Returning home felt so right, but wrong all at once. I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face as the plane started in land in Orlando. But, at the same time, I didn’t want the plane to land at all. Once the plane landed, that meant that it was time to return to reality. That meant: my mother was still sick, I hadn’t worked in two months, I had to get ready for one of the most challenging semesters, and I had to be in several places at once.
I am happy to say that my mother is doing amazing (for her circumstances). I had the pleasure of spending an entire week with my family, and it was much needed. I did notice that some family members aggravated me more than others, but that was expected. I had to get used to the way they communicated, again. I had to adjust to being home, because being away for nearly two months made everything feel different. I had gotten used to being in a foreign country, and now I felt like a foreigner at home.
I also had to get used to looking out of the car window and not seeing the beautiful landscapes of Europe. Not saying that America isn’t beautiful, but what I got to see in England and in Italy, was different. It took a few days to stop expecting my scenery to be different. To stop expecting to see hills as far as the eye can see, or sheep that looked like white dots on the sides of mountains.
It’s currently a challenge for me to not mention my trip whenever I think about it. I have to remind myself that people aren’t as interested in what I did as I’d like. While I was living in a dream and making lifelong memories, my peers were working and doing adult things. It wasn’t until I got back home that I realized that I hadn’t worked in about two months, and that I had adult things I had to handle.
Even now, being back in my own apartment doesn’t feel right. Nothing is the way I left it. The furniture in the common area is different. My roommates have new tattoos and piercings. My friend who stayed in my apartment, while I was away, made the space completely her own. And Tampa doesn’t feel like a place I used to live anymore. I can honestly say, I’m happy to back with my family, but I ready to go back abroad.
As always, if you’ve made it this far, thank you so much. May life always make you feel like there’s something amazing out there waiting to be experienced by you.