil and our final journey together!!
The final day..
We couldn’t believe it was all coming to an end. With the weather taking a turn for the worse we decided to skip the final beach day and chill out at the hostel. The three of us, Leanne, Fran and myself were all slightly on edge, we weren’t going to be sleeping in this hostel tonight instead we were flying home – tomorrow we would be in England. I say that because we repeated those words to each other throughout the day, yet it still didn’t quite stink in!!
Everyday we did something new, be it meet new people, explore a new part of the world or visit a famous landmark. This time we were flying to somewhere we knew very well and being met by people we knew even better!! I’m finding it very hard to put into words the emotions we were all feeling but oh were we ready for it all!
The day dragged as we sat there waiting for our 8pm taxi ride to the airport. Leanne was on an earlier flight to ours so we said our emotional goodbyes half way through the day and Fran and I hugged each other as we waved goodbye to the trio! Down to two and feeling as if we were missing a limb, we continued to wait.
The taxi arrived, which Fran and I fondly remember as the ‘Death Cab’, and we weaved through the crazy Brazilian traffic to the airport. We got there in half the time, our nerves in shatters but still physically in one piece. We gave one final wave to the Brazilian heat and gave our taxi driver a less than friendly ciao – we were out of there.
Well not quite so fast – planes were delayed left right and centre. Our only plane delay of the entire trip happens to be the one taking us back to our parents – well that’s brilliant!
And then we were off, our plane was ready and so were we!
Eventually after a stop in Lisbon we landed at London Heathrow. Flying over London and into Heathrow is a sight to behold at night. London looked stunningly beautiful, Winter Wonderland was lighting up the nights sky in Hyde Park, whilst the infamous Big Ben, London Eye and London Bridge looked remarkable from that view!
Ahh London it was good to see you..
Once we walked through passport control and collected our bags it was time to see our family. This is when the butterflies started and we both felt nervous walking into arrivals and seeing the people we loved the most!
The very next moment two women were running towards us arms in the air and screaming – that, ladies and gentlemen are our parents. I swore to Fran that if they ran under the barrier I would turn around and walk back the other way in complete embarrassment. However having my mum run towards me and give me the biggest hug was possibly the best thing she could of done.
I’ve read many peoples blogs about returning home after a long time travelling and if I was to follow the trend this post would be where I write about the panic attacks and down right negative feelings that come with going home. Well I must say that I do already miss beach life, the constant heat and the not setting an alarm lifestyle BUT that’s not home, it will never compete to home!!’
Long term trips are a wonderful thing and the time and freedom that it allows to immerse yourself in a variety of cultures is more than wonderful. The fact that a lot more people are now quitting the jobs they hate and taking the plunge is something that makes me very happy!
However; and I can speak for Fran and myself when I say long term travel i.e. travelling for longer than a year is not for us. We missed our family and our close circle of friends, we missed cooking, hell we even missed British day time tele! I now tell everyone they must do it, they must travel and see the world – this little bubble we live in is not all there is. But the constant movement, living out of a bag, the continual lack of money and of course the home sickness is something that I’m glad to be rid of.
It’s no secret we were all nervous about coming home. My mind was on over drive from the moment we stood in Rio’s airport. How will I react when I see my parents? What will we talk about? Who and what will I think has changed? Will people think I’ve changed?
It didn’t take long for all of those to be answered.. Everything was the same. And I guess you can look at that as a negative, but coming home to familiar surroundings with no big changes is all that we wanted! Friends are still the same, we still gossip about the same stuff and even though my perspective has definitely changed I still love the girly gossip time! I didn’t stop talking to my parents the whole way home, of course we had loads to talk about!
Everything is so familiar and normal that I fitted back into normal life in an instant. I do remember laughing at the unlimited availability of food that was just unattainable for our entire year – now we have it in abundance and in English! I guess you can understand why life was easy again!
Honestly I am happy to be home, that time we took to explore the world was something we wanted and needed to do for ourselves. Expand our horizons and really get an understanding of what is around us. Of course there is still more to see, there will always be more but for now we felt it was the perfect time to come home and get back to real life (and mums cooking).